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Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

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Address: , Newburyport, MA
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Activities: Birdwatching
Description: Covering 4,662 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats, this refuge...
Covering 4,662 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats, this refuge was established to preserve the feeding, resting and nesting areas of migratory birds.
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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

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  • 108
    Excellent
  • 30
    Very good
  • 3
    Average
  • 2
    Poor
  • 3
    Terrible
Awesome off season fun

the entirety of plum island is fun during the peak summer months, but our favorite time to visit is offseason. There is a lot of good bird watching to be had, without even trying... read more

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 18, 2015
Rebecca G
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146 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Level Contributor
29 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 18, 2015

the entirety of plum island is fun during the peak summer months, but our favorite time to visit is offseason. There is a lot of good bird watching to be had, without even trying. The board walks that weave through the island are fun for families and a great way to enjoy nature without committing to a hours long hike.

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Tyngsboro, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2015

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is a great spot for a leisurely walk any time of year. The beaches are beautiful but are not open for most of the summer unfortunately due to nesting plovers. Also beware of the last two weeks of July-the green heads are terrible and make sunbathing impossible!

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Level Contributor
15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 8, 2015

My wife and I went to the beach for a two day get away. We arrived early both days and got parking easy. However, by 10am parking was a problem for other visitors. Only a small beach was open on the refuge because of some birds breading. It made for amazing bird watching. We brought in our bikes and had... More 

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Rowley
Level Contributor
51 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2015

Visit Parker River National Wildlife Refuge often during the Fall, Winter & Spring to view the migrating birds. The refuge headquarters offers many free programs geared to all ages I am a member of their photographic society - refuge runs photo camp for kids during the summer. Photographic Society meets monthly with guest speakers as well as photography instructors. I... More 

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Pittsfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed August 5, 2015

Nice beaches but often closed. (Plover nesting) Long drive to find out no beaches open. A large sign at the entrance noting closed beaches would be a nice gesture by the NPS. The beach right after the gate is usually opened, try it.

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New Hampshire
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 28, 2015

So - a wildlife refuge - how much can you say. If you are into the ocean, sand dunes, sea birds, et al, this is a wonderful spot. If you are able-bodied, park and walk - boardwalk over the dunes to the shore, and up and down on the sand. But if you're not, like my friend, then pull over... More 

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Level Contributor
17 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 24, 2015

The Parker River wild life is a wonderful place for everyone including children. There are many activities available throughout the year one can rent kayak in town and take them down the river into the marsh one just have to plan the tide schedule. Also there are bird watching excursions there is a an autobahn society with many educational courses... More 

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Lynnfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2015

I grew up on the North Shore and it wasn't until several years ago that a friend introduced me to the magic that is Plum Island. As a child we would go to Crane Beach which is always packed with ridiculous parking rates, and while parking may be cheaper at closer beaches, again there are the crowds or impossible parking.... More 

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 attraction reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2015

I was here many tears ago and on my most recent trip to New England, I made sure I put this Refuge on my list. This is a "Bird Nerd's" paradise as well as a jewel for anyone who loves salt marshes and their unique ecosystems. Board walkways will take you through the marshes as well as into the sand... More 

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Byfield, Massachusetts
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2015

If you have never seen salt marshes this is the place to come. Beautiful, stunning scenery and wildlife abound. I live in the area and we have been coming here for years. Always something new to see.

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  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
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  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?