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Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is an independent, nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the conservation of the natural resources of the refuge, fostering public understanding and appreciation of the refuge, and engaging in activities that will assist and challenge the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to meet its mandates. To accomplish our goals we need your HELP!
Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, Proud Newburyport.com VIP Community Partner
About the Refuge
The Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is located approximately 32 miles northeast of Boston on Plum Island. Plum Island is a natural barrier island stretching along the Massachusetts Atlantic coast between the mouth of the Merrimack River to the north and the mouth of the Ipswich River to the south.
The Refuge occupies the southern three-fourths of the island and is 4,662 acres in size. Included within this space are 6.5 miles of sandy beach, approximately 3,000 acres of salt marsh, three managed fresh water impoundments, and one of the few unspoiled dune-beach complexes still existing in the Northeast.
The Refuge is accessible by motor vehicle and foot over mostly gentle terrain. Several miles of foot trails meander through dune, shrub/thicket, freshwater marsh, and other Refuge habitats. Observation towers and platforms afford commanding views of the Refuge and surrounding lands and waters. A 6.3 mile (10.1 km) roadway runs the length of the Refuge and provides several pull offs. For your safety, roadside parking is prohibited and the 25 MPH (40 kmph) speed limit is strictly enforced.
Wheelchair accessible birding sites include the Salt Pans Wildlife Observation Area, the North Pool Overlook, the .3 mile (0.5 km) Pines Trail, Bill Forward Bird Blind and the observation platforms overlooking the beach and ocean at Parking Lots 1 and 7.
Located along the Atlantic Flyway, the Refuge is of special significance to waterfowl and shorebirds, including the federally threatened piping plover. A Refuge bird checklist, including a seasonal occurrence listing, is available at the Visitor Center in Parking Lot 1, the entrance Gatehouse, or by contacting Refuge Headquarters.
“In wildness is the preservation of the world” - Thoreau
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