Nashua River Rail Trail
The Nashua River Rail Trail is a former railroad right of way that travels 11 miles through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell and Dunstable. The trail offers a 10-foot wide paved surface for the entire length, and a five-foot wide gravel equestrian path for seven miles of the trail from Groton Center to the New Hampshire boarder in Dunstable. The entire trail is open to pedestrians, bicyclists, inline skaters, wheelchairs, and cross-country skiers.
The Nashua River Rail Trail travels along a varied landscape, offers numerous scenic overlooks, opportunities to see wildlife and has several resting stops. The trail is particularly attractive during fall foliage season. The Ayer trailhead offers access to commuter rail service between Boston and Fitchburg.
Directions: Take Rte. 2 east or west to exit 38B, then follow Route 111 north to Ayer Rotary. Go halfway around rotary to Rte. 2A. On Rte. 2A turn right after Ayer Center, take first right on Groton Street to trail parking lot on the right.
Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge
Oxbow National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) is located in north-central Massachusetts, approximately 35 miles northwest of Boston, MA. The refuge lies within the towns of Ayer and Shirley in Middlesex County and the towns of Harvard and Lancaster in Worcester County. The refuge consists of approximately 1,667acres of upland, southern New England flood-plain forest, and wetland communities along nearly 8 miles of the Nashua River corridor.
Directions: From Massachusetts Route 2, take Exit 38 (Route 110/111) south toward Harvard; bear right to stay on Route 110 at Harvard Center; and, turn right onto Still River Depot Road at the Still River Post Office. The refuge parking area is at the end of Still River Depot Road, past the railroad tracks.