Visitor Activities

  • Hunting


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

    2017 Hunt Regulations and Information

    -Portions of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge are open for the hunting of white-tailed deer (archery, muzzleloader, shotgun), spring and fall turkey, waterfowl (ducks and geese), snipe, American woodcock, ruffed grouse, Eastern cottontail rabbit, and gray squirrel. 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 are open for the Youth Waterfowl Hunt on September 22nd and October 6th 2018 and the Youth Deer Hunt on September 29th, 2018 

    -Archery permits are valid during muzzleloader and shotgun seasons, but only in designated archery-only areas

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

    Please visit this web address to purchase your permits:

    -The application period for the muzzleloader and shotgun lotteries will run from July 15th-September 15th, 2018 

    -Please see the flyer below for Refuge hunt seasons:

    2018-2019 Hunt Seasons at Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge

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

    Learn More
  • Fishing


    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.

  • Wildlife Viewing

    Wildlife Viewing

    Dawn and dusk are the best times to see wildlife. Observe from the sidelines. Leave “abandoned” young animals alone. Its parent is probably close and waiting for you to leave. Try sitting in one good location. Let wildlife get used to your presence. Animals that have hidden will reappear once they think you are gone. Walk quietly. Remain in designated areas, being aware of sounds and smells. You will hear more than you will see. Teach children the value of quiet observation. Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration. Look for animal signs (tracks, scat, feathers and nests left behind).

    Refuge bird brochure (pdf)

  • Interpretation


    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 Friends President, Rona Balco at 978-779-2259 or Ada at

    Interpretive trail brochure (pdf)

  • Environmental Education


    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 Friends President, Rona Balco at 978-779-2259 or Ada at

  • Photography


    During the spring and summer months, visitors are likely to see amphibians and/or reptiles. The trails south of Route 2 follow the Nashua River and create a small pond along Turnpike trail where you are likely to see frogs and/or snakes, like the American Toad or the Common Garter Snake. In the winter months, signs of mammals become more present such as those of the Eastern Coyote or White-tailed Deer. If you snap a great photo of wildlife at the refuge, please email it to us. We will give you credit if we decide to use it.

    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

  • Kayaking/Canoeing


    The Nashua River connects the northern and southern entrances of Oxbow NWR. Beautiful in all seasons, the Nashua has two boat launches on refuge property. The northern boat launch (pictured) is located at our Bill Ashe Visitor Facility at 80 Hospital Road in Devens MA. The southern boat launch is located at our Still River Depot Road entrance in Harvard MA.