Lowell National Historical Park

Take a tour of Lowell, Massachusetts this summer.

Lowell National Historical Park announces its hours and schedule of tours and events for the Summer of 2010

Lowell, MALowell National Historical Park canal boat tours move to daily operation rolling into the full summer season beginning June 27. The Park, one of over 390 units of the National Park Service, preserves and interprets the history of the American Industrial Revolution in Lowell, Massachusetts. The Park in historic downtown Lowell, Massachusetts includes former cotton textile mills, 5.6 miles of power canals, operating gatehouses, and worker housing.

Beginning June 27 through August 23 the schedule expands tours to seven days a week. Reservations are required for all tours and can be made by calling 978-970-5000.

The descriptions of the canal boat tours, times, and fees for programs beginning June 27 are:

Working the Water Boat Tour

Who dug the canals?  Who worked the locks and gates?  Discover the human force behind the power of the canal system on this 90-minute tour on the Pawtucket Canal.  Offered daily at 11:00am, 2:00pm & 3:00 pm, and Thursdays and Fridays at 1:00pm Fees: Adults, $8.00; Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6 -16 years old), $6.00; Children 5 and under, free.

Engineering Innovation Tour
The city of Lowell, its mills and the canal system have been the site of exciting innovations throughout its long history.  Discover why Lowell was once called a “living laboratory” on this two hour canal tour.  Offered daily at 12:00 and Thursdays and Fridays at 3:30pm. Fees: Adults, $8.00; Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6 -16 years old), $6.00; Children 5 and under, free.

The “Full Works” Tour

Explore the role of water in shaping Lowell’s history by boat, trolley and foot. Starting at Lower Locks, this tour goes through Swamp Locks and Guard Locks on the Pawtucket Canal traveling to the Merrimack River. Tour also visits Francis Gatehouse, Pawtucket Gatehouse, and “The River Transformed” Exhibit at the Wannalancit Mills to investigate how water was harnessed for power. 3 hour tour offered Saturday, July 31 at 2:30 pm and Sunday, August 8 & 22 at 2:30 pm.  Fees:  Adults: $10.00; Seniors: $9.00 (Ages 62+), Youths: $8.00 (Ages 6 -16), • Children: Free (Ages 5 and under).

Evening Cruise

Pack up a brown bag supper, join a National Park Service captain and park ranger for a relaxing evening cruise on the Merrimack River. Explore the Pawtucket Canal, the mill pond and the upstream section of The river. Dine on the boat, check for wildlife, learn about early uses of the river, and take in the sights and sounds of this remarkable resource. No alcoholic beverages please. Regular fees apply. 2 hour tour offered Thursdays and Friday at 6:00pm. Fees: Adults, $8.00; Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6 -16 years old), $6.00; Children 5 and under, free.

Lowell National Park Visitor Offerings:

In addition to the boat tours and special events, Lowell National Historical Park offers the following opportunities to discover Lowell from June 27 through August 23:

Visitor Center

246 Market Street

9:00 am – 5:30 pm, Daily.

9:00 am – 6:30 pm, Thursdays and Fridays

Begin your visit at the Visitor Center in Market Mills, the former Bigelow Carpet Company complex, one of the city’s original textile mills. At the Visitor Center, you can plan your exploration of the major park sites and the city’s rich industrial past. Here “Lowell: the Industrial Revelation”, an award –winning multimedia presentation, is available introducing visitors to the story of how people, technology, and capital came together to revolutionize textile production—and a way of life—in Lowell and other American cities.  Make reservations for park tours and other programs; visit the Children’s Corner, sign up for the Junior Ranger Program, and shop in the Museum Store. Learn about Lowell’s many cultural institutions and the diverse array of special events that celebrate the city’s rich ethnic heritage. Free admission.

Boott Cotton Mills Museum,

115 John Street

9:30 am – 5:00 pm, Daily.

Don’t miss the roar of a 1920s weave room with operating power looms! The park’s primary exhibit includes the weave room and interactive exhibits and video programs about the Industrial Revolution, labor, and the rise, fall, and rebirth of Lowell. See insert for seasonal hours. Fees: Adults, $6.00; Youths, 6 -16 & Students $3.00; Senior Discount; Children 5 and under, free. Call to inquire about special group rates.

Boott Gallery at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum.

115 John Street

12:00 pm – 4:00 pm, Daily.

Mill Girls & Immigrants Exhibit,

4o French Street

1:00 pm – 5:00 pm, Daily.

Explore the history of “mill girls” and immigrants in a Boott Mills boardinghouse. The Mill Girls & Immigrants Exhibit, located in the Mogan Cultural Center, tells the human story of the Industrial Revolution by concentrating on the working people of Lowell. Free admission.

Additional guided Tours

Views of Lowell Trolley Tour

10:00 pm, Daily. 40 Minute tour.

Join a park ranger to discover intriguing locations and stories of Lowell. You may learn about the downtown locks and canal structures; explore the relationship of the river to the power and production of the industrial city; or learn about the lives of Lowell’s famous “mill girls.” Tour travels primarily by trolley although there may be some walking.  Free.

Controlling Nature Tour

2:30pm, Saturday through Wednesday. 90 Minute tour.

Lowell’s founders had a plan to control the Merrimack River to power the mills.  Learn how waterpower “works” to turn turbines and power machinery, while discovering some of the consequences of industrializing the river. Free.


Historic replica trolleys operate daily carrying visitors from the Visitor Center to the Boott Mills. Schedules vary; please check for the trolley schedule at the Visitor Center Desk. Free.

Park information is available at www.nps.gov/lowe or by calling 978-970-5000.