Ranger Guided Tours

Guided Tour Schedule - June 23 to August 26, 2012

Boat Tour Francis Gate and Guard Locks

Lowell National Historical Park offers a wide variety of tours throughout the day during the summer season. Spaces for tours, especially for boat tours, are limited and reservations are suggested. To make a reservation, call (978) 970-5000.

Trolley tours and walking tours are offered free of charge. Boat tours are $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (62+), $6 for students and youths (age 6-16), and free for children 5 and under. The "Full Works" Boat tour (see below) is an additional $2 for each category.

For boat tours, visitors should arrive at the Visitor Center at 246 Market Street, Lowell, at least 15 minutes before tour start time to purchase their tickets. For trolley and walking tours, visitors should arrive at the Visitor Center about ten minutes before tour start time.

Boat tours are on an open-topped boat, and the tours run rain or shine. For the best tour experience, plan for the weather and be sure to have sunscreen, a hat or other head covering, and plenty of water with you. The specific route for boat tours may change due to the weather or to changing levels of water in the river or the canals. Occasionally, tours may be cancelled due to the weather or water levels. If you have any questions about your tour, please call the park at (978) 970-5000.

Come experience Lowell by taking one of our 2012 summer tours:

Working the Water Tour at Swamp Locks

Working the Water Boat Tour

Who dug the canals? Who laid the stone walls? Who operated the locks and gates? Discover the human stories of the workers who built and operated Lowell's remarkable waterpower system. Find out who is still "working the water" today.

Daily at 11:00 a.m. 90 Minutes. Tour locks through at Guard Locks and travels out to the Merrimack River.

Pawtucket Gatehousen on the Engineering Innovation Tour

Engineering Innovation Boat Tour

Lowell was the Silicon Valley of the early 19th century-a center of innovation, invention, and new technology. Learn about the great experiments, feats of engineering, and creative problem solving that made Lowell successful. Discover how that same spirit of innovation continues to shape the city today.

Daily at 12 noon. Two hours. Tour locks through at Guard Locks, travels to the Merrimack River and includes a short walk to the Pawtucket Gatehouse.

Industrial Canyon on the Transforming Landscapes Tour

Transforming Landscapes Boat Tour

Explore Lowell's canal system and understand how it helped transform a rural farming village into a busy urban industrial center. Travel along the old Pawtucket Canal and trace the changes along its banks over the last two hundred years. Discover how Lowell's industrial landscape is still evolving today.

Daily at 2 p.m. & 3 p.m. 1 hour, 45 minutes. Tour the old Pawtucket, lock through Swamp Locks, and take a short walking tour at Francis Gate.

Evening Cruise on the Merrimack

Evening Cruise

Pack a brown bag supper for a fun and relaxing evening cruise. Dine on the boat, check for wildlife, and take in the sights and sounds as you head upriver for a leisurely exploration of the Merrimack. Learn about the early uses of the river, and about the river's importance to the people and history of Lowell.

Thursdays and Fridays at 6:00 p.m. Two hours. No alcoholic beverages allowed.

Northern Canal on the Full Works Tour

The "Full Works" Boat Tour

Discover the relationships between the canals, the mills, and the workers on this comprehensive tour of Lowell's waterpower system. Explore Lowell's many waterways, gatehouses, and mill complexes.

Offered on July 8 & 21, August 5 & 18 at 2:30 p.m. Three hours. The Full Works Tour often fills up in advance- call for reservations (978) 970-5000.

Views of Lowell Trolley Tour

Views of Lowell Trolley Tour

Discover the diversity and variety of Lowell's stories. Find out about the famous Mill Girls, the technology that powered the mills, the ways that immigrants have contributed to the industrial city, and how all of these have shaped both the city's past and its present.

Daily at 10 a.m. 40 minutes. Free. Meet at the Visitor Center.

Suffolk Turbine on the Controlling Nature Tour

Controlling Nature Trolley Tour

Tour "The River Transformed" exhibit and find out how Lowell's founders harnessed the power of nature to drive the mills. Follow the transfer of power from the canals through the turbines, gears, belts, driveshafts, and pulleys, to the power looms.

Daily at 2:30 p.m. One hour and 45 minutes. Free. Meet at the Visitor Center. Tour includes a short walk to visit "The River Transformed" exhibit.

Dickens Walking Tour at the Boott Mill

Dickens' Lowell Walking Tour

Charles Dickens visited Lowell in 1842, and was so impressed with the industrial city and its workers that he devoted an entire chapter to his visit in his book American Notes. Walk in Dickens' footsteps and experience Lowell as he would have known it. Finish up with a visit to the free Dickens exhibit at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum.

Daily at 12:30 p.m. 30 minutes. Free. Meet at the Visitor Center.


Lowell Tours, August 27-September 3, 2012

Program Time Day Fee
Views of Lowell
Trolley Tour
10:00am Daily Free
Working the Water
Canal Boat Tour
11:00am, Daily

Fees Apply:
Adults, $8.00;
Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6-16), $6.00;
children 5 & under, free.

Engineering Innovation Boat Tour 12:00pm Daily Fees Apply:
Adults, $8.00;
Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6-16), $6.00;
children 5 & under, free.
Transforming Landscapes Tour 2:00pm, 3:00pm Daily Fees Apply:
Adults, $8.00;
Seniors/students, $7.00; youth (6-16), $6.00; children 5 & under, free.
Dickens' Lowell
1:00pm Daily Free
Hidden History Talks
Mill Girl Exhibit, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm.
Boott Cotton Mills, 11:00am, 1:00pm, 3:00pm

Daily Free

Last updated: August 7, 2012

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

67 Kirk Street
Lowell, MA 01852


(978) 970-5000

Contact Us