Ayer is situated in Nashoba Valley, approximately 35 miles Northwest of Boston and 27 miles Northeast of Worcester. The town is bordered by the town of Shirley to the west, Groton to the North, Littleton to the EAst, and Harvard to the South. The town of Ayer covers an area approximately 9.57 square miles, with a population of 7,821. The town of Ayer's major force in the mid to late 1800's into the early 1900's was in the railroad industry. Over the years the town has become primarily residential however, with some industrial development and manufacturing within the community. The former Fort Devens facility was closed down, as were numerous other military bases, however, the site was re-developed by Mass Development into a business park and residential community known as "Devens" Ayer has its "downtown" area, where a variety of shops and service facilities can be found. Commercial and retail development has continued to expand in outlying areas. The town of Ayer is located in Middlesex County, and is accessed via Routes 2A, 110 and 11. MBTA commuter rail service is available on the Fitchburg line.