Monday, January 16, 2017

Get Back to Nature on Plum Island

Plum Island offered the perfect outdoor escape on our way to Portland, Maine from Gloucester, Massachusetts. The island was teeming with wildlife and had trails that led to serene views.

Saltwater marsh on Plum Island

Plum Island is located near Newburyport, MA and is considered a barrier beach island.  There are two separate parks located on the island, Parker River National Wildlife Refuge and Sandy Point State Reservation. Each park had trails and beaches for visitors enjoyment.

Bird watching was great!

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
The park is an amazing place to enjoy nature. One of the main goals for the refuge is to provide a safe haven for resident and migratory birds. The Piping Plover is highly protected and it is not surprising to see beaches closed to protect their nests.

Trail through sand dunes to a ocean lookout

Wildflower meadow along the road

During our time at the refuge (early June) we did some easy hiking and bird watching. We were not able to actually get on a beach at this park because they were closed for Plover nests. However, there was beach access at Sandy Point.

Was so fun to try to capture all the birds

Along the trail to the ocean lookout

Boardwalk trail through the sand dunes

View from the ocean lookout at the end of the trail

Sandy Point State Reservation
Sandy Point is at the southern tip of Plum Island and a short drive through Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is necessary to get to the park. Here we were able to get beach access. The beach was fairly crowded because it was the only one open to the public. The water was still extremely chilly, so ankle deep was as far as I was willing to go.

On the beach!

Beach views

It was quite windy, so there was a lot of sand blowing. It was cool to watch but hurt! 

Plum Island was a wonderful place to leisurely experience nature on the northeast coast. It is the perfect place to view wildlife, especially birds. The trails are not difficult; therefore, expect an easy day filled with a variety of scenic landscapes.

Have you been to Plum Island? Tell us about it in the comments below!

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