While smaller in population, with only 8,926 residents as of 2010, Townsend is actually the largest town in Middlesex County by land area, 33.1 square miles. Townsend was settled in 1676, however population grew slowly until the decade of the 1970s, when the town’s small population grew by 68% to numbers that are stable in the past few decades. Popular neighborhoods in Townsend include the Town Center and the Timberlee Park neighborhood. Residents of Townsend enjoy multiple state forests with trails for hiking and biking, as well as the Squannacook River Trail Network.
Townsend borders Pepperell, Groton, Shirley, Lunenburg, Ashby, Mason (NH), and Brookline (NH).