About Us

Wapack National Wildlife Refuge, established in 1972 through a donation from Laurence and Lorna Marshall, was New Hampshire's first refuge. The refuge is located about 20 miles west of Nashua, New Hampshire and encompasses the 2,278 ft. North Pack Monadnock Mountain. 

The refuge is a popular hawk migration area and provides nesting habitat for numerous migratory songbirds such as the tree sparrow, Swainson's thrush, magnolia warbler, crossbills, pine grosbeaks and white-throated sparrow. The refuge also supports a wide variety of upland wildlife including deer, bear, coyote, fisher, fox, mink and weasel. 

Many people visit the refuge to hike its four trails, including a four mile section of the 21-mile Wapack Trail, a spur of the Appalachian Trail. Wapack Trail passes over the top of North Pack Monadnock and offers outstanding opportunities for viewing migratory hawks and a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains. 

The Wapack refuge is administered by staff from Parker River National Wildlife Refuge in Newburyport, Massachusetts. 

Our Mission

Encompassing the North Pack Monadnock Mountain in southern New Hampshire, the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge provides exceptional mature spruce-fir and northern hardwood-mixed habitat for wildlife, particularly migratory birds. We will manage the refuge to preserve its natural conditions in a setting that appears to have been affected primarily by the forces of nature.

All visitors are welcome to enjoy opportunities to observe and photograph nature along refuge trails, including a 4-mile segment of the Wapack Trail. The rock outcrop and cliff on the mountain peak afford an ideal location to view migrating hawks each fall. Old and new partnerships with other federal agencies, state agencies, local conservation organizations, and volunteers will foster public stewardship of this refuge and its resources, and enhance public understanding of the role of the National Wildlife Refuge System in conserving our nation’s trust resources. 

Refuge Purpose(s) 

Each unit of the National Wildlife Refuge System is established to serve a statutory purpose that targets the conservation of native species dependent on its lands and waters. All activities on those acres are reviewed for compatibility with this statutory purpose.  

The Service established the refuge for the following purpose and under the following authority: “for use as an inviolate sanctuary, or for any other management purpose, for migratory birds” (Migratory Bird Conservation Act, 16 U.S.C. 715d). 

Our History

1923 - Wapack Trail completed

1972 - Wapack National Wildlife Refuge became the first 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
in New Hampshire, when Laurence and Lorna Marshall donated land to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

2008 – Comprehensive Conservation Plan becomes final

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