A map of the Sudbury-Assabet-Concord (SuAsC0) watershed, from the SuAsCo Watershed Community Council
There are two rivers in Lowell?
As Lowell is often associated with the Merrimack, many do not realize that the Concord River also runs right through downtown Lowell. In fact, Lowell sits right where these rivers intersect, at their confluence–a natural spot for a city to develop.
While the Merrimack River flows south – originating in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and emptying into the Atlantic in Newburyport – the Concord flows north. It has a watershed of about 360 square miles, beginning at the confluence of the Sudbury and Assabet Rivers in Concord, MA.
When the Concord River reaches Lowell its character changes dramatically, as it drops 50 feet over three sets of waterfalls in a one-mile reach (making it ideal for spring whitewater rafting!). Its presence in Lowell is largely unnoticed, however, since it’s less visible than the mighty Merrimack.
From drought conditions to rushing whitewater, you’d be surprised at the fluctuation of the Concord’s flow. You can check the current flow rates on the Concord River here: U.S.G.S. Concord River Flow Gauge.
Rafting on the Concord with Zoar Outdoor
As part of our mission is to foster relationships between community members and their local environment, we offer many programs focused on the Concord River. Below you’ll find links to our whitewater rafting program run in partnership with Zoar Outdoor, our fish monitoring volunteer program, our supplemental Concord River Greenway Classroom website, and our ongoing Concord River Greenway Park project.
A brief history brochure about the Concord River neighborhood in Lowell is also available here.