Logo   Guide to Concord River, Concord MA
The Concord River is formed by the confluence of the Sudbury & Assabet rivers meeting at Egg Rock, where Concord's original inhabitants once lived.

Canoeing through duckweed on the Concord River

Canoeing through duckweed on the Concord River...

In 1635 a small group of English settlers came to Musketaquid, the "river plains of grassy (muskeht) meadows," and to the Nashoba Massachusett tribe's village of Nashawtuck on a small hill where two rivers flowed and became one.

Nashawtuck was headed by a sachem named Tahattawan as deputy for Squaw Sachem, the female leader of most native peoples near Massachusetts Bay. Her domain, once peopled by thousands, had been decimated by epidemics of European diseases in 1618.

On August 5, 1637 she, Tahattawan and other native leaders signed a deed with the English settlers granting them rights in six square miles of land destined to be the Town of Concord.

Nature & History

You can paddle down the Concord River to Old North Bridge, then upstream back to the boathouse or launch ramp in only a few hours' pleasant cruising. If you'd rather walk, there are trails along the river that allow you to see most of the river's sights and to enjoy the beautiful landscape and its long history.

Nashawtuck (Egg Rock) in winter, Concord, Massachusetts
Nashawtuck (Egg Rock) & the river confluence in winter...

Rent a Canoe

South Bridge Boat House, on Main Street between Concord center and West Concord (map), rents canoes by the hour, half-day, or full day, from Memorial Day (end of May) until the first snow (usually in October).

Your Own Canoe or Kayak

If you have your own boat, canoe or kayak, you can launch it at the boat ramp off Lowell Road just east of the confluence (map).

Walking the Trails

The Town of Concord MA Division of Natural Resources publishes a River Confluence Trail Guide (PDF) which, along with this Google Map, can help you find your way on foot to Nashawtuck (Egg Rock).

Nashawtuck (Egg Rock)

Nashawtuck (Egg Rock), where the Assabet and Sudbury rivers meet to form the Concord River, is marked by an inscription on a granite boulder on the side of the hill that overlooks the confluence:

Egg Rock, Concord MA
On the hill Nashawtuck
at the meeting of the rivers
and along the banks
lived the Indian owners of
before the white men came.

The boulder and at least part of the inscription may be under water if the river is at flood.

A Picnic Spot

On the southeast side of the confluence opposite Egg Rock, just west of the Lowell Road boat launch ramp, is a small grassy area good for a picnic. Be sure to pack out your trash and leave it in good condition.

Old North Bridge

Northeast past Nashawtuck and the Lowell Road bridge is Concord's Old North Bridge, where you can beach your canoe or kayak and explore the battleground of the first victory in the American Revolutionary War. More...

Beyond Old North Bridge the Concord River flows north past Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge and eventually into the Merrimack River at Lowell, and the Merrimack flows northeast into the Atlantic Ocean at Newburyport MA.

Fairhaven Bay

Another fine (though longer) paddle is upstream (south) on the Sudbury River from Nashawtuck (Egg Rock) to Fairhaven Bay, where the river widens into a small lake, about 2.5 miles (4 km) south of the South Bridge Boat House.

No Swimming, Camping or Fishing

So far as I know, there are no swimming beaches or camping areas along the river. As for fishing, signs in Concord warn that the river fish contain high concentrations of mercury and should not be eaten.

More Information

OARS, the organization for the Assabet, Concord and Sudbury rivers, has lots more information on recreation possibilities for the rivers. Its activities are worthy of support. More...

There's additional information on the website of the Sudbury Valley Trustees. More...

—by Tom Brosnahan

What to See & Do in Concord

Concord Restaurants

Concord Lodgings

Concord Transportation

About Concord

Tourist Information

West of Boston

New England Outdoors

  Paris Girls Secret Society, the new novel by Tom Brosnahan


Egg Rock, Concord MA

Above, Egg Rock, the inscribed granite boulder.

Canoeing on the Concord River, Concord MA

Canoeing on the Concord River.
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