On a Monday in October, my friend and I were looking for a fantastic fall view. I had heard about Lookout Rock only about an hour from my home, so we set out to see if the views were as good as the internet says. While we were there, we also spent the day exploring the area around Medon, Uxbridge, and Northbridge in central Massachusetts.
These towns lie in the Blackstone Valley, which was the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution. The area also has farming, the Blackstone River, and lakes.
Lookout Rock, Northbridge, Massachusetts
Lookout Rock is a large, decorated rock between the towns of Uxbridge and Northbury. It has gorgeous views of the valley below, including the snaking Blackstone River, Rice Pond, Goat Hill, and River Bend Farm.
How to Get to Lookout Rock
There are a few ways to hike to Lookout Rock. One very easy and the other more difficult.
- Park in the marked lot on Quaker Street in Northbridge- From the lot, take the Lookout Point Trail. It isn’t well-marked but is the trail to the right. Less than a quarter of a mile down the easy dirt trail, you will find the rock. There are small rocks before you reach it, so don’t get confused. Lookout Rock is huge and covered in graffiti.
- Park at the Rice City Pond parking lot- Take the King Phillips Lookout Trail. The hike will be about 2.5 miles up and back.
Leashed dogs are allowed on the trails.
Muffin House Bakery, Mendon
The rock is broad and the perfect setting for a picnic. We went to the rock first, but if I come again, I will stop first in Mendon and pick up sandwiches and sweets from this bakery. They have an extensive selection of bread and muffins, even gluten-free bagels. I had a yummy Thanksgiving sandwich on multi-grain bread, but they also have wraps and cajun chicken sandwiches.
Blackstone River and Canal Heritage State Farm Trail, Uxbridge
This 1000-acre park is full of trails and waterways built around the canals system used as transport for the farms in the area. While here, you can take a peek into the history museum at River Bend Farm (when it is open) or see the beautiful Old Stone Bridge. There is also a wooden bridge over the canal made from an old canal lock.
This area in the Blackstone Valley is the perfect spot for a day among nature, learning about the history of central Massachusetts. I plan to return in the spring to see how it changes with the season. Within a short drive is one of my kids’ favorite New England hikes, Purgatory Chasm.
Have you explored this area? Please give us any tips in the comments.