By the Light of the Moon

  • Visit North Central

By the Light of the Moon

By the Light of the MoonMusic festivals. Quiet walks on sun-dappled trails. Afternoons spent on a warm beach, or watching the kids safely splashing in a zero-depth water park.

The long sunny days of spring and summer offer a wealth of opportunities to explore the beauty of Johnny Appleseed Country.

But wait! Your enjoyment of the great outdoors doesn’t have to end when the sun starts to dip below the horizon!

There’s plenty of beauty to enjoy after dusk settles across the region.

Take a Hike

Lace up your boots, for example, and take moonlit hike on Wachusett Mountain in Princeton for a totally different view of the region’s landscape.

There are also many groups, as well as individuals, that hike Wachusett Mountain. They range  from a few friends to organized groups (both public and private) that coordinate their adventures on Facebook, to the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC). Although not mandatory, it is always  a good idea to hike with a partner.

The view from the top of Wachusett is always grand, but it’s even more breath-taking with the moon overhead and the city lights spread like a blanket below.

Or join the folks at Wachusett Meadow  Wildlife Sanctuary for a family hike by moonlight. You can listen for owls or coyotes, catch a glimpse of beavers on the pond, and walk among lightning bugs in the meadows before gathering around a campfire to enjoy some s’mores. These special group hikes can be found in the calendar in this Guide, or visit to learn more about the sanctuary and its programs.

The North County Land Trust also organizes walks through its properties throughout the region — including occasional guided  “Night Walk & Owl Prowl” events at the Crocker Conservation Area in Fitchburg. Check the organization’s website,, for an updated schedule of their day and evening walking tours.

A Ribbon of Light

For a different experience, get off the trail —and into a canoe! This region is filled with ponds, lakes, rivers and streams that are as beautiful in the evening as in the bright light of day. Don’t want to strike out on your own? Don’t worry!  Nashoba Paddler in Groton offers a series of Full Moon Canoeing Tours.  You’ll set out by canoe at dusk and as darkness approaches, watch the moon rise, being on the lookout for owls, beaver, bats, and other night life. You can find details about Nashoba Paddler and their moonlight tours at

When the sun sets, the outdoors lights up in Johnny Appleseed Country.