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Organization for the Assabet River
Damonmill Square
Concord, MA 01742

Tel: 978-369-3956
Email: oar@assabetriver.org


About the Assabet
The stretch of the Assabet through Stow is a few miles of some of the most beautifully serene paddling in Eastern Massachusetts. This view of Crow Island is a prime example.
Departments and features

Assabet River Maps

Assabet River Streamflow (USGS)

National Wild and Scenic River Designation

Assabet photo contest

Thru-paddling the Assabet

A more lovely stream than this,
 for a mile above its junction with the Concord,
has never flowed on earth.

                         --Nathaniel Hawthorne

Famous poets and authors have doted on the Assabet River's beauty and charm. But the river coexists quietly with suburban life in Eastern Massachusetts in its slow and steady 31-mile fall to Concord.

A Historic River

The Assabet has carved its niche in American history as villages and industry have thrived on its abundant resources.

Several dams obstruct the river's course in a testament to Bay Staters' commitment to the vitality of their neighborhoods and economy. Once the most productive mills in America, some of the Assabet's brick neighbors now host the high technology companies of the modern era.

A Wild River

To paddle along most sections of the Assabet is to immerse oneself in the stark contrast of wilderness with the surrounding urban centers. This has made the Assabet Valley one of the country's first vacation spots and a favorite stomping ground of the Concord literary elite.  This natural beauty has remained to this day. 

The Assabet's banks are hidden behind lunch forest - several miles of which have the privilege of governmental protection.  Walden Pond? A visit to the Assabet River promises to be a stunning and tranquil alternative. 


Photo by Alice Moulton
Photo by Alice Moulton.

The Best River?

OAR takes almost as much pride in the Assabet's aesthetic and recreational value as it takes in the improving quality of the Assabet's water. While the Assabet is a natural treasure, a history marked with industrial and municipal pollution has left the Assabet with an abundance of nutrients that cause excessive plant growth in the river during the summer months. This damages the river's habitat and recreational value, causing it to fall short of its potential as a haven for fish and other wildlife.

Join OAR...It's that potential that makes the Assabet worth the efforts of OAR members and staffers. It's the feeling that after 250-plus years of human use and abuse of the Assabet River, it's time to make sure its beauty and vitality will be enjoyed by generations to come.

In 1997, Robert Hass, then poet laureate of the United States, observed, “Thoreau read Wordsworth, Muir read Thoreau, Teddy Roosevelt read Muir, and you got national parks. It took a century for this to happen, for artistic values to percolate down to where honoring the relation of people’s imagination to the land, or beauty, or to wild things, was issued in legislation.”  Like ripples in a pool, the actions that we take to protect the Assabet and its watershed today will spread beyond the river's banks and into our future. 

Want more?

Please use the links at the top left to read about the issues facing the Assabet, recreational opportunities presented by the river, and pictures of the Assabet.


Sun, Feb 9, 2003