The town of Groton, officially settled and incorporated in 1655, is located in northwestern Middlesex County, Massachusetts and within the Greater Boston metropolitan area. Groton is fast developing a reputation for its rich history, dedication to conservation and its burgeoning cultural scene. Groton is perhaps best known as the home to two prestigious prep schools; The Groton School, founded in 1884 and Lawrence Academy, founded in 1793.
There is so much to do and explore, not only in Groton, but the surrounding communities. Groton, the largest town in Middlesex County, is bordered by a number of towns including, Ayer, Dunstable, Littleton, Pepperell, Shirley, Townsend, Tyngsborough and Westford. With a population of just over 11,000 residents, Groton still retains its small town atmosphere. But this small town is bursting with interesting things to do and see!
Arts & Culture
There are certain locations around the world that have always attracted artists, and Groton, in the heart of Massachusetts’ Nashoba Valley, is one. The former home of Edmund Tarbell of the Boston School, who fell in love with the landscape; Mary Minifie, who follows in his footsteps; and Paul Matisse, whose Kalliroscope Gallery in a repurposed old church, is a focal point of Groton’s local art and music scene.
The newly constructed Groton Hill Music Center, opening fall of 2022, will share the transformative power of music through teaching, performing, and giving. Designed by award-winning Epstein Joslin Architects of Cambridge, MA, Groton Hill Music Center is a stunning 126,000 square foot facility featuring a 1,000 seat Concert Hall; the 300-seat Meadow Hall; 35 multi-scaled rehearsal and teaching spaces; a spacious light filled lobby; state-of-the-art acoustics; and dynamic architecture on 110 acres of rolling fields.
Stroll down Main Street and visit the NOA Gallery, or take in a pottery or glass blowing class at the Prescott Community Center in the recently renovated historic Prescott Building. Visit the Groton Public Library, founded in 1854, both to take in the beautiful architecture of this historic building as well as to peruse the art and sculpture collected housed on its 3rd floor. Visit the Groton History Center for maps or to participate in a guided tour. Catch some live music at the Groton Town Field, The Groton Inn, or the Groton Publik House.
Over 30% of Groton’s 32.8 square miles is protected open space, boasting over 100 miles of public trails for walking, biking and horseback riding. One such trail, The Nashua River Rail Trail is an 11 mile paved mixed-use rail trail in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire under the control of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. It roughly follows the course of the Nashua River, passing through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable, Massachusetts and ends about a mile across the New Hampshire state border in the city of Nashua. The trail is open to walkers, cyclists, inline skaters, equestrians, and cross-county skiers.
If exploring the natural beauty of Groton by land is not your preference, launch your boat and explore the abundant flora and fauna of the Nashua and Squannacook Rivers. Don’t own a boat? Stop in to Nashoba Paddler and rent a kayak or canoe or sign up for a guided river outing.
Looking for a more structured activity? The Groton Country Club, owned by the Town of Groton offers residents affordable access to its 9 hole golf course and Olympic sized swimming pool. Looking for Tennis? Pickleball? Soccer for all ages? Whatever your preference, there are clubs and organized recreation activities to suit your needs. Check out the Groton Center for activities, trips and clubs especially for Seniors.
Points of Interest
Bancroft’s Castle was built by General William Bancroft in 1906 atop Gibbet Hill in Groton. Bancroft’s dream was to construct a castle like home with an accompanying bungalow as a gift for his wife. Unfortunately, Bancroft was financially unable to complete the project. Dr. Harold Ayres purchased the property in 1918 and renovated it, utilizing it as a sanitarium. Later the Groton Hunt Club held various events on the site. It was during a Fourth of July celebration in 1932 when the bungalow caught fire leaving only the current structure.
Forest Bells Commissioned by The Artists Valentine Project and dedicated to the students at Indian Hill Arts (now Groton Hill Arts), Paul Matisse’s Forest Bells sculpture, installed in 1995, is an easy hike from Indian Hill Road. Take in the wonder of the beautiful Blackman Field and Woods property and give these incredible bells a ring!
From farm to table, fine dining, or comfort food and homemade ice cream, you can find it all in Groton!
Gibbet Hill Grill is at the forefront of the local “farm to fork” food movement. They are one of the only restaurants in New England that has a produce farm on site which sits on a beautiful 500 acres, creating beautiful vistas for diners and townspeople alike.
The Forge and Vine draws inspiration from the region’s history and natural surroundings, the restaurant, on site at the newly rebuilt Groton Inn, features an eight-foot wood fired grill as its centerpiece, an open kitchen with counter seating where guests can enjoy dinner while interacting with the chefs and dining on the deck.
Comfort food favorites include Filho’s Cucina where you will find reasonably priced traditional Italian fare of the highest quality in a relaxed, casual atmosphere, Dolce Amar, an authentic Sicilian bakery with both sweet and savory offerings, and Blackbird Café serving, coffee, sandwiches and breakfast all day.
Finally, stop by Johnson’s Restaurant and Dairy Bar for fried seafood, burgers, and fresh homemade ice cream.
Shopping & Markets
From boutiques to charming wine and cheese shops, to hand-made jewelry, pottery and art of all varieties, you will find it in Groton. Need a last minute gift? Head over to The Kitchen Sink Candle Co., Lavender Florest, or Facets Etc. Want to find the perfect wine and cheese pairing, how about a tasting while you shop at The Barn Door?