Join a ranger for an immersive tour of the Pawtucket Canal – from Swamp Locks to Guard Locks and back. See and hear about the built history and physical operations of the canal system that was first designed to bypass a 32-foot drop in the Merrimack River and then converted to powering the mills.
Canal tours include a short walk from the park visitor center (246 Market Street) to the boat landing at Swamp Locks. The walkway follows a gentle, paved slope. Please wear comfortable shoes.
Tour begins at the Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center at 246 Market Street.
Select a date to see a list of times
All boats are equipped with water safety equipment, including lifejackets for adults and youths. We do not require lifejackets to be worn on tours, but they are available for use if necessary.
Canal boat tours are not wheelchair accessible for boarding. However, visitors using wheelchairs and who have some mobility may be able to board the tour boats with assistance, and stow their folded chairs on board. Boarding boats requires climbing 3 steps up and 3 steps down.
Tours proceed rain or shine but occasionally, tours may be cancelled due to severe weather or water conditions.
Boarding tour boats may involve walking on uneven earthen, wood, and granite surfaces, or on floating or stationary boat docks. Passengers must exercise caution and follow the instructions of the tour ranger and boat crew members.
Tour boats are uncovered, and there is no shade along the route of the tour. Passengers should dress for the weather, use sunscreen, a hat or other head covering, and stay hydrated during their tour.
Passengers must check-in at the park Visitor Center, 246 Market Street, at least 15 minutes before your tour is scheduled to depart.
Coast Guard regulations limit the number of individuals on the boat, please include children and infants in your total count.
Food is not allowed on tour boats. Water is allowed and a filling station is available in the Visitor Center.
There are no bathrooms on tour boats.