State National Parks of Massachusetts
Where will your adventure lead you?
Adams National Historical Park
Adams National Historical Park is the only place in the country where the stories of two presidents, John Adams and John Quincy Adams, can be told from birth to death. The three properties with flower gardens and orchards transport the visitor back in time to when the Adams family lived on the premises.
Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park
Experience the living landscape of the “Birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution” in the Blackstone River Valley. The Blackstone River helped fuel America’s drive towards industrialization by running the nation’s first water-powered cotton mill. As a result, mill villages soon sprang up from the headwaters in Worcester, Massachusetts, to Narragansett Bay in Providence, Rhode Island. The 46-mile waterway, once called "the hardest-working river in America," continues to connect the communities in this celebrated national heritage corridor.
Boston National Historic Park
See 350 years come to life in a city that shaped the history of America as a colony and an independent nation. Walk the 2.5-mile Freedom Trail to explore 16 historic sites in the heart of the city, including the site of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere’s house, the Old North Church and the Bunker Hill Monument — all icons of the American Revolution. In addition, visitors can see the U.S.S. Constitution, one of the first ships in the U.S. Navy, commissioned by President George Washington in 1797.
Boston African American National Historic Site
In the early 1800s, the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston was home to one of the largest communities of free African-Americans in the country. Unlike other U.S. states, Massachusetts effectively outlawed slavery in its constitution in 1783, decades before the 13th Amendment abolished slavery nationwide. Boston became a thriving center for the abolitionist movement and a critical link in the Underground Railroad. The historic site interprets 15 different structures in this storied neighborhood, including two important buildings, the Abiel Smith School and the African Meeting House, which combine to make up the Museum of African-American History. Other historic buildings include a school, the homes of several prominent Boston African-Americans and a memorial honoring the first regiment of African-American troops to serve in the Civil War.
Boston Harbor Islands National Recreation Area
Rich in history, the 34 beautiful islands and peninsulas of this national recreation area feature lighthouses, military sites, hiking trails and numerous other outdoor adventures. Walk in the steps of the Union soldiers who guarded Boston from their station at Fort Warren during the Civil War. Search the horizon for ships from Boston Light on Little Brewster Island, the second-oldest working lighthouse in the nation. Observe sea creatures in sun-warmed tidal pools and cast your line for striped bass and winter flounder. All of these adventures and more are an easy ferry ride from the city.
Cape Cod National Seashore
Famous for its windswept beaches and spectacular views, Cape Cod National Seashore offers a quintessentially New England experience, from Nauset Lighthouse to the seaside cottages that nestle among the dunes. The park’s 43,000 acres make up most of the curving peninsula between Chatham and Provincetown, featuring barrier islands, pine and oak forests, wild cranberry bogs, kettle ponds, tidal flats, and historic structures from the area's long maritime history.
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site
Frederick Law Olmsted was one of the country's premiere landscape designers, best known as the architect of New York City’s Central Park. He had a lifelong interest in landscape design, traveling extensively to study the formal gardens of Europe and writing books about the role of landscape architecture in civilization. Olmsted was also a vocal abolitionist. He toured the South just prior to the Civil War, calling on President Lincoln to stop the spread of slavery to the western territories. Later in life, Olmsted moved to Boston, where he opened the first professional practice focused on landscape design. The Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site houses artifacts of his life, his writings, and his work.
Longfellow House - Washington's Headquarters National Historic Site
This historic yellow mansion in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was home to one of the world's foremost poets, scholars, and educators. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived here from 1843 until his death in 1882 and produced many of his most famous poems and translations here. General George Washington also lived in the yellow house and used it as his headquarters during America's Revolutionary War, planning the Siege of Boston here between July 1775 and April 1776.
Lowell National Historic Park
In the early 1800s, this planned industrial town used an extensive canal system around area waterways to power its mills, giving rise to a to a thriving manufacturing community largely comprised of immigrants and working women. Lowell's "Mill Girls" made up 75 percent of its work force. These early 19th century young women left their homes on New England farms for jobs in the booming textile industry. Today, visitors can tour the canals by boat and see renovated mill buildings where workers endured long hours in a harsh working environment, eventually fighting for and paving the way for better labor conditions.
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site
Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site provides a trip back in time to the 17th and 18th centuries when the site was used for producing iron. A short stroll behind the visitor’s center and museum takes visitors to the main area of the site–a handful of reconstructed buildings clustered around–and with a lovely view of–the Saugus River.