Piping plover on the beach
Beach Closures

As of April 1, the majority of the refuge beach has been closed to public entry to provide undisturbed nesting and feeding habitat for piping plovers. A small section of beach will remain open at Lot 1. You can learn more about the importance of protecting these special shorebirds by watching this short informational clip. A list of nearby beaches and recreation areas can be found here.

Located along the northeast coast of Massachusetts in an area of dense and expanding human development, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge has special significance and value to migratory birds, other wildlife, and people. The refuge was established in 1941, and today consists of more than 4,700 acres of diverse upland and wetland habitats including sandy beach and dune, maritime shrubs and forests, cranberry bogs, man-made impoundments, salt marsh and associated creek, river, and mud flat. These refuge habitats support varied and abundant populations of resident and migratory wildlife including more than 300 species of birds and additional species of mammals, reptiles, amphibians, insects, and plants. The refuge also provides critical habitat for the federally threatened piping plover.
A refuge biologist doing salt marsh sparrow work in a salt marsh at Parker River NWR.
Join our team!

Looking for an exciting and fulfilling career in conservation and public engagement?  Parker River is hiring for multiple positions! Visit the 'Get Involved' page or click here to be directed to the job opportunities.

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Pass Types & Fees

Paid Passes

Free Passes

  • Day pass (car): $5
  • Day pass (bike or pedestrian): $2
  • Annual refuge pass: $20
  • Annual senior pass: $20
  • Federal duck stamp (all refuges): $25
  • Interagency pass: $80
  • Lifetime senior pass: $80
  • Commercial bus (20 passengers): $20
  • Commercial bus (20+ passengers): $30
  • Every kid outdoors - 4th grade pass
  • Access pass
  • Veterans & Gold Star family member pass
  • Active military pass


Location and Contact Information

      Our Library

      Image of a red winged blackbird

      Need more assurance that winter is really ending? Come explore the refuge on a self-guided scavenger hunt for signs of spring. Engage all your senses (ok, not taste!), to learn more about how our resident plants, birds, frogs, and other wildlife respond to the changing seasons.