Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge

Last year, we didn’t get out to kayak at all. The heat was so bad and the timing never worked out. This year, we decided to change that!

Since this was our first trip, we decided to do something fairly easy. Luckily, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service provided us a great place to launch our kayaks from in Newbury, MA: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge.

There are two different “water trails” laid out in the marsh, both taking between 2 and 3 hours, that wind through the marshes of Plum Island.  The trick is, however, that you need to be there in the 4 hours on either side of high tide…otherwise, you’ll be walking yourself out in the muck, ewww!

The bugs weren’t too bad, but this poor dragonfly got stuck in the water and then caught under Eric’s kayak. I fished him out and let him dry off on my paddle…he was able to fly off, uninjured!

We saw a ton of awesome birds while we were paddling: white herons, greater yellow legs, purple martins, red winged blackbirds, lots of others we couldn’t ID, and a pair of ospreys! No baby in the nest just yet or it was just born. Didn’t see any babies sticking their heads out of the nest.

Want to know more information about the wildlife refuge and when the best times are to kayak? Stop by their awesome Visitor Center. Not only do they have clean bathrooms and maps, there is also an auditorium and displays about the wildlife in the Refuge!


Overall, it was a great trip and one that I would highly recommend. The currents at the end of high tide were a little tough for me since I haven’t been lifting recently, but it was so calm and pleasant the rest of the time it was worth it!


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