Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport
(4.5/5 based on 240+ reviews on the web)
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge 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.Features and locationThe refuge includes the mouth of the Parker River, which drains the mainland on the other side of Plum Island Sound. The refuge also includes the southern three-quarters of Plum Island, an 8mi long barrier island in Newburyport, Massachusetts, Newbury, Massachusetts, Rowley, Massachusetts and Ipswich, Massachusetts. The southern tip of the island, however, is divided between Sandy Point State Reservation and privately owned Cross Farm. Trails and observation stations are scattered throughout the refuge. Included in the refuge is Plum Island Sound and all the smaller islands within it, and the mouth of the Plum Island River on the Plum Island Sound side only. The marsh in and around the winding channels of the rivers is known as Great Marsh, which has a much greater area than the refuge.Hiking, jogging and cycling along Plum Island Drive only is permitted any time the refuge is open. Photography is permitted from any location open to the public. Beach locations may be visited over boardwalks out of nesting season. Trailers and licensed fishing are permitted on the beach in the autumn. Access is via roads through the dunes. Licensed deer hunting is permitted for one day of the year up to a maximum limit of kills. The process is controlled by the park employees and volunteers. Seasonal licensed commercial shellfishing is permitted at one location where a stream through the marsh bends close to the island. Licensed seasonal wildfowl hunting is permitted in a special area on the right bank of the Parker River. It must be accessed from the mainland side. New visitor facilities offering exhibits and programs are located on the mainland bordering Plum Island Airport. Any other activities within the refuge are strictly forbidden; the brochure presents a long list.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Maudslay State Park lies on the west side of Newburyport and the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge lies on the east side. The two are very different and each is beautiful in its own way. The PRNWR...  more »
  • Doesn't matter what time of year, this refuge is well worth visiting. You can drive a car, walk, ride a bike to various parts of the refuge. The long long long beach is dramatic. But don't forget 'the...  more »
  • Pristine beach, salt marsh, surf and bird watching. If you are in the area, it is a great place to visit. But beware, much of the area is closed during the breeding season for the Plovers an endangere...  more »
Google
  • If you haven't gone here before, go. This is a prime location with beautiful views and great bird watching. There is a lovely walking path that makes for a great day in the outdoors. It is a very short drive from the Boston Area and totally worth the trip on a nice day. Bring a camera and water and you can stay entertained all day.
  • Absolutely love it here, beautiful beach, birds and excellent use of conservation land. Worth the yearly pass, every year.
  • Stopped by on our way to Boston by chance. It's well worth the diversion. Lovely beaches right at the end on the south eastern corner too. A very peaceful trip and some interesting bird sightings.
  • Amazing & enchanted
  • Boardwalk at last parking lot to Sandy beach pitifull upkeep for 5 bucks a carload with a good turnover every few hours bare screws sticking straight up! Cost of weatherproofing what is left and replacement of a few rotted boards would be minimal compared to whining for more funds a year or two from now