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“A great place for nature lovers”

Ranked #1 of 30 things to do in Newburyport
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: Covering 4,662 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats, this refuge was established to preserve the feeding, resting and nesting areas of migratory birds.
Reviewed 25 August 2011

As a former local resident, this was somewhere I went often, to enjoy excercise, a quiet walk, bird watching. I try to go when ever I come back and visit. This is an example of unspoiled seashore, marshland and scrub forest that is now rare in some parts of New England. It is part of the Great Marsh and is a great attractant to wildlife. To enjoy viewing wildlife it is always best to go in early morning or late afternoon or evening. That is when animals are most active. But even in the middle of the day, there are superb views of dunes, shore, marsh and woods. It is a favorite haunt of local birdwatchers and photographers. There are several trails that are an easy walk, so you often see families there on weekends. You also see people jogging and bycicling. You can also launch kayaks from an area near lot 1. If you are there in the summer, then some of the beach areas are closed for nesting piping plovers, a tiny little bird, an endangered species. However, you can drive to the beach at the end at Sandy Point State Park.

1  Thank dlmFL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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272 - 276 of 278 reviews

Reviewed 22 September 2010

Maybe it was the time of year (September) or day (afternoon) or weather (drizzly), but we saw no wildlife (except mosquitos!) It was a pleasant walk, at least. There was an observation tower, and from up there we did spot some birds and a beaver dam. Not sure it was worth making the trip, though

1  Thank Mindymorr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 May 2010

This beautiful refuge is a great spot for birding and rewarding nature walks. Stop by the visitor center first for a map and an overview. Entry into the refuge is $5 per car. Plum Island is a barrier island and is a 6 mile long stretch of beach with many nature trails and ocean vistas. There are 7 parking lots with either beach access, observation points or trail heads. Some of these lots were closed in May due to the piping plover nesting, but there was still plenty to see and do. It is also possible to bike the entire island.

Stop by Lot 1 first for a view of the beach and the entire island. Lot 4 is the trail head to both the Marsh Trail and the Dunes Trail. The Marsh Trail is very easy and has a boardwalk over a fresh water marsh and through the woods. We saw lots of turtles, birds, beaver huts and even spotted a beaver. The Dunes Trail is not difficult, but part of the path has wooden steps through dunes up to an ocean view. On this trail, we saw many varieties of warblers, kinglets and sparrows as well as shore birds. There were birds everywhere you look. Early May is a busy migration period, so we were lucky to see so many different types. At the very end of the refuge is Sandy Point, a state beach.

Be sure to pack binoculars and a lunch, there are no "snack bars". There are restrooms along the drive. I have read the green flies can be bothersome, so take that as a light warning. We had no issues with bugs May 1. Plan on spending 2-4 hours to take your time and enjoy.

5  Thank NekoCat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2009

Although the weather didn't cooperate for us, we still enjoyed the scenery and nature. The movie & displays at the visitor's center was very helpful in understanding the refuge. The volunteer at the desk was very friendly and informative.

1  Thank infotohelp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 October 2015
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Thank YULIAEROFEEVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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