Friends of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Feeding, Resting and Nesting


From the Plum Island beaches to the Maritime Forest, even the birds in Newburyport recognize a quality destination in the Parker River Wildlife Refuge.

Parker River is a nationally recognized Wildlife Refuge for migratory birds and over 300 species.

Tried and true since the 1940’s, Parker River extends across thousands of acres on the northeast coast of Massachusetts.

VIP guests at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge include the Piping Plovers. Federally protected by the Wildlife Conservation, the Piping Plovers enjoy summer vacation on a secluded section of Plum Island Beach from April 1 to late summer. Now that’s a celebrity spotting!

There are several boardwalks that lead to the beach. Visitors also have access to a number of viewing trails, and two observation towers that are perfect for bird watching and taking pictures.

In addition to waterfowl, the many habitats at the Parker River Wildlife Refuge make it a popular Newburyport attraction for sighting mammals, fish, and reptiles. It’s no wonder the Salt Marsh habitat is deemed, “One of the most productive ecosystems in nature.”

More habitats include Cranberry Bog and Freshwater Marsh, which make Parker River sound like a Wildlife Resort & Spa in addition to a National Refuge.

Parker River also offers passes and permits for those who enjoy surf fishing and seasonal hunting.

To start your adventure, join the Parker River Wildlife Refuge free education programs held at the Visitor Center in Newburyport, MA.


Parker River

Wildlife Refuge | Massachusetts

a unit of the Wildlife Refuge System

6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA

The Administrative Office for obtaining passes and permits is opened Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

(978) 465-5753

View a Map of the Refuge or Learn How to Volunteer!

Kudos: Western Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve Network (WHSRN), Important Bird Area (IBA), and Area of Critical Environmental Concern (ACEC).


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