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Boating, Kayaking and Canoieng in Concord
The town of Concord 'hugs' the Concord River which flows on the northern edge of town center. The Concord River is created by the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers also within the town limits. The Concord River and it's main tributaries are both bucolic and beautiful. If you bring your own boat, kayak, or canoe there is a public area to put in just north of town. Follow Lowell Road (the road that is just to the West of the Colonial Inn on Monument Square) out of town about a quarter of a mile. You can unload your boat there and then park on the road north or south of the bridge. If you need to rent a boat it can be rented at the Boat House which is on the South Bridge (Route 62 heading towards West Concord) just on the Sudbury River.
From the Lowell Bridge public "put in" one can head up the Concord River (West) against the current towards Egg Rock where the Sudbury and Assabat River converge. The Penisular formed by the convergence of the two Rivers was home, originally, to the Nashatuc Indians and when the river(s) are low you can see the Historic Plaque that describes this. At Egg Rock (heading West) the right hand river juncture is the narrow (and rocky) Assabat River bordered by steep hills and tall shade trees. During summer this route can be a challenge because exposed rocks and fallen trees can present obstacles to boating- but worth it for a "widerness feel" that will make you think you are a thousand miles from Boston; not just a mere seventeen!
The left hand juncture at Egg Rock (heading West) is the Sudbury River, wide and placid. Paddling up the Sudbury you will pass the famous Concord Academy (a boarding school formerly all girl that is now coed- it has educated the likes of Caroline Kennedy) and then past some of the mansions built during Concord's post Civil War boom. This route will take you past the South Bridge (where the River takes a sharp turn )and heads due South. If you can stick with it for another two miles past the South Bridge the Sudbury River opens up into Fairhaven Bay a breathtakingly beautiful ,and very large, kettle pond that the Sudbury River flows ithrough.
Heading east at the Lowell Bridge public "put in" will take the traveler under the famous North Bridge and thence to the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. At the Refuge dock your boat (but only if you have bug spray and waterproof footwear) and hike around the Refuge for a view of Massachusetts Wildlife. Further downstream the Concord River passes beautiful farmland as it flows out of Concord proper.
Plenty of wildlife to see if you boat up either river including beaver, deer, heron, great heron, fisher cats, red hawks, falcons, and, the occasional eagle. From May to October (October is, of course one of the great months in which to do this) the trip is well worth it.