October 2023

Vol. 51, No. 5

Birding Brewster’s Woods and October Farm Riverfront, Concord, Massachusetts

Stephanie Kane and David Swain

Concord locatorBrewster’s Woods Wildlife Sanctuary (WS) and October Farm Riverfront are adjacent conservation lands in Concord, Massachusetts, along a ridge overlooking a broad bend in the Concord River, a mile downstream of the confluence of the Assabet and Sudbury rivers. These historically important and newly protected areas are part of a sweeping 1,700-acre mosaic of conservation land that includes Estabrook Woods to the west and the Concord Unit of Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) across the river. Rich in history, the 130-acre Brewster’s Woods WS—owned by Mass Audubon—and the 80-acre October Farm Riverfront—owned by the Town of Concord and the Concord Land Conservation Trust—collectively protect most of historic October Farm, the country home and fieldwork site of the ornithologist, William Brewster (1851-1919).

You can easily access both sanctuaries from Monument Street in Concord. From the center of town, head north on Monument Street for 2.3 miles. Turn right onto Balls Hill Road, and in 0.3 mile there is a drive to the main parking area, where the accessible All Persons Trail begins (both pending construction in September 2023). In 0.4 mile, a small parking area for Brewster’s Woods WS is on the left (42.48936, -71.32637), where you can access the nearby Fisher Trail. In another hundred yards the road ends at the parking area for October Farm Riverfront (42.48767, -71.32552); the Yellow Trail begins at a kiosk. Please note that the Town of Concord allows dog walking on this property and permits neighbors to ride horses on the trails.

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