Sandy Point State Reservation/Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Trail

Ipswich, Massachusetts

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The 4662-acre Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, covering two-thirds of Plum Island, offers several different nature trails that traverse barren sand dunes, lush marshes, and glacial drumlins. Sandy Point State Reservation lies at the southernmost tip of the island. Plum Island is a favorite spot for birdwatchers—nearly 300 species of birds frequent the area—as well as sunbathers who have learned that by arriving early they can secure some of the few parking spaces inside the refuge. Often, on a hot summer’s day, the gates are closed and the parking lot full by 8:00 AM. The benefit of this policy to the seaside hiker is relative seclusion: where else within 35 miles of Boston can the children virtually own 7 miles of unspoiled beach for the afternoon? Hiking during the warm months requires sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, pails, and shovels.
Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island

DESCRIPTION FROM:

Best Hikes with Kids: Connecticut, Massachusetts, & Rhode Island

by Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr (The Mountaineers Books)

The 4662-acre Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, covering two-thirds of Plum Island, offers several different nature trails that traverse barren sand dunes, lush marshes, and glacial drumlins. Sandy Point State Reservation lies at the southernmost tip of the island. Plum Island is a favorite spot for birdwatchers—nearly 300 species of birds frequent the area—as well as sunbathers who have learned that by arriving early they can secure some of the few parking spaces inside the refuge.

Often, on a hot summer’s day, the gates are closed and the parking lot full by 8:00 AM. The benefit of this policy to the seaside hiker is relative seclusion: where else within 35 miles of Boston can the children virtually own 7 miles of unspoiled beach for the afternoon? Hiking during the warm months requires sunscreen, bathing suits, towels, pails, and shovels.

©  Cynthia Copeland, Thomas J. Lewis, & Emily Kerr/The Mountaineers Books. All Rights Reserved.

Activity Type: Hiking
Nearby City: Ipswich
Distance: 3
Elevation Gain: Minimal
Trail Type: Loop/Lollipop
Skill Level: Easy
Duration: 2.5 hours
Season: Year-round
Local Contacts: Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation
Local Maps: USGS Ipswich
Driving Directions: Directions to Sandy Point State Reservation/Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Trail

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