"those wild, free days on the Assabet"
Boating on the Assabet
Creative Commons AttributionBoating on the Assabet - Credit: Bill Comstock
The Assabet River at Concord
Creative Commons AttributionThe Assabet River at Concord - Credit: Barbara L. Slavin

The Assabet River is a 20-mile stretch of water than begins in the swamps of Westborough and ends in Concord, where it merges with the Sudbury River. Hawthorne loved this wooded, romantic area, declaring in ‘The Old Manse’ that “a more lovely stream than this... has never flowed on earth.” He often took boats out upon it with Channing and Thoreau for summer fishing expeditions; during the winter, its frozen surface was perfect for their ice-skating jaunts.