Mine Falls Park is one of the most instantly recognizable and vital parts of the city of Nashua. The park encompasses 325 acres located on both sides of the Everett Turnpike (Route 3). The name “Mine Falls” dates from the 18th century, when lead was supposedly mined from the island below the falls. In the early 19th century, the potential of the Nashua River to drive the wheels of industrial mills was recognized. Canals were dug, and the first gates were built in 1826, and the gatehouse near was built in 1886. All of the property was once part of a massive complex owned by the Nashua Manufacturing Company, which harnessed the river’s flow for power in its mills downstream on Factory Street. The mills closed in 1948 and the owner Textron sold it to the Nashua, New Hampshire Foundation (a group of local businessmen).
The park is located in the heart of the city and was purchased in 1969 with city and federal Land and Water Conservation Fund monies. It includes forest, wetlands, and open fields; it is bordered on the north by the Nashua River and on the south by the Millpond and canal system.
The park now boasts miles of trails for walking, running, bicycling and dog-walking. Boating (canoes and kayaks especially) and fishing are also common. There is usually moderate pedestrian traffic of families and visitors, making the trails a relatively safe place for anyone to visit. The high schools use it for cross-country practice as well.
There are several entrances to the park and its trails. There are fishing-boat ramps at the access points near Stellos Stadium (7 Stadium Drive) and Conway Arena (5 Stadium Drive). Pedestrians can also enter at the end of Whipple Street, at Nashua High School South (36 Riverside Road), at Lincoln Park at the end of Coliseum Avenue, and at access points along Ledge Street and Pine Street extension, near downtown Nashua.