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Acton is a town in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, United States, approximately 21 miles (34 km) west-northwest of Boston along Massachusetts Route 2 west of Concord and about ten miles (16 km) southwest of Lowell. The population was estimated to be 23,662 in July 2019, according to the United States Census Bureau. It is bordered by Westford and Littleton to the north, Concord and Carlisle to the east, Stow, Maynard, and Sudbury to the south and Boxborough to the west. Acton became an incorporated town in 1735. The town employs the Open Town Meeting form of government with a town manager and an elected, five-member board of selectmen. Acton was named the 11th Best Place To Live among small towns in the country by Money Magazine in 2015, and the 16th best in 2009 and in 2011. The local high school, Acton-Boxborough Regional High School, was named a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education in 2009.
Acton is located at. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 20.3 square miles (53 km2), of which 20.0 square miles (52 km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78 km2), or 1.53 percent, is water. Almost all of Acton is forested, except for where it has been cleared for residential or agricultural use. Some forested areas have been put aside for special use by corporations.
The current geography of Acton was created when the last wave of glaciers retreated approximately ten thousand years ago. Acton has nine drumlins — hills which are composed of glacial till. In addition, Wills Hole and Grassy Pond are kettle ponds which were formed in depressions in the till formed by large blocks of ice.
Acton has two primary stream systems: the Nashoba Brook system including the incoming streams Butter Brook, Wills Hole Brook and Conant Brook and the Fort Pond Brook system including the incoming streams Guggins Brook, Inch Brook, Grassy Pond Brook, Pratt’s Brook and Coles Brook. Both stream systems empty into the Assabet River, which passes briefly through the town at its southern corner. Nagog Pond in the north, forms Acton’s border with the Town of Littleton and provides drinking water to the Town of Concord. A small artificial pond is at NARA Park in North Acton.