We live in such a beautiful state. For those who live on the East coast, we are fortunate enough to see the changes in the four seasons. Among the many activities, our state has to offer are biking, kayaking, canoeing, fishing and hiking. Kayaking has been a new found hobby I recently acquired after many cycle days near the Assabet river trail.
I recently found out about other activities along this wonderful recreational area from a friend of mine who owns and operates an online store for memorials called The Funeralprogram-Site.com. She and her husband had recently taken a trip to Maine and explored all the activities along the river. Originally from California, she conveyed how much fun and beauty lies within this small geographical area and is seriously considering a move to the east coast.
If you love experiencing all the seasons at its best, this is really the place to be. However, if you like the heat and only the heat, this is not where you would want to relocate to. I personally, enjoy both. I guess because I can get bored so easily and having the change in weather and climate is a welcome change after months of warmer weather. It really all comes down to what you like and how adaptable you are with climate change.
Aside from the Assabet river, we have access to so many other rivers in the Massachusetts area. For such a small state we have an abundance of streams and rivers flowing through our state as well as some within close proximity. I find this to be such a blessing since many activities are often found surrounding a body of water.
Stay in touch and join fans of the Assabet River on facebook and Pinterest.
There are three main parking areas before you get into the refuge which are the following. See map here.
Old Marlborough Road in Maynard.
There may be a parking are here in the future as plans are being made for possible construction.
White Pond Road in Stow.
From Route 2, take the Exit 42 (Route 27) South towards Acton and through Maynard. Make a right at the lights that junction with route 117 in Maynard and follow 117 West. Follow straight through lights that junction with Route 62, and follow into Stow. Turn left onto White Pond Road. Follow to end. This route is approximately 6.5 miles.
The main entrance is on Hudson road in Sudbury for vehicle access to the Visitor Center. See this video for details or check out this youtube.com for more. A slideshare presentation is also helpful, if you need it.
From Route 2, take Exit 42 (Route 27) south towards Acton and through Maynard. Go Straight through lights at junction with Route 117 in Maynard, following Route 27 south until you see Fairbank Road on the right. Take Fairbank Road to the end. Turn right off of Fairbank Road on to Hudson Road. Follow Hudson Road for about one mile, main the refuge entrance is on right. This route is approximately 8 miles.
From Hudson/Stow area, follow Route 62 East to Main St. in Hudson, onto State Road in Stow, which turns into Hudson Road, Sudbury. Main Refuge Entrance is on left near Department of Fire Services Headquarters.
If using any navigation system, it is advised to use 680 Hudson Road, Sudbury, Maine.
Check more info in this press release. Follow me on Yelp!
The Visitor’s Center at the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is located on Hudson Road in Sudbury. It is at the entrance of Winterberry Way and is a short distance from the main Hudson Road entrance.
The Center is 5,000 square foot and is “green” in design. Many of the supplies used while it was being built was reused and recycled.
The Visitor Center contains a multipurpose room, wildlife exhibits, a nature store and offices for the staff. It is opne Thursdays – Sundays from 10am – 4pm. You can use the trails which are open from sunrise to
sunset via the gate at the main entrance. You can check out vimeo or youtube channels for a live view of the center.
Enter from the main entrance and simply go up Winterberry Way. All group tours should be scheduled outside of business hours. You can ask questions inside to any of the staff or volunteers available. You can find out more about the trails and any programs forthcoming on the refuge. You can read more on our press release here or PRLOG.
You can learn more about the refuge and local wildlife and habitats at the Assabet River. There are interactive exhibits with pull out drawers with specimens inside, wildlife sounds and question/answer panels. A great place to bring children! Don’t forget to take them to the “Night Room” which is interactive by sight and sounds! Also refer to our pinterest site and yelp page.
We will be traveling to Maine for vacation in the next month and one of our stops for a day trip to enjoy the beautiful landscape of what this state has to offer, is a bike ride along the Assabet. The Assabet River Rail Trail is very well maintained and is an excellent way to see the surroundings and get in your exercise as well.
We own our bikes but if you do not, you can certainly rent them along the way. This is a 6-mile trail that starts at South Acton MBTA Station where you will find public bike racks and (residential) bike lockers at the station. Parking at the station is free on Saturdays and Sundays.
The route then goes on to The Clock Tower, Ice House Landing, White Pond Road ARNWR North Gate, the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (which has its own biking trails you can try – see this map for an idea of the trails here), Wilkins Street Parking lot (14 Wilkins St, Hudson, MA), Assabet River High Bridge, 290 Connector Trail Tunnel, Fort Meadow overlook, and finally Marlborough Trailhead on Lincoln & Highland Street.
The trail outside the refuge and within it can be an all day trip with many great scenery. Be sure to take a picnic lunch or stop at any number of food stops along the path. The weather in the summer is mild but make sure to spray on mosquito repellent and wear sunscreen.
You can follow me on Pinterest for more great places to cycle.
The Assabet River is a great place to do some day biking. There is the river rail trail that are mostly flat and ideal for beginners and families alike. If you have your own bike, you can ride down to the trail or if your farther away, drive in and park. There is plenty of parking should you decide to drive in and then cycle the path.
If you don’t own a bike but would still like to participate in this great outdoor pastime, you can get a bike rental at Assabet River Bicycles located in Hudson, Mass. They are located next to the Assabet River Rail Trail, one block west of the Horseshoe Pub. The entrance is on South Street.
During the summer they are open 7 days a week which is great and convenient! They carry several full lines of bicycles, both new and rentals and specialize in making your cycling experience unique, safe and comfortable. They also repair all bicycles no matter what brand or vintage in case your bike needs a tuneup before the trail or during!
A great day can be spent cycling whether your celebrating any special event or just want to spend some time in the great outdoors of our scenic state! The photo above is the beautiful biking rail trail with its 2-lane dotted divider and nice smooth surface. Open all year round even when it snows. Road bikes and mountains bikes are great on this trail. There are several street crossings that have good visibility and motion detecting lights. This is a beautifully maintained trail which goes through much of a scenic landscape.
During the summer months, make sure you spray on repellent as they can bite. Listen for cyclists who want to pass and will notably tell you “on your left” so they can pass you safely. Pets should be leashed at all times and cleaned up after. Bring camera and binoculars for wildlife sightings and photo opportunities.
The Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit organization that works with local communities and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. They help them to meet the objectives for wildlife and biological management, educational and recreation goals and also support various different programs relating to the Refuge.
This organization loves to promote educational programs relating to the Wildlife Refuge and natural history of this beautiful area. They may organize events and programs that help make the refuge more available to the public. They also work hard with the staff at the Refuge for further improvement so members are able to socialize and get to know each other.
This is a great organization that promotes service to the Assabet River through various means. There is a photo gallery on their website that displays a lot of beautiful photos of the wildlife and refuge. The Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge is among the nation’s newest wildlife refuges.
It’s location is twernty miles west of Boston and spans portions of the towns of Hudson, Maynard, Stow and Sudbury. It is owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and administered by the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife.
The majority of the river is classified as quiet waters or a term they call flat water. If your a beginner boater on whitewater, there are class I and II rapids in Maynard that you may enjoy. The put-ins are readily available throughout the watershed. It’s best to check the OARS pocket guides for the best way to navigate safely through the river.
I really love canoeing down the Assabet river and I’m recommending the following trips if your looking for a great time on the river. There were also many yelp reviews that agreed with my list.
1. Paddling in Westborough can be fun since the access to the reservoir is easy and readily available via a boat ramp. There is a lot of fish and wildlife during the Spring. It’s recommended you travel slowly since there are trees which have submerged under the water which could result in entanglement.
2. Gleasondale Dam to Ben Smith Dam is an easy paddle with a few challenging areas when the water is low. You will need to paddle through some marshlands. Generally, the river is more quiet here and is really great for beginners.
3. Check out the Damonmill to Egg Rock where you’ll see why it was coined the scenic and wild part of the river. I would say this area is more for the moderate to advance paddler since there are areas where the current is a bit strong. There are also some tricky section like Westvale Meadows as well as bridges which can be difficult to navigate through.
I decided to go for a paddle canoe adventure after have a week full of rainy days! I had to get out and get some outdoor air. Initially I started off exploring a section of the river close to home. In Hudson, there is a place you can lock your bike up for those who are cycling in.
I started out at the Solomon Pond Mall in Marlborough and got my rain apparel on before I headed downstream with my paddle and canoe. The water seems to be moving faster down there with no other boats in site.
I didn’t see any other boaters or anyone else on the river on this early morning, but there was plenty of wildlife all around me including geese and various different colorful birds.
This river goes through some pretty heavily populated areas at some points, but you actually don’t realize it when your passing by. There are far too many farms that flooded out which was a rather sad site to see. I did explore section of the river that filled rose the water level which would not have been accessible if not for the rains.
I ate lunch midway through and parked my canoe in some brush. After heading back onto the water, I suddenly reached a rapid fast moving section of water. The rains caused some parts of the river to increase levels I was not expecting while canoeing down the river. Although there was civilization around me and just beyond the river boundaries, canoeing alone seemed like I was miles away from any people. That’s the beauty of this river and today was a celebration of life!
I reached my final destination shortly after and found my way back to my parked bike. What a wonderful and creative way to spend day and an adventure to say the least!
Contributed by Ed Downs
YouTube Videographer hobbiest when I’m not working
We love this hike on the Assabet River! We first discovered this place in the beginning of winter when there was just a small dusting of snow on the ground. We also ran into other hikers as well along the way. it is such a wonderful area to explore and is mostly flat which is great in the colder season.
This has since then been a favorite place for me. You can walk to a ffew hours without traveling on the same trails. There is a Visitor’s Center which is a nice place to go if you have young children. You can bike along the trails on a day trip if you just want to enjoy the great outdoors.
Riding a bike, jogging or walking on the the Assabet River Rail trail is a great way to spend an afternoon or day. There is plenty of parking and the paths are clearly marked and paved smoothly. The street crossings are equipped with motion sensing lights with very well maintained trails. Any debris from storms are quickly removed.
The scenery is just lovely and pleasant and you may find some benches to rest on in some of the areas near downtown Hudson.
This refuge is free of charge for those who live within a ten mile radius and is definitely worth visiting. it is a beautiful place. This is the former Fort Devens Sudbury Annex. It seems that White Pond may be the main attraction, but there are no trails that follow around the perimeter. However, there are a few trails that get you close to see some great views! The refuge center is only open on Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Within the inside you’ll find a nice, little theater with a recorded message and speaker talking about a dark night and listening for animals sounds. It’s a wonderful treat for adults and kids alike. This is a great refuge to visit in the springtime as it offers, in my opinion some of the best views available.
Contributed by Shannon McKleany
Shannon’s FB page