Structured educational programs are available for schools and other groups. Programs are presented by both refuge staff and members of the Friends of the Oxbow NWR. If you are interested in these programs, please call the Eastern Massachusetts NWR Complex for additional information at (978) 443-4661.
Fishing is allowed on the Nashua River and along its banks within the refuge. Fishing is not permitted within wetland pools, ponds or streams within the refuge. State fishing regulations and license requirements are in force on the refuge. A canoe launch is provided at the lower parking area at the Still River entrance to the refuge. Fishing on the Nashua River can range from fair to good for largemouth bass, yellow perch, brown bullheads, and a variety of sunfish.
Several hunting opportunities are available at the refuge such as white-tailed deer, small game, waterfowl and turkey. Every year by July 1st people interested in hunting on the refuge can go online to http://easternmapermits.com to apply for the upcoming hunt seasons. The application season is open for one month for lottery hunts and two months for non-lottery hunts. All youth hunters (12 - 17 yrs old) are exempt from the lottery process and all fees. All active military, seniors (62 yrs plus) and anyone who is permanently disabled receive a 50% discount on permit fees. Full details of the fee structure are found on the application link above.
2011 Hunt Brochure (pdf - 1.02MB)
A self-guided interpretative trail has been established with the assistance of the Friends of the Oxbow NWR. Pamphlets for the trail and the refuge brochure are available at the information kiosk at the Still River entrance. A number of interpretive panels are located along refuge trails. Both refuge staff and members of the Friends of the Refuge provide interpretive programs from time to time. If you are interested in these programs, please call the Eastern MA NWR Complex Headquarters at (978) 443-4661.
Wildlife Observation and Photography
South of Route 2: two hiking trails, totaling approximately 2.5 miles, are present on the refuge. The Riverside and Turnpike Trails pass along riparian and through forested wetland, forested upland and old field habitats. The Tank Trail passes through pine and mixed hardwood forests and passes by two beaver flowages. Trail guides are available at the Still River entrance.
North of Route 2: continue north on Tank Trail under the Route 2 overpass and this will bring you to Sheridan Road. Go left and follow for approximately a half-mile (just pass Mirror Lake on your right), you will then turn left onto the Goddard Trail which connects with Jackson Rd in Devens. The total distance from the Route 2 overpass to Jackson Road and return is approximately 2 miles, and relatively easy walking. The refuge opened the Esker Loop Trail off of Walker Road in Shirley last summer; this trail is approximately 2 miles long and includes some intermediate hiking.
Dogs (or domestic pets of any kind) are not allowed on the refuge.
The refuge is open from sunrise to sunset.
There is no fee for these wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities at the Oxbow NWR.
Leave No Trace
Leave No Trace is a national educational program to inform visitors about reducing the damage caused by outdoor activities, particularly non-motorized recreation. Leave No Trace principles and practices are based on an abiding respect for the natural world and our fellow wildland visitors. We can act on behalf of the places and wildlife that inspire us by adopting the skills and ethics that enable us to Leave No Trace.
For more information on Leave No Trace, visit the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics Web site.