National Wildlife Refuge
|6 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport, MA 01950
Phone Number: 978-465-5753
|Visit the Refuge's Web Site:
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1942 primarily to provide feeding, resting, and nesting habitat for migratory birds. Located along the Atlantic Flyway, the refuge is of vital stopover significance to waterfowl, shorebirds, and songbirds during pre- and postbreeding migratory periods.
The refuge occupies in part, the southern three-fourths of Plum Island, an 8 mile long barrier island near Newburyport, Massachusetts. Excellent wildlife-oriented recreational and educational opportunities are available with visitor facilities and programs provided to enhance your experience.
The refuge consists of 4,662 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including sandy beach and dune, shrub/thicket, bog, swamp, freshwater marsh, saltwater marsh and associated creek, river, mud flat, and salt panne. These and other refuge habitats support varied and abundant populations of resident and migratory wildlife including more than 300 species of birds and additional species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and plants.
Getting There . . .
The refuge is located approximately 35 miles north of Boston. From Interstate 95 take exit 57 and travel east on Route 113, then continue straight onto Route 1A South to the intersection with Rolfe's Lane for a total of 3.5 miles. Turn left onto Rolfe's Lane and travel 0.5 miles to its end. Turn right onto the Plum Island Turnpike and travel 2.0 miles crossing the Sgt. Donald Wilkinson Bridge to Plum Island. Take your first right onto Sunset Drive and travel 0.5 miles to the refuge entrance.
The refuge headquarters/visitor center is located on the west end of Plum Island Turnpike. The current entrance to the headquarters/visitor center is off Rolfes Lane about 0.4 miles from Route 1A. In the summer of 2007, a new entrance will be completed with access off the Plum Island Turnpike.
Get Google map and directions to this refuge/WMD from a specified address:
Learn More >>
A variety of management practices are in use at the refuge to enhance its value to wildlife. Among these are predator, pest plant and mosquito control, upland habitat maintenance, bird nesting structures, salt marsh restoration, and water level manipulation. In addition, the refuge, conservation organizations, and universities conduct on-site biological investigations to further understanding of wildlife and their habitats. Examples include bird banding studies and wildlife population surveys.
Each year the refuge beach is closed to all public entry beginning April 1 to provide undisturbed nesting and feeding habitat for the piping plover, a Federally threatened shorebird species. A small section may remain open for public use at Lot 1. Portions of the beach not being used by the birds may be reopened after July 1. Typically all sections are reopened by mid-late August.