Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers_met

Welcome to the Concord River! Here are some fun facts and some great resources to help you explore and enjoy this great river.

Towns in the Concord River Watershed:

Major Tributaries:

River Meadow Brook, Mill Brook (Concord), Millbrook (Billerica), Marginal Brook

  • Bedford

  • Billerica

  • Carlisle

  • Chelmsford

  • Concord

  • Lincoln

  • Lowell

  • Tewskbury

  • Westford

Relevant River Information

Environmental Concerns for the Concord


  • As of 2020, the biggest environmental concerns for the Concord River include Nutrient pollution. The excess of plants, 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 been from the Concord River since 1989.
History:
  • In the 19th century, the Concord river provided power to the industrial revolution. With the lack of attention on clean water, the Concord river was also an outlet for a lot of untreated waste and sewage. Learn more about the history of the concord river here





Here are some great organizations that help keep this river clean, healthy and fun to enjoy:

Click an icon below to learn more about Concord River activities
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Swimming
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Hiking, Walk & Run
Paddling
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Boating & Sailing
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Fishing
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Swimming

Where to go Swimming

 

Is it safe to swim in this river?

  • Although 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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Hiking, Walking, Running

Where to go on a walk, run, hike, or bike ride

 

Where are there nice walks along this river? What might you see? Birding info?

  • Billerica: Vietnam Veterans Park, Treble Cove Rd. More info here. For a trail map of the Vietnam Veterans Park, click here!

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

  • Concord: If you are interested in checking out the Old Manse, a historical building with connections to the American Revolution, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Nathanial Hawthorne, there are some short trails of easy walking from the building to North Bridge and boathouse on the Concord River. More info here!

  • Concord: Minute Man National Park. Wide open trails provide for exploration through a historical area.  More info here

  • Concord: Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge provides an opportunity to walk around two ponds next to the Concord River, with stroller and wheelchair accessibility. There are additional trails through the woods, and one which brings you to the Concord River (where fishing is allowed, and paddlers can land). Look out for Frogs, Turtles, and Muskrats! 

  • Concord: The Old Manse 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

Where to go paddling (listed in direction of upstream to downstream)

 

Can you boat on this on this river?

  • Yes, you can boat in several places. The Wild and Scenic Section of the Concord River spans from Egg Rock, Concord → Rt 3 Bridge, Billerica (~10 miles). 

 

What kind of boats and which sections of the river can you boat on?

  • You can kayak, canoe, and paddle in many beautiful sections of the concord river. For a specific guide of where to paddle on the Sudbury, look below!

 

Additional Guides 

  • The AMC River Guide, available on the AMC website, or local bookstores, explains detailed accounts of navigation through the rivers of Massachusetts.

  • The AMC Quiet Water Canoe Guide also details information about boating on different rivers in Massachusetts, including 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. Boater's Guide

 

How can you get there? 

  • By Public Transport:

    • 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! 

  • By Car: 

    • Look below!

 

Where are the put-ins and parking

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

  • Billerica: Elsie Ave, At the end of Elsie Ave off River Street. 

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

  • Concord: Lowell Road Boat Ramp. Off Lowell Road, there is a boat launch and a short trail along the river with opportunities to picnic. Parking: drop off boat, park along lowell street. Access to paddling and motorized boat. Across the river, Egg Rock is a landmark at the confluence of the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. Egg Rock can be located off Nashawtuc Road. 

  • Concord: The Old Manse 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. 

 

Notable Landmarks to Notice: While paddling through Concord, you will see the Old Manse, a historical house which is both close to the first shots of the Revolution, and a home to both Nathanial Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. As you travel further through Concord, you will travel under the North Bridge, and past the Minute Man Historical National Park.

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Boating & Sailing

 
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Fishing

Where to go fishing
 

Can you fish on this river?

  • You can fish on the river, but it is advised to follow a catch and release policy, meaning you cannot 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 does updates here.

 

Locations for fishing include: 

  • Billerica: Vietnam Veterans Park. Directions here

  • Lowell: Concord River Greenway Park. Small park next to the Concord river with a few waterfalls, and spots to fish from.