Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Newburyport

(260+ reviews on the web)
National Park Wildlife Area
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
  • Great place to go for a walk. Peaceful but bring bug spray! There's beach access from the parking lots.  more »
  • We drove down through, you can hear the birds. We didn't go onto the paths, but some were closed. If you park in parking lot, you can walk to the beach. People fishing, swimming, playing games. Nice a...  more »
  • We came from California and are riding bikes. Yesterday was a dreary, rainy day. We rode out here and you can hear the birds! It was beautiful and peaceful. Some walks were closed. Probably really nic...  more »
Google
  • Really fun alot of hidden spots to go swimming almost like cranes without all the people.
  • The Refuge is a beautiful place, but be aware that the beach is off limits from the first of April until mid August except for a short section near the entrance.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Absolutely love it here, beautiful beach, birds and excellent use of conservation land. Worth the yearly pass, every year.