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Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers_met

Towns in the Concord River Watershed:

  • Bedford

  • Billerica

  • Carlisle

  • Chelmsford

  • Concord

  • Lincoln

  • Lowell

  • Tewskbury

  • Westford

Major Tributaries:
  • River Meadow Brook
  • Mill Brook (Concord)

  • Millbrook (Billerica)
  • Marginal Brook

Learn More

Environmental Concerns for the Concord


  • As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Concord River is nutrient pollution. The excess of algae, or “eutrophication,” is caused by an overabundance of nutrients, which severely affects fish and other aquatic life.
  • To learn more about environmental challenges currently facing the Concord River, click here or here.




Additional Facts


Did You Know?

  • The Town of Billerica’s water supply has come from the Concord River since 1989.
  • In the 19th century, the Concord River provided power to the industrial revolution. With the lack of attention on clean water, the river was an outlet for untreated waste and sewage. Learn more about the history of the concord river here.





Concord River Activities
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Swimming
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Walk, Hike, Bike
Paddling
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Boating & Sailing
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Fishing
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Swimming

 

While some people swim in this river, the water quality does not meet the state standard, and we do not advise swimming.

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Walking, Hiking, Biking

 

Walking, hiking and biking locations:

  • Vietnam Veterans Park, Treble Cove Road (Billerica)

  • Ralph Hill Conservation Area Treble Cove Road (Billerica)Enter through Vietnam Veterans Park. Trails include beaver ponds and vernal ponds, with many forms of aquatic life. 

  • Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (Concord). Near two ponds next to the Concord River. Stroller and wheelchair accessible. There are additional trails through the woods, one of which brings you to the Concord River. 

  • The Old Manse (Concord) is a historic home with connections to Hawthorne and Emerson. It is located at 269 Monument St. with ample parking. Directions here. There are stroller/handicapped accessible trails, space for picnicking, bird watching, as well as canoeing and kayaking.

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Paddling

 

You can boat in several places on the Concord River. The Wild and Scenic Section of the Concord River spans from Egg Rock, Concord → Rt 3 Bridge, Billerica (~10 miles). See OARS Recreation Maps >> (Hard copies available by request)

 

Additional Guides: 

  • The AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide includes the Assabet Reservoir in Westborough. Find it on AMC's Website or local bookstores. 

  • The Concord, Sudbury, and Assabet Rivers: A guide to canoeing, wildlife and history. By Ron McAdow. Purchase it here >>

 

Paddling locations:

  • Bartlett's Landing (Billerica). Owned by the Sudbury Valley Trustees, there are no public trails, but there is a small area to launch a canoe/kayak. 

  • Bedford Boat Ramp (Bedford), Carlisle Rd (Rt. 225). Small ramp for canoes, kayaks, and potential fishing. Parking along the dirt road leading up to the launch. 

  • Lowell Road Boat Ramp (Concord). Off Lowell Road, boat launch and a short trail along the river

    • Parking: drop off boat, park along Lowell street. Access for paddlers and motorized boaters.

  • The Old Manse (Concord) is a historic home with connections to Hawthorne and Emerson. It is located at 269 Monument St. with ample parking. Directions here. There are stroller/handicapped accessible trails, space for picnicking, bird watching, as well as canoeing and kayaking.


Information about Rentals: 

  • South Bridge Boat House, located at 496 Main Street, offers canoe and kayak rentals. The Boat House is located on the Sudbury River, just .75 mile upstream from the confluence where the Assabet and Sudbury join the Concord. You can easily paddle in each direction. Large parking lot across the street. See their website here

How can you get there? 

  • Commuter Rail: Fitchburg Line  (from North Station to Wachusett), get off at Concord Station. From there, it is a 10 minute walk to the South Bridge Boat House. directions here!

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Boating & Sailing

 

Boating, sailing, and the usage of small motorboats are all permitted on the Concord River. The Bedford Boat Landing on Caslisle Road in Bedford and The Concord River Boater's Trail are especially popular boating locations in addition to the trails listed under "paddling." 

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Fishing

 

You can fish on the river, but it is advised to follow a catch and release policy (do not eat the fish). For tips on following this policy, visit this website. Most authorities caution not to eat the fish, especially for children and pregnant women, due to the high levels of mercury contamination. For updated levels of mercury contamination, click here. Also, the Massachusetts Department of Public health shares updates here.

Fishing locations:

  • Vietnam Veterans Park (Billerica). For directions, click here