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NORTH WEST

To the west of the coastal towns and resorts that make up Boston’s North Shore lie a group of attractive residential communities that share a convenient location near Interstates 495 and 93 as well as Routes 3 and 128. This quadrant of Greater Boston is known as the North West or the Merrimack Valley. The relaxed lifestyle of the many small towns and pastoral villages with their rural beauty and natural tranquility is greatly enhanced the close proximity of more developed urban centers such as Lowell and Lawrence. The North West communities that are situated furthest from Boston rely on Nashua, New Hampshire, for expanded services.

Each of the towns and cities scattered throughout the Merrimack Valley has retained a distinctive flavor and personality over the passing decades. The area was first settled and developed in American history as an agricultural region. With the coming of the industrial age, those towns with the greatest access to “river power” also became milling and textile centers. Farming gave way to manufacturing, and factories eventually bowed to the high-tech revolution. Although the North West region has moved a considerable distance from its agricultural past, farming represents significant revenue—particularly from local orchards. Complementing the manufacturing sector are modern industrial parks and high-tech firms. The movement of light industry from the “big city” to outlying areas has resulted in lower taxes and a high quality of life for North West residents.

Services
Some of the finest and best-known teaching hospitals and medical schools in the world are just minutes away from the Merrimack Valley in Boston, Cambridge, and Worcester. The Merrimack Valley itself is home to several of the best community hospitals in Massachusetts, as well as outstanding home health services and visiting nurse agencies. Attracted by world-class research and treatment centers, the professionals and specialists who serve the region are of the highest caliber. In addition, the Merrimack Valley’s community colleges and the University of Massachusetts Lowell offer a wide array of training programs for people interested in health science careers.

First-rate schools serve this region, from neighborhood elementary schools in the smaller towns to regional facilities that attract students from a number of surrounding communities. In addition to an excellent foundation of traditional classes, enrichment programs, and highly developed special programs are available. A number of private and parochial schools provide educational alternatives, including the famous Groton Academy in Groton. Vocational regional high schools and exceptional career centers provide a variety of training opportunities as well as evening courses and continuing education for residents of all ages. Institutions of higher education close to home include Northern Essex Community College, Middlesex Community College, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, Merrimack College, and Cambridge College.

Most communities in the Merrimack Valley are able to provide residents with the benefit of easy access to major thoroughfares. Commuter rail to Boson and other key destinations combine with extensive bus service to offer mass transit options in most residential areas. For air travel, the most convenient facilities to this area are Logan International Airport and the airport in Manchester, New Hampshire.

Lifestyle
From agricultural villages that have evolved into attractive residential “bedroom” communities to historic old milling towns that have totally revitalized their economic base, the North West is a study in diversity. The quality of life is deeply rooted in the belief that hard work and a cooperative spirit can accomplish almost anything—including the total transformation of outdated factories. A fresh, new influx of light industry and high technology companies have spurred a period of refurbishment and growth in the area’s older cities, resulting in a population boom and plentiful new construction in the adjacent smaller towns.

Many of the North West communities offer a tranquil, small-town existence that is almost pastoral in its rural simplicity and old-world beauty. Vast expanses of 0pen space, white-spired churches, pristine village greens, and charming old colonials lining quaint brick sidewalks set the tone for true ‘country’ living. At the same time, modern residential developments of lovely homes and expanded retail and social service attest to the march of time and the ability of the region to keep pace with the highly demanding and competitive new millennium.

Social, cultural, civic and athletic organizations are extremely popular in these friendly towns, involving residents in productive and recreational endeavors. Newcomers will find extensive opportunities for fun, exercise, and relaxation—in the highly developed facilities and programs within their new communities—but also within the vast expanse of the surrounding terrain. State parks, forests, rivers, and lakes abound, providing a natural playground for a wide variety of outdoor adventures. Common pastimes include boating, sailing, swimming, water sports, camping, hiking, horseback riding, country skiing, ice-skating, and sledding.

Lush golf courses and tennis clubs combine with recreational centers, senior centers, innovative playgrounds, and team sports to meet the interests of all age groups. With the urban resources of Boston to the south, the panoramic North Shore beaches to the West, and the New Hampshire mountains to the north, the Merrimack Valley claims all the right ingredients to offer the best of everything under the sun.

Ayer, Shirley
Ayer Municipal Offices
978-772-8215
www.ayer.ma.us
Shirley Municipal Offices
978-425-2600
www.shirley-ma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

The country towns of Ayer and Shirley have evolved from their agricultural roots into desirable residential communities that draw newcomers with their rural atmosphere and charm. Ayer is home to Fort Devens Army Installation, the State Pheasant Farm, and a significant portion of the North West region’s lucrative apple industry. Excellent schools, Nashoba Community Hospital, a strong network of civic organizations, and excellent transportation services including commuter rail to Boston are all available in Ayer. The neighboring community of Shirley is rapidly growing, fueled in part by the proliferation of development along Route 495.  Shirley provides an abundance of open space for residential expansion and is also served by commute rail and bus service to key destinations throughout Greater Boston.

Billerica, Tewksbury
Billerica Municipal Offices
978-671-0924
www.town.billerica.ma.us
Tewksbury Municipal Offices
978-640-4355
www.tewksbury.info

Chamber of Commerce
781-933-3499
www.northsuburbanchamber.com

The comfortable, suburban town of Billerica is situated on the beautiful Concord River. Against the scenic backdrop of its lush woodland landscape and sparkling lake, Billerica offers an attractive selection of homes from colonials to split-level, Cape Cod, and ranch styles. Homes in this area tend to be more reasonably prices and may be set on lots of an acre or more. Commuters appreciate the rail service to Boson and easy access to major high connections such as Interstates 93 and 495 or routes 3 and 128. Neighboring Tewksbury is home to many employees of the electronics and computer companies located along Interstate 495 and Route 128. This thriving residential suburb also claims a strong base of light industry. Both communities provide quality educational services, strong civic organizations, transportation efficiencies, and outstanding recreational amenities.

Bedford
Municipal Offices
781-275-1111
www.bedfordma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
781-275-8503
www.bedfordchamber.org

Bedford is everything that is expected when one mentions a historic Massachusetts town. Steeped in history and tradition, Bedford still retains its Colonial atmosphere. The town is home to more than 12,500 residents. The town center is a historic district and walking tours of historic homes are held each October. Additionally, a selection of newer styles, typically set on large lots, are found in outlying areas. The Concord River is the focal point for many recreational activities. Bedford’s innovative educational system enjoys community support and Middlesex Community College is located here. Spring Brook Park offers picnic grounds, town beach and a playground. The town is also home to Hanscom Air Force Base, the Headquarters of the U.S. Air Force Electronic Systems Center. The base employs more than 7,000 civilian and military personnel.

Boxborough
Municipal Offices
978-264-1700
www.boxborough-ma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-263-0010
www.mwcoc.com

This pleasant, rural New England community has attracted many to its open fields and unspoiled woodlands. With its convenient access to Route 128 from Route 2 and the expansion of Interstate 495 through the town, the area provides good access to the area’s employment centers. Commuter rail service is already available in nearby South Acton. Newcomers will find a few well-kept older homes in established neighborhoods, but the majority of housing options are located in modern residential developments that feature newer construction in a variety of architectural styles.  An excellent public school system includes an advanced curriculum with many specialized programs. Recreational amenities include year-round ice-skating, sports leagues, ballfields, and playgrounds.

Burlington
Municipal Offices
781-270-1600
www.burlington.org

Chamber of Commerce
978-774-8565
www.northshorechamber.org

Few communities can match Burlington for its fine balance of residential areas, an expansive retail sector, and thriving industry. The community’s convenient highway access makes it ideal for commuters, although a healthy economy also provides considerable local employment. A significant number of high-tech firms have been drawn to attractive industrial parks on the periphery of town. The resulting influx of professionals has spurred a number of new planned housing developments. Fortunately, careful zoning has protected the beauty of the quiet country atmosphere that is Burlington’s heritage. Local malls, excellent schools, highly developed civic organizations, diverse housing options, and expansive recreational amenities have all contributed to Burlington’s popularity. Housing ranges from well-kept older properties in the heart of town to newer ranch-style and split-level homes that harmonize with the New England countryside.

Carlisle
Municipal Offices
978-369-6155
www.carlislema.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-369-3120
http://concordchamberofcommerce.org

Situated north of Concord, Carlisle is younger and less populated than its historic neighbor. Popular with commuters to Boston or the employment centers along Route 128 and Interstate 495, Carlisle is a rural community that has managed to preserve its country atmosphere. The close proximity of Concord benefits the community in a number of ways, from enhancing the quality of area schools to offering expanded retail facilities, services, and healthcare resources. Almost entirely residential, Carlisle requires a generous minimum acreage for city lots to encourage the construction of spacious and attractive homes. Many of these contemporary homes are ideally situated along quite country roads surrounded by a lush, natural setting. A portion of the town has already been designated as a wildlife conservation area, ensuring an “open “feeling as the population continues to grow. Great Brook State Park offers hiking paths, cross-country skiing, equestrian trials, and picnic areas.

Chelmsford
Municipal Offices
978-250-5201
www.townofchelmsford.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-263-0010
www.mwcoc.com

Considered a suburb of Lowell, Chelmsford is an attractive residential community with sufficient population to offer a pleasing balance of suburban serenity, local services, and accessibility to urban centers. Many residents of Chelmsford are professionals who are employed in the high-tech industries along Route 128, although other major highways are equally accessible. A strong community spirit, an interest in art and culture, and active involvement in civic organization characterize the residents. Housing options are diverse and abundant, made even more appealing the well-planned zoning regulations. Newcomers will find golf courses, tennis clubs, ice-skating, pond, swimming and country club, and a collection of parks with sports facilities and ballfields.

Dracut
Municipal Offices
978-453-0951
www.dracut-ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-459-8154
www.greaterlowellchamber.org

Named after a town in England, Dracut has evolved from its agricultural heritage and manufacturing roots in the 1800s into a growing residential area with a pleasing blend of architectural styles. Newcomers will find everything from charming cottages to handsome new construction. Attractive condominiums add options for a maintenance-free lifestyle. Nearby Lowell serves as the transportation hub, offering good connections for both passenger and freight rail service. Recreational amenities are especially well developed in the panoramic Lowell-Dracut State Forest, which ensures abundant opportunities for outdoor adventure and relaxation. Long Pond offers swimming and boating, and Lake Mascuppic includes a beach and driving range. North Shore beaches and the ski slopes of New Hampshire are also close to home.

Dunstable
Municipal Offices
978-649-4514
www.dunstable-ma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-353-7600
www.northcentralmass.com

This small but attractive New England village blends the grace and charm of old-world beauty with the invigorating feeling of true country living. Settled in the 1600s, Dunstable has grown into a desirable residential community with a pleasing selection of gracious older homes and considerable new construction in a tranquil atmosphere. Basic services and recreational amenities have expanded along with the population to encompass many municipal services, a public library, conservation land, playgrounds, athletic fields, tennis courts, and a golf course. Even more urban amenities and resources are located nearby in Lowell or Nashua, New Hampshire. Nearby Groton serves the educational needs of the Dunstable youth in the middle and high-school years.

Groton
Municipal Offices
978-448-1111
www.townofgroton.org

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

Groton is a small town located in the picturesque Merrimack Valley region, known for farms, orchards, rolling countryside, and the Groton Academy. Set in the middle of Nashoba Hunt Country, Groton features numerous conservation areas and ponds, providing a variety of recreational opportunities for nature lovers, hikers, and cross-country skiers. Other facilities encourage tennis, golf, and swimming—or relaxing and socializing at the Groton Country Club. Tree-shaded lanes and well-kept yards characterize the peaceful, friendly neighborhoods, and magnificent older trees grace the stately colonials along the Main Street District.  Boston is less than an hour’s drive from home, although convenient commuter bus service is available in nearby Ayer.

Harvard, Bolton
Harvard Municipal Offices
978-456-4100
www.harvard.ma.us
Bolton Municipal Offices
978-779-2771
www.townofbolton.com

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

Well known as the heart of the apple orchard country, Harvard claims a hilly terrain that offers breathtaking vistas. Residents can enjoy spectacular sylvan views of distant mountains, lakes, and valleys. Home to the Fruitlands Museum and historic Shaker Village, Harvard claims an active conservation commission that preserves its appealing rural flavor. Recreational highlights include a large lake for boating, sailing, water sports, and swimming. Nearby Bolton is an equally charming residential community that sprawls over 28 square miles. Bolton is highlighted by a charming town common lined with stately 18th-century homes and wonderful antique shops, as well as open space and vast expanses of farmland.

Lawrence
Municipal Offices
978-620-3000
www.cityoflawrence.com

Chamber of Commerce
978-686-0900
www.merrimackvalleychamber.com

Extensive revitalization, beautification, and refurbishment have earned Lawrence the title of “All American City.” Many of yesterday’s textile factories have given way to diversified new industries that not only contribute to the community’s economic transformation but have also given the cityscape a facelift. Newcomers will find a cross-section of attractive housing, from well-kept older homes in quiet settings to newer construction in a variety of architectural styles. MBTA provides commuter rail service, and buses with local routes as well as service to Boston are also available. Lawrence serves as the core city for an entire area of smaller communities, providing expanded opportunities for shopping, services, healthcare resources, and recreational amenities.  The latter include swimming pools, ice-skating rinks, tennis courts, parks, playgrounds, playing fields, the Merrimack River area, and a boathouse.

Littleton
Municipal Offices
978-952-2401
www.littletonma.org

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

Established in the early 1700s as an agricultural community, Littleton is still home to broad expanses of farmland, grazing horses, and apple orchards. The town’s rural atmosphere is enhanced by the character of its historic buildings and the natural beauty of its protected land. Frequent bus service and the introduction of two major highways through the area have eased the commute to many points in Greater Boston. These transportation efficiencies have also enhanced Littleton’s image as an attractive and desirable bedroom community. Although residents of Littleton enjoy basis services and amenities right outside their front doorsteps, many neighboring communities add to the quality of life by offering expanded resources. Vast acreage of unspoiled nature ensures abundant recreational possibilities that include hunting areas and lakes with beaches for swimming, fishing, and boating.

Lowell
Municipal Offices
978-674-4161
www.ci.lowell.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-459-8154
www.greaterlowellchamber.org

The largest city in the Merrimack Valley, Lowell is experiencing a strong resurgence of local business activity—most evident in the facelift of the central business district.  Even though the land that is available for new construction in this area is limited, Lowell does provide a variety of residential neighborhoods that showcase a pleasing mix of homes that vary in age, price, and architectural style. Close-knit neighborhood associations maintain the small-town feeling that is so appealing in a metropolitan environment. Lowell Historical Park and Heritage State Park are among the outstanding cultural and recreational highlights. Every service and amenity in Lowell is highly developed, from leisure attractions to the educational system, healthcare facilities, social services, and civic organizations. The University of Massachusetts-Lowell, cutting-edge hospitals, sports arenas, and waterfront outdoor activity make this an ideal place to call home.

Lunenburg
Municipal Offices
978-582-4130
www.lunenburgma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-353-7600
www.northcentralmass.com

Featuring a terrain marked by rugged hills and rocky pastures known as the “Turkey Hills,” Lunenburg represents a classic New England community with a strong agricultural economy. Newcomers will find attractive residential areas of tree-shaded neighborhoods and a charming town center. Many of the homes lining the “lower common” date back to Revolutionary times, creating a truly rustic and charming ambiance. A pleasing mix of well-kept older homes and newer construction combines with a small-town spirit, mountain vistas, and close proximity to major highways in the Lunenburg area. Outdoor enthusiasts will appreciate the 150-acre conservation area or the recreational facilities at the 75-acre Whalom Park. Pearl Hill State Park encourages outdoor relaxation and activity from fishing and hunting to swimming, picnicking, and camping. The town itself has several ponds and beaches. Retail centers are close to home in Leominster and Nashua, New Hampshire.

Methuen
Municipal Offices
978-983-8515
www.cityofmethuen.net

Chamber of Commerce
978-686-0900
www.merrimackvalleychamber.com

Like many other towns in New England that were once centers for shoes, hats, and textiles, Methuen has diversified its economic base and experienced a period of rebirth and expansion. Methuen enjoys an ideal location within a reasonable commute to Boston and also near the New Hampshire border off Interstate 93. Residents can look to nearby Lawrence and Haverhill for bus service to Boston and surrounding points. Area youth are fortunate to have the benefit of an outstanding educational system that features state-of-the-art equipment as well as a high level of individualized attention and specialized programs for both gifted and challenged students. The selection of housing in Methuen range from older, well-kept homes along tree-shaded streets to newer construction in a variety of price ranges and architectural styles. Among the recreational facilities are sports fields, a street hockey rink, jogging path, picnic area, playground, and public golf courses. Forest Lake offers 82 acres of recreational land.

Pepperell
Municipal Offices
978-433-0339
www.town.pepperell.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

The attractive residential haven of Pepperell lies northwest of Boston adjacent to the New Hampshire border in a region of rolling hills, New England woodlands, and the confluence of the Nashua and Nissitissit Rivers. Pepperell offers good connections to Boston and other major urban centers through highways that lead to major thoroughfares. Unusual amenities include the Motor-Cross Race Track—a small private airport with facilities for parachuting—and a serene conservation area. Pepperell preserves the close-knit spirit of its mill village heritage and displays considerable civic pride, especially in its annual events and festivities like the Fourth of July celebration. Neighboring Ayer provides expanded retail facilities and a community hospital.

Reading, North Reading
Reading Municipal Offices
781-942-9001
www.readingma.gov
N. Reading Municipal Offices
978-357-5230
www.northreadingma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-664-5060
www.readingnreadingchamber.org

A strong community spirit pervades Reading, a community that offers convenient access to Boston as well as Interstates 93 and Routes 128 and 129. In addition to many attractive residential neighborhoods, Reading features a scattering of small businesses and limited manufacturing. Good schools and a high quality of life are major factors in drawing newcomers. Neighboring North Reading was previously an agricultural and dairy center. In recent years, it has evolved into a residential suburb in its own right. Turn-of-the-century farmhouses and stately older homes add to its natural charm and country atmosphere. In addition, newer subdivisions feature spacious single family homes set on generous lots. In addition to local parks and playgrounds, nearby Harold Parker State Forest provides expanded opportunities for hiking, observing nature, picnicking, and cross-country skiing.

Stoneham, Wakefield
Stoneham Municipal Offices
781-279-2600
www.stoneham-ma.gov
Wakefield Municipal Offices
781-246-6300
www.wakefield.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
781-245-0741
http://wakefieldchamber.org

Those who call Stoneham home enjoy exceptional recreational facilities at Middlesex Falls, one of the largest parks in Massachusetts. Set along the Spot Pond Reservoir, this natural playground provides residents with a panoramic woodland setting for a myriad of outdoor sports and activities. Stoneham is also home to Stone Zoo, one of only two zoos in Eastern Massachusetts. Downtown Stoneham is a lively area of shops and restaurants, while the local New England Memorial Hospital provides stage-of-the-art healthcare. Nearby Wakefield is set on beautiful Lake Quannapowitt and showcases many charming older homes around the lakefront. However, newer developments have emerged throughout the town that provide newcomers with a variety of styles and price ranges. Just 10 miles northeast of Boston, Wakefield enjoys an excellent location at the intersection of Routes 93 and 128. MBTA commuter rail is also available for commuters.

Stow
Municipal Offices
978-897-4514
www.stow-ma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-568-0360
www.assabetvalleychamber.org

Situated in the heart of apple orchard country, Stow is located minutes from Interstate 495 and Route 2. A popular choice for commuters to Boston, Worcester, and the high-tech corridors, Stow offers a variety of vintage homes and new residences. This peaceful rural community has grown rapidly in recent years, although the beauty and charm of its agricultural roots have been preserved through careful planning and strict building codes. Several lovely country clubs provide luxurious recreational amenities. Quaint farm houses and rustic barns create a picturesque landscape, enhanced by a town forest that provides outstanding recreational opportunities that include hiking, cross-country skiing, fishing, and hunting. Pine Buff Town Beach is available for swimming and Lake Boon offers both swimming and boating. Expanded shopping is available close to home and neighboring Concord offers rail service to Boston.

Townsend
Municipal Offices
978-597-1700
www.townsend.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-772-6976
www.nvcoc.com

Open space and room to grow characterize Townsend, best classified as a rural residential community. This sprawling but sparsely populated town has all the charm of a classic New England village, including a village green, white steepled church, stately colonials, and an old brick mill. The common is a focal point for many community activities, from fall festivals to outdoor summer concerts. Townsend offers residents a pleasing mix of basic amenities and a fine school system. Recreational opportunities abound in Willard Brook State Park, including picnicking, camping, hiking, swimming, cross-country skiing, and trout fishing in one of the state’s most pristine rivers. Known for its slower pace and the simplicity of country living, Townsend also provides attractive housing options in new developments of large single-family homes set on generous parcels of land. Residents can look to nearby Ayer and Fitchburg for expanded retail facilities and community hospitals.

Tyngsborough
Municipal Offices
978-649-2300
www.tyngsboroughma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-353-7600
www.northcentralmass.com

Once part of adjacent Dunstable, Tyngsborough began as a quarry center and booming manufacturing town. Today, the town is primarily rural in nature and boasts considerable scenic beauty. Limited industrial activity including leading high-tech companies has enabled the area to grow economically while preserving the charm of its agricultural legacy and lifestyle. Tyngsborough boasts good schools, a multi-service community center, well-developed civic organizations, and transportation amenities that include bus services to surrounding communities. Expanded healthcare facilities and retail establishments are easily accessible in Lowell or Nashua, New Hampshire. Recreational facilities include an 18-hole golf course, tennis courts, and swimming at the town beach on Lake Mascuppic. Two country clubs enhance opportunities for recreation, socialization, and relaxation.

Westford
Municipal Offices
978-692-5500
www.westfordma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
978-459-8154
www.greaterlowellchamber.org

Peaceful and historic, Westford claims the trademark of a New England community, the unspoiled and charming village green. Attracting newcomers to it tranquil, rural setting, Westford is one of the fastest growing residential choices in Middlesex County. Scenic farmland, light industry, and small businesses blend harmoniously with attractive residential neighborhoods along tree-shaded lanes for a truly balanced economy and living environment. Preserving the town’s historic charm, colonial architecture and traditional split-entry homes predominate. Newcomers will also find considerable new-home development in attractive neighborhoods.  Many homeowners have the advantage of lakes for swimming and ice-skating just beyond their doorstep, while Nashoba Valley ski areas are close to home for winter sports. Offering convenient access to major highways, Westford also boasts quality recreation opportunities centered around its many lakes, community facilities, and well-organized municipal programs for residents of all ages.

Wilmington
Municipal Offices
978-658-3311
http://town.wilmington.ma.us

Chamber of Commerce
978-657-7211
www.wilmingtonbusiness.com

Originally part of Woburn, Goshen, and Reading, the town of Wilmington began as a farming center for apples and cranberries. This strong agricultural influence continued well into the 20th century, resulting in the world-famous Baldwin apples. Today, Wilmington residents enjoy a diverse economy with a thriving industrial and commercial sector along Interstate 93. Through careful panning and a cooperative spirit, Wilmington ahs managed to preserve the best of the past with progressive development. Lovely older colonial homes are the dominant architectural style along tree-shaded neighborhood streets, harmonizing with well-designed new construction built over the past 15 years. Good schools, excellent commuter transit options, well-developed social services, and a very active parks and recreation division adds to Wilmington’s overall appeal. Silver Lake Beach is popular for swimming and canoeing.

Woburn
Municipal Offices
781-897-5800
www.woburnma.gov

Chamber of Commerce
781-933-3499
www.northsuburbanchamber.com

Moving beyond its former image as a small town, Woburn is now a well-balanced city with its own manufacturing and residential sectors. Excellent transportation services and a convenient location combine to make Woburn a desirable choice for commuters. The community’s prime location at the junction of Interstate 93 and Route 128 affords residents a quick trip to downtown Boston, although rail service is also available. Housing styles are varied and with a pleasing mix of newer and older homes in a variety of architectural styles and price ranges. Woburn area schools offer a variety of specialized classes that include vocational training in a number of fields. Excellent recreational amenities include an active Boys and Girls Club and YMCA as well as a trout-stocked lake, golf and country club, swimming pools, sports fields, tennis courts, indoor ice-skating rink, walking trails, senior center, and summer playground programs for youngsters.