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Assabet River
National Wildlife Refuge

c/o Eastern MA NWR Complex
73 Weir Hill Road
Sudbury, MA   01776
E-mail: fw5rw_emnwr@fws.gov
Phone Number: 978-443-4661
Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
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Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge
Assabet River NWR, formerly referred to as the U.S. Army's Fort Devens Sudbury Training Annex, is a 2,230-acre parcel of land located approximately 25 miles west of Boston, and 4 miles west of the Eastern Massachusetts NWR Complex Headquarters. It is located in portions of the Towns of Hudson, Maynard, Stow and Sudbury and covers approximately 3.5 square miles. The Assabet River NWR consists of two separate pieces of land. The larger northern section is just north of Hudson Road. The southern section is located to the south of Hudson Road. The refuge is comprised of a diverse mixture of pine/hardwood forest, old field, and wetland habitats.

On March 26, 2005, the refuge officially opened for wildlife dependent recreation. As of November 13, 2005, there are 10 miles of trails open to the public for wildlife observation. A map of existing trails is available at the kiosk on Hudson Road in Sudbury and at the refuge website. The refuge is also open for hunting and will open for fishing in Spring 2006.

Dogs are not allowed on the refuge.

The Friends of the Assabet River NWR formed in 2000, nearly a full year prior to the transfer of the U.S. Army's former Fort Devens Sudbury Training Annex to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Since that time, the Friends Group has provided the refuge invaluable assistance in preparing to open the refuge for wildlife-dependent recreational activities by removing physical safety hazards; conducting biological surveys of vernal pools, raptors, bats, invasive plant species; and conducting numerous public outreach and education programs. For information on becoming part of the Friends of the Assabet River NWR, contact Barbara Volkle at (508) 393-9251 or visit their website www.farnwr.org.

Getting There . . .
Three main parking areas:

1. Old Marlborough Road in Maynard A parking area at this site may be constructed in the near future.

2. White Pond Road in Stow 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.

3. Hudson road in Sudbury for vehicle access to the Visitor Center (main entrance) – 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 Hudson Road for about one mile, main refuge entrance is on right. This route is approximately 8 miles. From Hudson/Stow area, follow Route 62 East to Main St. in Hudson, onto State Road in Stow, which turns into Hudson Road, Sudbury. Main Refuge Entrance is on left near Department of Fire Services Headquarters.

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These driving directions are provided as a general guide only. No representation is made or warranty given as to their content, road conditions or route usability or expeditiousness. User assumes all risk of use.

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Wildlife and Habitat

Approximately 70 percent of the refuge land is forested with white pine and mixed hardwoods dominating. Approximately 22 percent is considered wetland habitat, including aremnant Atlantic white cedar swamp, 6 dwarf-shrrub bogs, 2 minertrophic peatland bogs, a collection of vernal pools and historical cranberry bogs, and grass and shrubland habitats in the remaining areas.

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The Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is one of more than 540 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System throughout the United States.

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    Recreation and Education Opportunities
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Management Activities
A variety of wetland habitat types are protected at the Assabet River NWR. Beavers play an important role in the formation and succession of some of these wetlands, and their activities are welcomed, but may be managed by use of exclosures and perforated pipe or other means to prevent damage to other habitat or refuge facilities. Some areas of wetland on the refuge are experiencing invasion by non-native species, including the common reed (Phragmites). Restoration of these areas is being planned. Open fields on the refuge are maintained in that condition to benefit a number of species of birds that require this habitat type by mowing every three to five years. Two of the former ammunition storage bunkers are under evaluation as wintering bat habitat.