The refuge has beautiful landscapes to discover through various recreational uses such as hiking, biking, hunting and fishing. The visitor center has fascinating interactive exhibits focusing on ecology and history, a nature store run by a Friends group, and a large educational meeting room for programs. The wetlands located along Winterberry Way, Taylor Way, and Otter Alley trails are excellent locations to observe and photograph a variety of wildlife species, including waterfowl, mammals, songbirds, insects, reptiles, and amphibians. You can see wildlife year-round here with the help of cross-country skis and snowshoes in the winter.
Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge encompasses 2,357 acres within the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord watershed. The refuge abuts the Sudbury River and Sudbury State Forest and is near Sudbury-Marlborough State Forest and Sudbury Valley Trustees Memorial Forest. The immense amount of protected land in this area gives way for diverse habitats, species and recreational uses. Assabet River has all six wildlife-dependent recreational uses of the Refuge System; wildlife observation, photography, hunting, interpretation, fishing and environmental education. In addition to these six recreational uses, this refuge has additional activities available for the public.
Refuge trails, fishing piers, and kiosks provide family-friendly wildlife viewing areas. The refuge has few hills, so all trails have very little elevation-gain, offering easy walks surrounded by nature. The refuge is broken into a north section and south section. Of the 15 miles of trails, 7.5 miles are open to biking. Trails marked by a solid line allows for biking, whereas a dash line signifies hiking only. Visitors are required to stay on designated paths and trails. Only certified service animals are allowed on the trails.
Other Facilities in the Complex
Situated along the Atlantic Flyway in Massachusetts, the Eastern Massachusetts National Wildlife Refuge Complex is comprised of eight ecologically diverse refuges. The eight individual refuges include inland and coastal wetlands, forests, grasslands, and barrier beaches that provide important habitat for migratory birds, mammals, plants, reptiles and amphibians.
Complex headquarters is located at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, Massachusetts, 01776. Phone: (978) 443-4661, Fax: (978) 443-2898.
Rules and Policies
When visiting the refuge you are entering wildlife’s home. So, keep in mind and obey all rules and regulations at the refuge to respect wildlife and their habitats, such as visiting during posted hours, leaving no trace behind, not bringing pets, not swimming or boating in Puffer Pond.
Hudson Road (Main Gate) Access: From Route 2, take Exit 42 (Route 27) south towards Acton and through Maynard. Go straight through lights at junction with Route 117 in Maynard, following Route 27 south until you see Fairbank Road on the right. Take Fairbank Road to the end. Turn right off of Fairbank Road onto Hudson Road. Follow for about one mile, and main refuge entrance is on the right.
From Hudson/Stow area, follow Route 62 East to Main Street in Hudson, onto State Road in Stow, which turns into Hudson Road, Sudbury. Main refuge entrance is on left after Department of Fire Services headquarters.
White Pond Road (North Gate) Access: From Route 2, take Exit 42 (Route 27) south towards Acton and through Maynard. Turn right at lights that junction with Route 117 in Maynard and follow 117 West. Follow straight through lights that junction with Route 62 and follow into Stow. Turn left onto White Pond Road. Follow to end. This route is approximately 6.5 miles
Old Marlborough Road (East Gate): Take Route 27 to Old Marlborough Road in Maynard. Parking at the end of road.