Hellcat Interpretive Trail

The Hellcat trail system is 5,334 linear feet of elevated boardwalk meandering through dunes, shrub thickets, vernal pools, maritime forest and brackish marsh habitats.

photo: Going up the Dune Loop


This trail was traveled by a
NRT Ambasssaror on 07/16/2018.

Type: Nature Trail
Length: 1.00 miles
Loop Trail? Yes
Allowed Uses: Pedestrian - Walking/Hiking/Running
Wildlife Observation
Agency: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
Entry Fee? $5.00
Parking Fee? No

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Directions

Location: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge located on Plum Island in Newbury, Rowley and Ipswich Massachusetts
State(s): Massachusetts
Counties: Essex
Latitude: 42.74142
Longitude
: -70.79552

From Newburyport, MA take Water Street to the Plum island Turnpike, onto Plum Island. Take the next right (South) to The Refuge Gatehouse. Proceed on Refuge Road 2.5 miles to Parking Lot # 4 Note: Before Plum Island on the Turnpike is the Refuge Headquarters.

Description

Note: A really significant portion of the Marsh Loop of the trail is closed due to safety issues with the support structure.

Parker River NWR is noted for its trails, boardwalks and observation platforms which greatly enhance wildlife viewing opportunities for the many visitors that frequent the facility.

The Hellcat Interpretive Trail System is the premiere area on the Refuge where this activity occurs. The overall Hellcat trail system is 5,334 linear feet of elevated boardwalk meandering through dunes, shrub thickets, vernal pools, maritime forest and brackish marsh habitats. The boardwalks and trails on Parker River NWR are renowned through out the birding community and used by large numbers of visitors from the non-birding public, school groups and others that come to the Refuge with the Hellcat Trails being the focus for wildlife /bird observations. The Refuge conducted a Visitor Use Survey in 2011 which indicated that 48% of Refuge visitors hiked the trails. This equates to over 120,000 individuals utilizing this trail system annually.

Additional Details

Width: 60 inches.
Primary Surface: Boardwalk
Secondary Surface: None
Elevation Low Point: 5
Elevation High Point: 40
Elevation Gain (cumulative): Not Available

Year Designated:
2013

Supporting Webpages and Documents

Website: Parker River NWR

Contact Information

For more information and current conditions, contact the trail manager (listed below). For questions, suggestions, and corrections to information listed on the website, contact American Trails.

Information Contact:
Bill Peterson
Refuge Manager
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
6 Plum Island Trunpike
Newburyport , MA 01950
978-465-5753
https://fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/

Trail Management:
Sharon Ware
Deputy Refuge Manager
U.S. Fish & WIldlife Service
6 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport , MA 01950
978-465-5753
https://fws.gov/refuge/parker_river/

 

Photos

 

The main trail sign. Photo by Andy Griffith.

The main trail sign. Photo by Andy Griffith.

Road Crossing on Dune Loop. Photo by Andy Griffith.

Road Crossing on Dune Loop. Photo by Andy Griffith.

 

Plans for Hellcat Interprative Trail Reconstruction. Photo by Andy Griffith.

Plans for Hellcat Interprative Trail Reconstruction. Photo by Andy Griffith.

Reviews

Marsh View

One portion of the Marsh Trail is open to the duck bind which has a nice view of the Marsh over to main land. One still needs to pay attention to the board conditions.

July 22, 2018

 

 



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