Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport

Must see · National Park · Wildlife Area
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a wildlife sanctuary encompassing the majority of Plum Island in northeastern Essex County, Massachusetts, 5 miles southeast of Newburyport. It was established in 1942 primarily to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitats for migratory birds. Located along the Atlantic Flyway, the refuge is of vital stopover significance to waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds during migratory periods.

In 1985, The Trust for Public Land added 12 acres to the refuge. Besides providing habitat for birds and wildlife, the pristine coastal habitat is enjoyed by visitors who come to swim, hike, surf, fish, and birdwatch.
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Parker River National Wildlife Refuge reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 4.5
331 reviews
  • It was right after Christmas so probably more children but was a lovely serene place to appreciate nature!  more »
  • What a beautiful refuge, the paths out to the Marshes are especially beautiful and worth seeing. Lots of plovers and other birding opportunities.  more »
  • My husband and I went here in hopes of getting our steps in for the day. I made the assumption there were plenty of walking trails. We joined a short line of cars to enter the park for $5. There....  more »
  • Such a special place. Ample parking lots, pristine facilities, friendly staff- all included for the low daily rate of $5. One of the best beaches in northern Massachusetts- clean sands, clear waters, tons of space to spread out (even during crowded weekends). From every parking lot, the beach is just a sandy boardwalk away, don't miss it! Also beautiful salt marshes and tons of biking, boating, fishing and birding opportunities.
  • Love this place. Limited parking in certain areas allows you to find an spot that is not overwhelmed by people.
  • Love visiting here and walking the beach as well as the inland areas. The views are great, birds and wildlife are every where. Due to the piping plovers nesting access to some beach areas is limited depending on the time of year.
  • A local treasure! Bring your camera and comfortable shoes. It can be windy off of the water, so bring a jacket. PLENTY of trails to choose from. Birdwatcher's paradise.
  • The most beautiful, peaceful place. Countless winding boardwalks around dunes, and observation towers to look around from.

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