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  • Writer's picturelil pines


At the mouth of the Parker River of Plum Island, you can walk boardwalks, explore dunes and bogs, and watch for more than three hundred species of birds.

From downtown Newburyport, Massachusetts, take Plum Island Turnpike all the way to the beach, where you'll turn right onto Refuge Road. Stop at any of the lots for amazing views of the Atlantic. We especially love the refuge off-season.

At the Hellcat Interpretive Trail parking lot, you can climb an observation tower or start along some of the boardwalks. Or you can continue down to the end where seventy-seven-acre Sandy Point State Reservation has trails and a horseshoe shaped expansive beach.

On the other side of the Parker River, off of Route 1A, you can check out Mass Audubon's Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary. The salt marshes and meadows are beautiful. In Newburyport, explore a few homes preserved by Historic New England. The Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm is open for visits Thursday through Sunday between June and October, and the Coffin House is open on the first and third Saturdays between June and October. Don't forget to stop in Oldie's Marketplace right at the mouth of the Merrimack in Newburyport for hours of searching through some of the best antiques in the area.

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