Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Just twenty miles west of Boston lies an oasis for wildlife – Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR). Roughly 85 percent of the refuge’s 3,850 acres is comprised of valuable freshwater wetlands stretching along 12 miles of the Concord and Sudbury Rivers. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service protects and manages Great Meadows as nesting, resting, and feeding habitat for wildlife, with special emphasis on migratory birds. The diversity of plant and animal life visible from refuge trails provides visitors with excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing and nature study. A great diversity of birds has been recorded at Great Meadows NWR; an annotated list of over 220 species is available in a separate brochure.

In 1944, Samuel Hoar, a hunter donated the first 250 acres of land that now makes up the refuge. The refuge now consists of two units of land in seven historically significant towns – Billerica, Bedford, Carlisle, Concord, Lincoln, Sudbury, and Wayland.

Contact Information

Monsen Road Concord, MA 01742

Phone: 978-443-4661


vicky landry   September 7, 2021
One of my very favorite places to take a peaceful walk in nature. Top of the line views, tons of gorgeous wild life. You truly cannot go wrong here! Everyone I've taken with me has loved it.
Syed Rizvi   August 24, 2021
We've been living in Lexington for nearly 2 decades and about 5-6 years ago, me and my wife were told about the Great Meadows. Now we all as a family often visit the Great Meadows for long walks and to enjoy the outdoors.
Hong Pua   August 22, 2021
Miles of easy trails even for my elderly mom. Had a monarch butterfly that was leading us into the forest, lovely animals...
Lee Minardi   August 13, 2021
A fairly secluded spot in a suburban area. Good for an easy walk or bike ride through via the Bay Circuit Trail.
George Souza   August 4, 2021
Do photography here. Always some interesting birds and mammals to photograph
Syed Rizvi   July 5, 2021
We've been living in Living for nearly 2 decades and about 5-6 years ago, me and my wife were told about the Great Meadows. Now we all as a family often visit the Great Meadows for long walks and to enjoy the outdoors.
Te Liu   June 25, 2021
2021-06-25 drizzling, a pleasant walk. From the parking lot, going over the water only right side (clockwise) of Dike Trail is a loop. The other direction leads to private properties.
Rahul Joshi   May 15, 2021
Super cool meadow and wildlife (read:birds) refuge so near the city. Well maintained trails around the wetlands. Many birds, especially red wing blackbirds are plenty, so are musk rats. Parking is very limited (about 12 cars) and a small spill over lot for another 5. Single lane road for car, and same for entry and exit. I was worried how to manage if another car comes in in opposite direction but didn't have to actually face that. It says 4$ fee so we dropped cash in the box but couldn't find mechanism to link that payment to our car, so assumed it was an honor system.
Michelle   May 11, 2021
There is ALWAYS something to see here, whether it's flowers, birds, turtles, various critters or a nice walk around the water you can find it here.
Chris T   May 10, 2021
Pretty nice place with a lot of birds and other wildlife. 4 dollar fee which you place in an envelope and deposit yourself. Nicely kept walking trails that had holes patched recently with gravel.
J Geise   May 1, 2021
8 a.m. in a canoe with a light rainfall. Seeing whitetail deer and ducks. Serene.
Christophe Leroy   April 26, 2021
Delightful. We met many red winged black birds (a mew favorite), musk rats, and even a big turtle
Kai Chase   April 11, 2021
great beautiful place with so much wildlife! very fun to see all the red winged blackbirds!!
PEI YU CHEN   March 21, 2021
We can hear the birds singing wherever we go! Amazing experience : )
guy massa   March 19, 2021
This is a great spot when there's not a bunch of people there. So.much nature and beauty
Rodolfo Archbold   February 20, 2021
Went cross country skiing. We had a great time. Also nice place for walking, snow showing
Arthur Johnson   January 31, 2021
We love this place! There's so many types of wildlife. Last time there we even saw a juvenile bald eagle.
Gaurav Khanna   January 10, 2021
Nice walking path with lots to explore and observe. Plenty of muskrats and birds to see as well as small planes landing and taking off nearby. The path can be muddy at times so waterproof shoes are good to have.
Rong Li   November 7, 2020
always beautiful and full of surprises. my local favorite during this pandemic.
Bryn Dews   October 24, 2020
A hidden gem. Beautiful little nature preserve smack in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Gets very crowded on weekends... Go early! They need to fix the sign by the Concord River... It's incorrectly labeled as the Assabet!!
Eva Schicker   September 26, 2020
This National Wildlife Refuge Park is a beautiful and hidden gem in Concord. Trails, easily walkable, lead around gorgeous smaller and larger ponds, where one can observe water wildlife in abundance. There is a parking lot by the entrance of the park with limited (about 20?) parking spaces. The entrance to the parking space is very difficult to spot off the neighborhood road, and poorly marked. Look for it on a good map.
Bryn Dews   September 20, 2020
A hidden gem. Beautiful little nature preserve snack in the middle of a suburban neighborhood. Gets very crowded on weekends... Go early! They need to fix the sign by the Concord River... It's incorrectly labeled as the Assabet!!
Junu Hada   September 13, 2020
Very easy and short hike, suitable for kids.
Rajiv Kanaujia   August 29, 2020
Visit to see yellow lotus in late July thru mid August
Susan LaBaire   August 18, 2020
You always see something different everytime you go, whether you drive or paddle up the river.
Kamesh Chidambaram   August 16, 2020
Great place for a walk with a few different trek options. The watchtower gives a nice view of the wetlands. The highlight is definitely the view of thousands of lotus flowers in the summer! Parking is limited so pick a quieter day or time.
Derrick Duplessy   July 13, 2020
Beautiful wetlands. Nice alternative to Walden Pond for a walk.
김은성   July 12, 2020
Kids love this place. We saw many birds, dragonflies, water snake, frog and mink? Or weesles? We enjoyed all the nature and animals.
Liane J.   August 3, 2019
This incredible meadow was beyond belief. It stretched the length of four football fields. The flowers were all a creamy white. The length of flowers stay...
Newt J.   June 23, 2019
I've been coming to Concord since I was a kid, enjoying the town and having regular visits with the Walden area. Today I branched out into Great Meadows. It...
Atul Nautiyal   June 22, 2019
A very calm and quite place for hiking. Beautiful scenery, vegetation and wildlife. Trails are easy with benches for taking rest and enjoy the nature.
Don P.   August 10, 2016
Beautiful natural wildlife preserve located 5 mins from the Minute Man National Historic Park. Great Meadows is 3800 acres of protected freshwater wetlands...
Elizabeth P.   April 26, 2012
This is a wonderful place to go if you're looking to get out of the city for awhile with lots of wildlife, flat trails around the lake (including one that...