beach plums growing on tree
Berry Picking Lottery Open

Applications for the berry picking lottery at Parker River are open July 1 - August 1! Winners will be notified in early August, and receive special permission to harvest beach plums and cranberries during set dates in the fall. This lottery is free to enter! Please note: All applications must be received online using the Rec Access system (https://parkerrivernwr.recaccess.com/). Each entrant MUST make and use their own account. Applications received by e-mail, phone, or mail will not be entered into the lottery, and be ineligible for a permit.

Image of greenhead fly on plant
Greenhead Fly Status

Greenhead flies, a type of biting horsefly, are most active at the refuge during the month of July. Please note: conditions change daily and we cannot provide a day-to-day update on fly conditions. We always recommend dressing to expect flies. This includes wearing light colors and long sleeves and pants.

 baby chicks and an egg on the beach
Beach Closures in Effect

As of April 1, the majority of the refuge beach is closed to all users to protect nesting piping plovers and other shorebirds. A small section of beach remains open at Lot 1. Thank you for respecting all signs, ropes, and gates while our most fragile visitors raise their families on our beach. Marsh-side access and all refuge trails remain open.

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 parkerriver@fws.gov.

      Our Species

      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.

      Final Habitat Management Plan - Parker River NWR & Thacher Island NWR

      This Habitat Management Plan (HMP) provides a long-term vision and specific guidance on managingpriority species, habitats, and ecosystems at Parker River and Thacher Island National Wildlife Refuges(NWRs). This is accomplished by determining the refuges’ priorities, setting goals and objectives...