Coastal Maine is a destination for both national and international visitors. Visitors are drawn to the area's beaches, rocky coastline, and forests every year. Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge offers an alternative for those seeking solitude and a connection with nature.
While our main purpose is to protect wildlife and natural resources, the refuge offers a variety of ways for the public to experience and appreciate its protected public lands including three main nature trails and many wildlife observation stations featuring every habitat type found on the refuge, hunting and fishing opportunities, interpretive and educational programs, a visitor information center, many volunteering opportunities, as well as other recreational activities.
For information on trails, wildlife viewing and photography, and other recreational opportunities at the refuge, click on the button below.
Location and Contact Information
Southern coastal Maine contains a greater diversity of upland plant and animal species than any other part of the state. Yet, this biologically rich area is the most densely populated part of Maine, and continues to experience rapid growth. The refuge divisions, distributed along 50 miles of Maine's southern coast, lie in the heart of that region. Along with salt marshes the refuge supports other coastal habitats including dune grassland, beach, subtidal and intertidal mudflats, marine open water, tidal river, maritime shrubland, and upland forest. Those habitats provide critical buffers for the salt marsh salt marsh
Salt marshes are found in tidal areas near the coast, where freshwater mixes with saltwater.
Learn more about salt marsh and habitat for many aquatic and upland species of conservation concern.
There are so many ways to get involved at Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. Some activities may involve tasks such as winter rabbit tracking, habitat restoration, plant propagation, and invasive plant removal. Share your knowledge of the natural world by performing surveys or lend a hand at our visitor center by helping orient visitors to the area. We also host several volunteer days throughout the year that will appeal to anyone who would like to get their hands dirty. This is a great opportunity to learn about the refuge, what we do to protect wildlife and their habitat, gain experience, meet new people, and have fun!
Please call (207) 646-9226, ext. 21, to sign up for the volunteer email list and learn more about the refuge.
Projects and Research
Refuge staff conserves, creates, and restores habitats to benefit a diversity of wildlife. We focus on the highest priority lands; salt marshes, tidal rivers, forests, beaches, and thickets. These areas are home to many animals, both common and rare. Of course we don’t do it alone, we work closely with our conservation partners and communities.