OAR

OAR Home
About OAR
Events / Calendar
Join OAR
OAR sponsors
About the Assabet
map
issues
recreation
river scenes
How to help
lawn care
detergents
water conservation
Projects
StreamWatch
Northboro stream team
Intel recharge fund
advocacy
water quality monitoring
river cleanup

Organization for the Assabet River
Damonmill Square
Concord, MA 01742

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

 

 

 
Recreation

Paddlers head out to explore the Assabet River

Kayaking, canoeing, bird watching, fishing, photography -- the Assabet River watershed offers many ways to get away and reconnect with nature.

Other Articles

A trip down the river

Journey from headwaters in Westborough to confluence with the Sudbury. Story by poet Sophie Wadsworth.

The Assabet offers numerous recreational opportunities for those seeking nature in Eastern Massachusetts. The Assabet Watershed is known world-wide for its remarkable bird population and the area has been noted in literature as a hotbed for naturalists.

Naturalist Ludlow Griscom enjoyed the river through field glasses as he sat quietly swatting mosquitoes.  Henry David Thoreau preferred to sing and slosh along the Assabet in the nude.  Even if neither of these activities is for you, the Assabet still offers plenty of recreational possibilities to file an idle afternoon in any season.

Kayaking / Canoeing

Most of the Assabet River is classified as flatwater / quietwater.  There are some Class I rapids in Maynard that can provide a challenge for beginner whitewater boaters.  Put-ins are located throughout the watershed.  Check out the river guides mentioned below for the best ways to safely navigate the river.

Some of the best trips on the river include:

  • Paddling the headwaters at Assabet Reservoir in Westborough.
    There is a boat ramp and easy access to the reservoir.  Plentiful fish and wildlife - especially in the Spring.  Warning: the reservoir has many submerged trees which could ruin a good day on the water. Travel slowly.
  • Gleasondale Dam (Stow) to Ben Smith Dam (Maynard).
    This is an easy paddle with only a few simple challenges (mostly during low water conditions).  You will travel through a variety of marshlands and other riparian ecosystems.  Because the river moves very quietly here (except in the spring) all three put-ins along the way offer the ability to put-in and take-out from the same spot -- in case you don't have a spare automobile...  This section of the river is ideal for beginners.
  • Damonmill (W. Concord) to Egg Rock (Concord).
    Experience firsthand why this section of the river was designated Wild and Scenic by the federal government.  Put in at Westvale Meadows is a little tricky, and there are a few snags and bridges along the way to navigate through -- novice boaters might want to go with a more experienced boater the first time down.  You can also start at Egg Rock and paddle upstream, although the current will eventually get too strong.

Bass fishing at the Assabet ReservoirFishing

  • Westborough
    The Assabet Reservoir offers a challenge for pike and bass anglers.
  • Northborough
    The Cold Harbor, Howard and Stirrup Brooks in Northborough and the North Brook in Berlin provide opportunities for trout.
  • Marlborough / Berlin
    Trout can be found by Route 290, by the Robin Hill Road Bridge, and downstream Bigelow Street.  You can also find good fishing past eh 495 bridge at River and Brigham Streets.
  • Hudson/Stow
    Warm-water species inhabit this section of the river (to the confluence in Concord).  Main Street bridge in Hudson is a good site. Assabet Brook (Elizabeth Brook) in Stow hosts some cold-water species. Bass, crappie, and pickerel can be found here.

River Guides

There are guidebooks and maps out there to get you started. Here are a few that we have found to be exceptional resources to safely enjoy the river and its surroundings.

The Concord, Sudbury and Assabet Rivers
A guide to canoeing, wildlife and history
by Ron McAdow

Ron has written one of the best guides to the Assabet River in this handy and informative book. Each river is covered from headwaters to end point, with put-ins, places of interest, suggested outings, and natural history woven together with wonderful illustrations by Gordon Morrison.

The guide is available from the Sudbury Valley Trustees.

AMC River Guide
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island

AMC's guides are well respected and this one is no exception.  Now in its third edition the guide provides lots of useful information about navigating the rivers of New England, including the Assabet River.

This guide is available from the Appalachian Mountain Club, local bookstores and outdoor shops.

AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide
Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island

Like its sister publication, the AMC Quiet Water guide provides detailed information about area ponds, lakes, and reservoirs.  The Assabet Reservoir in Westborough (the headwaters of the Assabet River) is featured in this guide.

This guide is available from the Appalachian Mountain Club, local bookstores and outdoor shops.

 

 

Our recreation guide is not meant as a substitute for personal experience, preparation or common sense. The activities discussed herein all include a fundamental element of danger and risk, from running class-I rapids in Maynard to standing on the shore of the Assabet Reservoir in Westborough watching great blue herons. Please do not participate in these activities without checking weather and river conditions.

18-Aug-2002