Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Arboretum Drive, Newington, NH
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Free
Contact:

fws.gov/northeast/greatbay; 978-465-5753
 

Bathrooms: At the comfort station next to the parking lot
Water/Snacks: None
Map:

Formerly part of an Air Force base, Great Bay is now an important bird refuge and offers easy walks.

Great Bay offers easy walking for families.
Photo by: Kim Foley MacKinnon

Two trails are found at the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge, both of which are perfect for families. The property is one of more than 550 refuges in the National Wildlife Refuge System, run by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This refuge was once part of the Pease Air Force Base, which closed in 1989 and in 1992 was turned into a 1,000-plus-acre sanctuary along the eastern shore of New Hampshire’s Great Bay.

Today, it is an important migration and wintering habitat for the federally protected bald eagle and a prime migration habitat for the peregrine falcon. Depending on your kids, you can take Ferry Way Trail, a 2-mile round-trip hike that leads to a scenic overlook where you can peer through mounted binoculars at the boats and scenery in Great Bay, or you can choose the 0.5-mile Peverly Pond Trail, which goes along one side of the pond. If you’re feeling up to it, walk both trails to see the variety of habitats, which include mud flats, saltwater and freshwater marshes, swamps, ponds, streams, woodlands, and fields.

Ferry Way starts from the asphalt path adjacent to the chain-link fence across the road from the parking lot. After following the fence line, you’ll see a sign for the trail. Walking is easy on the abandoned dirt road here, which leads to woods. Along the way, interpretive signs tell you about the area. Peverly Pond Trail begins to the left of the parking lot and meanders through a forest to Upper Peverly Pond. In season, you can check out vernal pools.

Remember: While full-service bathrooms are in the comfort station, no drinkable water is available here.

Plan B:

The charming town of Portsmouth, a 15-minute drive from here, is fun to explore on foot.

Where to Eat Nearby:

The Newington Mall has numerous restaurants, and US 1 toward Portsmouth also offers a lot of options.



PHOTO GALLERY




TRIP COMMENTS

Get outdoor tips & trips
Yes, I want to receive expert advice on getting my family outside!




FOLLOW

TOP RATED TRIPS

Hopedale Parklands »
(2)
Walking paths, picnicking
162 Dutcher Street, Hopedale MA

Boston Nature Center and Wildlife Sanctuary »
(1)
Look for wildlife, exhibits
500 Walk Hill Street, Mattapan, MA

Alewife Reservation »
(1)
beavers, turtles, hawks, muskrats, ospreys, and more!
Acorn Park Drive, Cambridge, MA 02140

Douglas Mountain »
(1)
Look out to the Whites from a 1920s tower
Douglas Mountain Road, Sebago

RELATED TRIPS

Hopedale Parklands »
(2)
Walking paths, picnicking
162 Dutcher Street, Hopedale MA

Castle Island »

boardwalk, swimming, concession stand
2010 Day Boulevard South Boston 02127

Gore Place »
(2)
Historic house, small farm, animals
52 Gore Street, Waltham, MA

South Natick Dam »

Picnicking opportunities!
1 Mill Lane, Natick, MA 01760

© 2017 Appalachian Mountain Club | 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129
About | Privacy Policy | Contact Us