National wildlife refuges offer us all a chance to unplug from the stresses of daily life and reconnect with our natural surroundings. There are numerous ways to enjoy the refuge. You can hike the five miles of trails along the riverbank, across oxbow ponds, and through wetland and forest habitat. You can check out educational and interpretative programs at the Bill Ashe Visitor Facility. To get a fantastic view of wildlife, launch your kayak or canoe from our boat launch and drift down the Nashua River.
Whether you explore the miles of trails on foot or kayak down the Nashua River, there are several ways to take advantage of the refuge. These scenic backdrops make for wondrous nature photography. Visitors can discover various wildlife and plants species throughout all seasons of the year. Don’t miss out when winter comes around, grab snowshoes or cross-country skis to enjoy breathtaking winter moments. Other enjoyable recreation uses are hunting various species like white-tailed deer or fishing on the Nashua River. Refuge staff and a friends group host several events and programs throughout the year for further educate and raise awareness for conservation.
Refuge trails and kiosks provide family-friendly wildlife viewing areas. The refuge has few hills, so all trails have very little elevation-gain, offering easy walks without losing any of the nature-experience opportunities. The southern New England floodplain forest, wetland communities and upland paint a wondrous scene for photographers, wildlife watchers and hikers. The Nashua River connects the northern and southern entrances of the Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge. Need help navigating? Print your own trail map before arriving on the refuge.
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 and not bringing pets.
For Still River Depot Road entrance: from Massachusetts Route 2, take Exit 38 (Route 110/111) south toward Harvard; bear right to stay on Route 110 at Harvard Center; and, turn right onto Still River Depot Road at the Still River Post Office. The refuge parking area is at the end of Still River Depot Road. Please use Still River as the town instead of Harvard for GPS navigation.
For Bill Ashe Visitor Facility and Canoe Launch: from Massachusetts Route 2, take Exit 37B north on Jackson Road toward Devens; go through the traffic light and make a left on Givry Street; bear to the left onto Hospital Road; after passing by New England Studios, either make your first left into the Bill Ashe Visitor Facility parking lot or make your second left.