NEWBURYPORT – The ocean beach at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge closed to all public access beginning on Friday, April 1st in order to provide undisturbed nesting habitat for the piping plover, a small shorebird that is listed as threatened on the federal endangered species list. A small section of beach, accessible via the parking lot 1 boardwalk, will remain open to the public. Sections of the beach may be reopened in late July if it is determined that such action will not be detrimental to the plovers’ nesting success. Generally, the entire beach is reopened by mid to late August after the last plover chick fledges.
Visitors are reminded that other areas of the refuge will remain open including the Salt Pannes Wildlife Observation Area, North Pool Overlook, Hellcat Boardwalk Trail, Pines Trail, and Stage Island Pool Trail. Due to the popularity of the refuge, vehicle capacity is periodically reached with a subsequent temporary closure. An early arrival helps visitors avoid this inconvenience. A daily fee of $5/vehicle, $2 walk-on or bicycle, remains in effect, with a $20 annual pass also available. Also, other beaches are available in the area including those in Newbury and Newburyport on the northern end of Plum Island, Salisbury Beach State Reservation in Salisbury, and the beach at Crane Memorial Reservation in Ipswich.
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
6 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport, MA 01950
(978) 465-5753; Fax: (978) 465-2807; https://www.fws.gov/refuge/parker-river