Middlesex Canal Exhibits!
Learn about the Middlesex Canal, the greatest work of its kind in the United States until the Erie Canal. Kayakers can take out above the Billerica Falls Dam at the canal entrance/parking lot at 2 Old Elm Street and walk part of the canal that Henry Thoreau traveled between the Merrimack and Concord Rivers. For children, a Lego canal playground, a watered model lock and a scavenger hunt. Find the pigeon, squeezable beaver, muskrat and three mice. Middlesex Canal Museum,
71 Faulkner St.
Sudbury River Pontoon Boat Rides
This free 1-hour boat tour leaves from the South Bridge Boat House (486 Main Street).
To book a seat call 978-371-1785. Advance reservations required.
Walk With Thoreau Along the Middlesex Canal
Join experienced guide Marlies Henderson to explore extant portions of the Middlesex Canal, reading passages from Henry David Thoreau describing the towpath, from the Billerica Falls to Middlesex Village. Meet at the gazebo at the falls. Easy 3-hour walk. High boots recommended.
Paddle the Concord River
Enjoy this 3-hour round trip easy paddle from just below the Billerica Falls toward the Lowell Centennial dam. Bring your own canoe/kayak and life jacket (required). Meet leaders Marlies Henderson and Ed Reiner by the North Billerica Fire Station boat ramp off 21 Lowell Street
Walden Woods Exploration
Naturalist Peter Alden, author of the Audubon Guide to New England, will lead a 2-hour walk focusing on birds and plants from Fairhaven Hill to Fairhaven Bay. This will be an easy 1.5 mile walk in the Wright Woods sector. Meet at the corner of Fairhaven Rd. and Arena Terrace (turnoff just east of the Walden Woods farmstand on Rte. 2 eastbound). Co-sponsored by the Concord Land Conservation Trust. No RSVP needed.
Sudbury River Cleanup
This is 2-hour on-river shoreline cleanup led by Ron Chick of the or bring your own. Coffee, snacks, gloves and garbage bags provided. Meet at 151 Central Street.
Sudbury River Ponded Section Paddle
Enjoy a calm 2-hour paddle, and learn some history of the river in Saxonville and about current threats from invasive aquatic vegetation. Led by Ron Chick of the or you bring your own. Meet at 151 Central Street.
Cochituate Rail Trail Walk
Join the Friends of Saxonville and the Framingham Conservation Commission for a 2-hour walk along the Rail Trail from Framingham to Natick for a bit of history and information about the area. Wear sturdy, nonslip footwear and bring a bottle of water, sunscreen and mosquito/tick repellent. Meet at the head of the Rail Trail at Concord and School Streets. Leashed dogs welcome. For more information, contact David Longden at 508-901-5909.
Saxonville Historical Walking Tours
Join Jennifer Doherty, Historic Preservation Planner with the Framingham Historical Commission and Historic District Commission on a 1-hour walking tour of Saxonville focusing on its significant architectural and historic features. No pre-registration required. Meet at the old Danforth Street Bridge.
Twilight Walk Along The Sudbury River
Join to sign up and for more information. Rain or shine.
Concord River Greenway And Centennial Island Fish Ladder Exploration
Join the Lowell Parks & Conservation Trust for a 2-hour history walk. Learn about upcoming Greenway construction, then go to the Centennial Island Fish Ladder to hear about recent efforts by citizen scientists to restore anadromous fish. Wear comfortable shoes. To access the fish ladder you need to be comfortable using stairs and able to walk on uneven surfaces. Parking: meet at the Lowell Cemetery (Lawrence Street. entrance). More info at www.lowelllandtrust.org, 978-934-0030.
All Day Bioblitz
Join Sudbury Valley Trustees at new conservation land along Beaver Brook, a tributary of the Concord River for a day of observation and data collection. The High Ridge region is an area of high ecological importance at the borders of Harvard, Littleton, and Boxborough. Learn more and register here .
Fishing Event & Family Festivities at Great Meadows National WIldlife RefugeEvent Additional:
Calling All Anglers: Beginners and experience anglers come join MassWildlife’s Angler Education Program to learn how to fly-cast, spin-cast, and even tie your own fly. All equipment will be provided free of charge. This event qualifies as a free fishing day, so state fishing licenses are not required. 10am–2pm
Family Fun for Everyone: Join in games, crafts, and face painting or a hike on the accessible boardwalk trail to discover the variety of riverine habitats. 10am–2pm
Wildlife-Up Close and Personal: Join Mass Audubon’s Drumlin Farm naturalist for a family-friendly visit with native wildlife, including birds and reptiles that live along the banks of rivers and depend on a healthy habitat. 10:30am–12:30pm
Plein Air Painting: Art instructor Sheila Noah’s free watercolor workshop with demonstration and personal instruction. Get inspired from nature by painting in plein air while learning to capture the illusion of light and depth in your landscape painting. There will be a demonstration of helpful techniques to discover basic shapes and forms in nature. If rain, will be held indoors with a gorgeous view of the Sudbury River. Register now and you will receive a list of suggested materials. 10am–1pm
Snakes of New England and the World: See a variety of local snakes close-up, and a few exotic ones too. Rick Roth, Director of the Cape Ann Vernal Pond Team, will bring some of his favorites and talk about their lives and habits. 1pm
Join us for a fun-filled day of hands-on activities at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. Free food and water will be provided on a first-come, first-serve basis by the Friends of the Assabet River National Wildlife Refuge, or bring your own food and have a picnic. Rain or shine at the Refuge Headquarters. 73 Weir Hill Road. For information call 978-443-4661.
Conservation Area Scavenger Hunt
Explore Wayland’s conservation properties through a self-directed team-based scavenger hunt. Participants will receive a dossier of photos in the morning that correspond to specific locations on conservation properties. Participants will have until sunset to match as many of the photos as possible. The team with the most photos matched will win a prize. For more details on the scavenger hunt and to register, please contact Ryan at (41 Cochituate Road).
History PaddleEvent Additional:
Bring your canoe or kayak and life jacket (required). Cars will be available at Sherman’s Bridge Rd. to ferry you back. For more information: 508-358-2980.
Travel in time as you paddle with Brian Donahue, Brandeis University history professor and expert on the Sudbury River. Paddle to Sherman’s Bridge through the wide meadows that prompted the founding of Wayland and Sudbury and hear stories of a fascinating and sometimes lurid past. Meet at the Rte. 20 boat launch. Bring your canoe or kayak and life jacket (required). Cars will be available at Sherman’s Bridge Road to ferry you back. For more information: 508-358-2980.
Photo Walk At Greenways
Join Lynne of Damianos Photography for a stroll around the 63-acre Greenways Conservation Area, a portion of the former Paine Estate, purchased by SVT and the Town of Wayland in 1995. Historic sites, woods, open fields, wetlands, the Sudbury River shoreline and Paines’ pet cemetery make Greenways a remarkable place with nearly two miles of trails, many of them old cart paths. Lynne will provide tips for successful photography with your camera/phone. All ages and abilities welcome. Meet at the kiosk, 24 Green Way. Questions: 508-358-2980. Rain date Sunday.
Join wildlife specialist Ken Harte for a 2 to 3-hour paddle on the Carlisle section of the Concord River and the Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge. A stop is scheduled at a casual riverside restaurant for a hearty breakfast and to compare notes. Near the end of the trip there will be an optional stop at the protected Elliot Concord River preserve. Bring your canoe/kayak (no motors), life jackets (required), binoculars, breakfast money, water and guidebooks. Sponsored by the Town of Carlisle Conservation Department. Sign in at 5:15am at the Bedford Boat Landing (Rte. 225). In case of inclement weather or flood conditions, call 978-369-0336 for confirmation.
Great Meadows N.W.R.
Naturalist Peter Alden will lead a 2-hour walk along the Concord River, focusing on birds, frogs and plants. This circular walk is on dry flat dirt dikes with no boots needed. Take Route 62 north towards Bedford from Concord Center. Turn left on Monson Road to the refuge parking lot. No RSVP needed.
Nashoba Brook Fishing Class
OARS will run a 1.5-hour fishing class for children ages 6–13 on the banks of the brook in West Concord. Registration required by June 19. Call 978-369-3956. Meet at the Nashoba Brook Dam.
Invasive Or Native?
Bud Sechler from the Native Plant Trust (formerly New England Wild Flower Society) will lead a field walk in the Old Calf Pasture. Learn about the on-going rare plant management in the wet meadow along the Sudbury River and learn to identify certain problematic invasive plants. Wear sturdy footwear, long pants/shirt and bring insect repellant. Meet at the Lowell Road boat ramp.
Ride for the Rivers
Bike ride with the for more information and in the event of a question about the weather forecast. A forecast of steady rain will cancel the event.
Fish Electro-Shocking Demo
Scientists study the fish in our rivers to better understand how we can protect them. Come watch a fish electro-shocking demonstration by Mass Wildlife and hear about what they learn from it. Meet at the footbridge over Nashoba Brook behind Nashoba Brook Bakery (location is flow and weather dependent).
Three Rivers Solstice Paddle
Paddle on our Wild & Scenic Rivers. Launch from the Old Calf Pasture launch on Lowell Road. Bring boat (or rent one from the South Bridge Boat House), snacks and drinks, life jacket (must be worn if under 12), picnic if staying for the Solstice Celebration at the Old Manse (see below), and lantern ( for more information and if you want to be notified of changes.
Yoga, Music, Art And History At The Old ManseEvent Additional:
Robbins Open House: Learn Concord’s early African-American history at the Robbins House, built for the son and daughter of slavery survivor and Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins in the early 1800s. River stories from Thoreau’s journal notes and from townsman John S. Keyes about John Garrison, the fastest Concord River ice skater, will be on display! 11–4pm
Big Trees of Massachusetts: Meet at the Old Manse for a talk about Big Trees and then measure the Swamp White Oak by the river. Kevin Martin, boatbuilder and author of Big Trees of NH, will show how big trees are measured for circumference, height, and crown spread. Total Big Tree Points are determined and we will compare that tree to others of its type listed in the state. If there is interest and time allows, we can drive a short distance away and measure the largest pine in the area at the Hapgood Wright Town Forest. 12:30pm
Plein Air Painting: Join or watch talented artists as they paint “En Plein Air” (French for painting outdoors) on the grounds of the Old Manse. Learn how painters ply their craft, ask questions and revel in the magic. For more information, contact . 1–6pm
Concord River Through Time: Join us for a talk tracing the long history of habitation, conflict, and creativity on the Concord River. We’ll consider the draw of the river for Native peoples and European settlers alike, the river’s role in the first battle of the American Revolution, and the river as a source of inspiration for a new generation of writers including Emerson, Thoreau, and Hawthorn. Co-sponsored by Minute Man National Historical Park and The Old Manse/The Trustees. Meet at the Old North Bridge. 1:30pm
Create Your Own Fish and Turtles: Join OARS to turn recycled soda bottles into colorful fish and bowls into turtles. Younger children can create their own watersticks. Face painting for all! 1–2:30pm
Makers’ Challenge: William Emerson built the Old Manse in 1770 with limited tools and big plans. What will you build during our simple makers’ challenge? Visitors will use small materials and big ideas to approach architectural creation through papercraft. Sponsored by The Trustees. Appropriate for all ages. 1–3pm
Wetland Wildlife: Join Mass Audubon naturalist for a family-friendly visit with native wildlife, birds and reptiles that live along the banks of the rivers and depend on a healthy habitat. 1–3pm
Celebrate our Earth with Music: Guitarist Paul Goldman will lead a children’s sing-a-long with songs we all know and some of his own. Come sing, dance, play instruments, or just listen. 2–3pm
Outdoor Yoga: Join Ashley Nichols for a gentle/slow flow vinyasa style yoga class accessible for all ages and skill levels. Bring your own mat. If rain, the yoga will be held under a tent with a gorgeous view of the Concord River. 2–3pm
RIVERUKE! Come celebrate the joys of rivers. Bring your uke, a stand, and a seat; please download and print chord charts & words here . All are welcome! No Uke? Come and sing with us or just enjoy the sounds as you explore the river banks at the Old Manse. 3–4:30pm
Highlights of the Old Manse: Join The Trustees for a guided for free 20-minute highlight tours. Discover where Emerson wrote Nature, the Hawthorne’s newlywed year and the story of the Patriot Preacher. Space is limited; first-come, first-served.
5, 5:30 & 6pm
Come to the riverbank by foot, or paddle, bring a picnic, and enjoy an afternoon of entertainment at the historic Old Manse. For boat rentals contact South Bridge Boat House at 978-369-9436. This full day of fun and learning and exploration is co-planned and run by OARS, our regional watershed organization, The Old Manse and The Trustees, and the Umbrella Community Arts Center.
Solstice Cardboard Boat Challenge
Join OARS and the Umbrella Community Arts Center in taking part in a challenge to build and race a cardboard boat in the Concord River! Race winner categories include: first to cross finish line in boat; most creative Concord River habitat design; most spectacular sinking. Bring your team, imaginations, and intrepid spirit. Boat-making materials provided. Registration required. Details at The Umbrella and OARS.
Please note that great care is taken for the River during the running of this event. All materials are pre-used cardboard, taken from recycling. No materials are allowed to float downstream. Everything used on-site is removed from the site after the event.
Summer Solstice CelebrationEvent Additional:
Solstice Paddle: Join SVT Leaders, Dave Witherbee and Jim Lagerbom, for a paddle from the Lowell Rd. launch up the scenic and winding Assabet. Then, paddle to the Old North Bridge to join the solstice celebrations! Picnic and return to the launch with an illuminated flotilla after dark. Bring a candle lantern (make your own). Space is limited. Register now. 4pm
Music: Music with Sawyer Lawson will entertain those who wish to picnic on the beautiful grounds of the Old Manse. 6pm
Illuminated Flotilla with Singing on the Bridge: Join Voices for the Earth in song on the Old North Bridge — or paddle your canoe/kayak on the Concord River (put-in and take-out at the Lowell Road launch). Either way, a memorable way to start the Summer. 8pm
Solstice Bonfire: Join the bonfire with s’mores at the Old Manse. 8pm
Spreading Seed: Land Art Inspired Performative Exhibit** Cancelled
***** Due to rainy weather the week prior to Riverfest, this event has been canceled and the installation has been removed. Please enjoy walking the Carol Getchell trail this weekend during Riverfest!*******
Join artist Katie Lee on the Carol Getchell Trail while she creates art installations along the Sudbury River. Inspired by the earth works of the 1960’s and 1970’s, she will create art installations using natural materials found along the river and bird seed, along with performative actions, to immerse with the Sudbury River landscape. Guests are encouraged to observe the artistic process for part or all of the time. If showing up past 1:00 pm, find Katie along the trail! The exhibit will begin at the Danforth Bridge. Rain or shine.
RUBBER DUCKY RACE
Sponsored by the or 978-505-0426.
Bird And Butterfly Tour
Join . Meet at the Cow Common.