Visitor Activities

  • Hunting

    Man and boy wearing hunting orange - USFWS.

    Please download our Hunt Brochure to read and understand all Refuge hunting rules and regulations.

    2017 Hunt Regulations and Information Brochure

     -Portions of Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge are open for waterfowl (ducks and geese) and white-tailed deer (archery-only) hunting. Please see the Hunt Brochure for maps of the areas that are open to hunting

     -All youth hunters (12-17 years old) must obtain a Youth Hunt Permit, which is free other than an online processing fee.

     -All active-duty military members, seniors (at least 62 years of age) and permanently-disabled individuals receive a 50% discount on hunt permit fees.

     -We will be open for the Massachusetts Youth Waterfowl Hunt on September 22nd and October 6th 2018 

     -Please see the flyer below for Refuge hunt seasons:

    2018-2019 Hunt Seasons at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

    Hunters seeking to purchase permits for the 2018-2019 season: 

     Please visit this web address to purchase your permits:

    Applicable refuge hunting dates and times correspond to state regulations, please see state abstracts for details ( and

    Learn More
  • Fishing

    Adult and child fishing on the refuge - USFWS.

    Fishing is allowed from boats on the Sudbury and Concord Rivers or from riverbanks in accordance with state regulations. No fishing from any refuge pond or the impoundments in Concord is allowed.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Looking through binoculars - USFWS.

    Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a popular destination for birders and others who enjoy observing. Accessible trails at both the Concord and Sudbury units of the refuge provide visitors with a unique window through which to view and experience the natural world. The 2.5 mile trail system in Concord on Monsen Road provides the best wildlife viewing on the refuge. This site has a restroom, a wildlife observation tower, a wildlife observation platform, and direct access to the Concord River.

    Bird brochure (pdf)

  • Interpretation

    School group on the refuge - USFWS.

    Interpretive information and general information is posted on kiosks throughout the refuge. Pick up an “Upcoming Programs at Your Local National Wildlife Refuges” flier at one of our kiosks or in the visitor center. These fliers come out every month with free public programs available to adults, children and families. Pick up a trail brochure for interpretive trail guides for the trails at Weir Hill and the Concord Impoundments. The Sudbury Unit hosts an Annual Fishing event for Riverfest weekend in June. Concord naturalist Cherrie Corey hosts walks throughout the seasons, check her blog for information -

     Sudbury Unit Trail Brochure (pdf)

     Concord Unit Trail brochure (pdf)

  • Environmental Education

    School group on the refuge - USFWS.

    Refuge staff and volunteers provide a variety of environmental learning experiences for schools and other groups throughout the year. Occasionally scheduled workshops support the professional development needs of area teachers. The environmental education programming is centered out of the Visitor Center at the Assabet River NWR. If you are interested in these types of opportunities, please write or call the refuge at 978-562-3527.

  • Photography

    Photographer on the refuge - USFWS.

    Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge is a popular destination for birders and others who enjoy photographing wildlife. The habitats and wildlife are dependent on seasonal changes. Each season brings a unique change to the landscape and what wildlife you’re able to see. Throughout most of the year at Concord visitors are likely to see Great Blue Herons hunting for fish and muskrats swimming or eating vegetation. At the beginning of spring a diversity of migratory birds and hawks can be seen from the wildlife observation tower. Red-winged Blackbirds are a common sight on the trails at the start of spring.

    Launching, landing, or operating an aircraft to include unmanned aircraft (drone)from or on lands and waters administered by the US Fish and Wildlife Service is prohibited, 50 CFR 27.34