Springtime is one of our favorites on the North Shore of Massachusetts, as we watch as the snow retreat and color return to the landscape. And while the area has many small towns full of restaurants, culture, art, and history, there’s still plenty of unspoiled nature to enjoy. No visit to our boutique Plum Island hotel would be complete without a nature walk through one of the area’s many state parks. With water views, sweeping sandy beaches, and marshes, you’ll enjoy the scenery of the North Shore on these nature walks in Newburyport.
Parker River National Wildlife | Refuge Rd, Newbury | (978) 386-3170
Just south of Blue—Inn on the Beach, you’ll find the start of the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge on Plum Island (named for the beach plums that line the dunes). The refuge is part of a patchwork of local, state, and federally protected land that creates a nature sanctuary with miles of sandy beaches, salt marshes, and scrubby woods. Park in any one of the turnouts along Refuge Rd. and enjoy a nature walk in Newburyport along the ocean-facing beach. Birdwatching is popular in the area too, although often nesting shorebirds in the early summer mean the beach is closed to visitors.
Maudslay State Park | 74 Curzon Mill Rd, Newburyport | (978) 465-7223
This in-town Newburyport state park runs along the Merrimack River. The park contains land which was once the private estate of a wealthy Newburyport family, so you’ll find landscaping and a few remaining historic buildings. Springtime nature walks in Newburyport mean blooming azaleas and rhododendrons along the trails. Enjoy a walk on the miles of trails or bring a picnic and stay for lunch in the manicured gardens.
Mass Audubon Joppa Flats Education Center | 1 Plum Island Turnpike, Newburyport | (978) 462-9998
This nature center on the Merrimack River has 52 acres of woodlands and marshes for you to explore. The protected habitat for birds means there’s ample opportunity to spot native and migratory species on your nature walk in Newburyport. While there’s plenty to do on your own, the nature center offers a robust schedule of adult and family programs including canoeing and guided bird walks.