Two children looking at a herd of elk from the bed of a carriage in a snowy landscape with mountains in the background

The refuge is a popular destination for birders and others who enjoy observing wildlife. Great Meadows support a diverse mix of migratory birds including waterfowl, wading birds, raptors, shorebirds, passerines, as well as resident mammals, reptiles, amphibians, fish, and invertebrates. Both units offer accessible trails and observational lookouts over wetlands including platforms and a tower (Concord Unit) and direct access to the Sudbury River (Sudbury Unit) and the Concord River (Concord Unit). Please no picking or disturbing wildlife or vegetation. 

Some Tips: Other wildlife watchers will appreciate your consideration.  

  • Take your time, be alert and quiet
  • Observe from the sidelines. Do not disturb a wild animal, they may feel threaten.
  • Listen carefully for calls, splashes, and other wildlife noises. Many animals camouflage very well, and it takes a while to see them.
  • Look for signs of animals. Search for tracks, missing bark on trees, burrows, feathers, scat, and other signs animals have been in the area. 
  • Do not offer snacks; human food could disrupt wild digestive systems. 
  • Leave “abandoned” young animals alone. A parent is probably close by waiting for you to leave.