Salt marsh under partially cloudy sky.
Public Comment Period Open for Habitat Management Plan

The 30 day public comment period is open through October 28 for the Draft Habitat Management Plan for Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges. The Habitat Management Plan provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managing priority species, habitats, and ecosystems. Open houses will be held on October 11 at 12:30pm and 6pm at Refuge Visitor Center at 6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA.

Deer hunter with harvested doe
Parker River Shotgun Hunt Now Open

The lottery for the two day shotgun hunt at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is open from September 1 - October 1.

The hunt this year will take place on Friday, December 8 and Saturday, December 9. Please remember that winning the lottery grants you access for one of these dates.

If you have questions about entering the priority category for youth / novice / mobility impaired adults, please contact Ella Weber at or 978-572-5617.

If you need help entering the lottery itself, please attend our hunting application help desk on Wednesday, September 13 from 10am-12pm.

Use this link to enter: - Good luck!

Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts in an area of dense and expanding human development, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has special significance and value to migratory birds, other wildlife, and people. The refuge also provides high-quality opportunities for nature-based recreation, including walking & biking, wildlife observation & photography, hunting, fishing, paddling, and beach use. We hope you visit us soon!

Visit Us

Come explore YOUR national wildlife refuge national wildlife refuge
A national wildlife refuge is typically a contiguous area of land and water managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service  for the conservation and, where appropriate, restoration of fish, wildlife and plant resources and their habitats for the benefit of present and future generations of Americans.

Learn more about national wildlife refuge
by visiting during open hours, or joining one of our programs!

The refuge supports a wide variety of wildlife-dependent recreational opportunities. You can learn more about how to enjoy some of our popular activities using the links below:

Pass Types & Fees

Paid Passes

Free Passes

***If purchasing passes at the refuge, payment can be made by cash or check only. Please call ahead to ensure that someone will be able to sell you a pass when you wish to come. Alternatively, most passes can be purchased online through Rec Access or USGS.***

Location and Contact Information


      To schedule a program, tour, or field trip of Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, contact us at 978-465-5753, or via email at

      Our Species

      Grey, white and black bird on sand in the foreground

      Size: 18 cm (7.25 in) in length. Color: Breeding season: Pale brown above, lighter below; black band across forehead; bill orange with black tip; legs orange; white rump. Male: Complete or incomplete black band encircles the body at the breast. Female: Paler head band; incomplete breast band....

      FWS Focus

      Our Library

      Alternative Beaches & Recreation Areas

      Parker River NWR periodically closes due to capacity and/or management requirements. But fear not! There are many local beaches and recreation areas to explore.