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  Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

What to Bring

Walking shoes   Backpack
Binoculars   Rubber boots
(winter and spring)
Sunglasses   Hat in summer
Windbreaker   Water
Plastic bag for


From Boston/Cambridge, take route 2 West
Near Concord, go straight at the lights
where Route 2 sharply turns left; follow
sign for Concord Center
At the next stop, turn left for Concord
In Concord, go straight through the first
rotary, then turn right for Route 62
At the stop sign, continue right on Route 62
Drive about 2 miles and turn left on
Monsen road (drive slowly since the small sign is hard to see in advance)
Drive down Monsen for 0.5 mile until you see the Refuge entrance gate on the left
Parking lot at end of driveway
  Good to know in advance
Birds and wildlife sightings listed on board at trail head

Limited shade in summer on first half of trail

Restrooms in service building near parking lot (open in summer only)
Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge: 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, (978) 443-4661
No dogs allowed on refuge
Do not disturb wildlife

ID Card

Overall rating: Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating Four-Star Rating
Difficulty: 1/5
  Time from Boston: 30 minutes
  Duration: A few hours


  Main activity:


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This walk is the most enjoyable way to visit the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, which stretches more than 10 miles along the Concord River. A loop that can typically be done in one hour (but more if you stop frequently to watch wildlife, as will likely be the case), it starts on a large dike across open wetlands, and returns through a path in the woods. An observation tower will give you unobstructed views over the entire area, and a board at the trail head will indicate recent sightings to help you identify birds and other animals on your way.

With abundant wildlife and flat terrain, this walk is also an ideal destination for visitors with children and younger kids in strollers (a 3-wheeled stroller is preferable).

Here are the detailed directions:
From the parking lot, you can first climb up the observation tower; then, walk past the gate and onto the main trail across the wetlands. In winter and spring, sections of the trail can be submerged, making it impassable if you have regular walking or hiking shoes; calf-high rubber boots are generally enough to cross in these conditions
Walk down the trail until you reach the river; then turn right on the trail (the trail on the left allows you a short walk on the other side but it ends on private land)
Follow the trail along the wetlands and turn right to enter the woods
You soon reach a large unpaved road; take it to the right to walk back to the Refuge entrance

(Picture courtesy of Lindsey Brown)

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