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Upcoming Events, Walks and Programs

Click on an event in the calendar to see the details on the event.

Note that most of our Monthly Meetings are recorded. Links to the recordings hosted by SudburyTV can be found on the Past Event Videos page.

November Exhibit of the Month

Creatures of the Night: The Nocturnal Animals of Assabet River

Stop by the Visitor Center during regular hours and see our new monthly exhibit. This month’s exhibit will explore some of the animals on our refuges that are most active when the sun goes down.

November Movie of the Month

Rocky Mountain Beaver Pond

Beavers are an iconic species, masters of architecture, and ecosystem engineers. Come by the visitor center to see National Geographic’s depiction of a beaver family, and find out what makes them such incredible builders! Then head out to look for beavers on the Refuge! (Runtime: 50 minutes).

Saturday, November 4, 9:00 AM - Noon
Saturday, November 11, 9:00 AM - Noon
Saturday, November 18, 9:00 AM - Noon
Saturday, November 25, 9:00 AM - Noon

APT Invasive Plant Removal Work Party

Help keep the refuge clear of invasive plants! Assabet Pulling Together (APT) will be removing invasive plants from Assabet River NWR each Saturday through the fall. Suggested attire is light-colored clothing, a hat, and work gloves. The Saturday work sessions are from 9:00 AM to noon. Sessions are open to drop-ins. Please meet at the Visitor Center.

Please contact Dave Lange for more information.

Wednesday, November 15, 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Friends Monthly Presentation: Ed Sterling presenting The Central Mass Railroad: Part II: Beyond Clinton

Ed Sterling will discuss the history of the Central Massachusetts Railroad, known as "The Central Mass" from its beginnings in the post Civil War years to its sad end in 1980. Using both physical and digital maps, and many photos, he will initially take the audience on an imaginary train ride from Boston out to Clinton. Stopping at the various stations and depots, we will see the stations as they were, where they were located, and as they appear today where possible. This continuation of Ed's previous talk will focus on the Wachusett Dam and Reservoir and their impact on the Central Mass railroad, and how the railroad was rerouted around this major project using a tunnel and a viaduct. Then the journey will continue through central Massachusetts beyond Clinton out to Northampton, with a discussion of the impact of the Great Depression, and the Hurricane of 1938.

The Central Mass Railroad tracks pass along the southern border of the Assabet River NWR.

Ed has been studying the history of the Central Mass Railroad for almost 20 years, and has acquired an extensive book and photo collection on the Boston and Maine railroad, which operated the Central Mass Railroad for most of its history. He has a lifelong interest in trains and railroads. He grew up in Essex Junction Vermont, in the twilight of steam locomotive operations on the Central Vermont railway. His family has always had a large Lionel train layout in their homes. He currently collects large Lionel Standard Gauge trains from the 1920s and 1930s. Ed has lived in Bolton for 30 years, and has volunteered on a number of town boards including being a Selectman and has been active in the Boy Scouts for over 20 years.

Thursday, November 23, 8:00 AM

Morning Pre-Feast Hike

Come join us for an approximately 4 mile hike around the west side of the refuge. We will meet at the kiosk at the main entrance off of Hudson road and begin our trek on Tri-town trail at 8:00 a.m. This walk is for all ages and skill levels. Registration is not required for this activity. However, if you have any questions, please contact Cynthia Pratt either by email at or by phone at (508) 215-8651.

Cynthia is an avid hiker with a background in Natural Science who has been a frequent visitor of ARNWR for years. She loves to share ideas for New England hikes and is happy to speak with individuals new to hiking who would like recommendations.

By Appointment

Refuge Fledglings Hour — Nature-themed Program Series for Kids

Join Refuge staff for Refuge Fledglings Hour, a nature-themed program series that includes crafts, stories, and games or songs that relate to a different topic each month. These family-friendly programs are targeted for 2 to 5 year olds; siblings welcome.

Programs are by appointment, please contact Ranger Jared ( or 978-579-4028) to book your group’s Refuge Fledglings program or for more information.

By Appointment

Refuge Explorers

Calling all explorers: come join us for a monthly adventure! See nature come alive as we discover our surroundings and learn about the refuge from the pages of books to the forests and wetlands.

Refuge Explorers is a hands-on program for 6-10 year olds focused on getting kids outside and engaged in nature. Dress for the weather (rain or shine) and an adventure!

Family friendly, siblings welcome. Programs are by appointment, please contact Ranger Jared ( or 978-579-4028) to book your group’s Refuge Explorers program or for more information.


Outdoors This Week

The Friends posts our events to Outdoors This Week, a weekly listing of outdoor activities located west of Boston sponsored by local environmental organizations. Click here to subscribe.