Perkins Island Camping at Ipswich River
Perkins Island is the sanctuary's only camping area providing a wilderness-type setting at the sanctuary for canoeists. Camping is available to individual family member(s) and youth groups on a fee/permit basis which must be obtained in advance of one's planned canoe/camping trip. Camping is for Mass Audubon members only. Youth groups must have at least one adult Mass Audubon member present.
In order to maintain a peaceful atmosphere and reduce the human impact upon Perkins Island, only three camping sites are available. Each site is limited to a maximum of 15 campers. If a group exceeds 15, a second site and permit, if available, must be obtained.
There are no shelters or restroom facilities on the island.
Camping is allowed May 1 through October 31.
Check-in Time: You may check in any time after 2:00 pm but before the office closes. Check-out is by 11:00 am on the last morning of your stay.
Camping Permit Fee: Permits are not issued to anyone under 18 years of age.
- $4.00 per person, per night
- Minimum site fee of $15.00 per night.
Camping permits are issued on a first-come,-first-served, pre-paid basis. The camping fees must be paid at the time of securing the permit. Fee refunds require 48 hours advance notice of cancellation. Permits are not transferable.
To reserve a campsite: Contact the sanctuary at 978-887-9264 or email@example.com for a reservation form and to check availability.
Campground Rules: Violation of rules can result in revoking of camping privileges.
- Pets are not permitted.
- No cutting of dead or living trees.
- Due to fire hazard in the pine forest, fires outside of provided pits are forbidden.
- Alcohol is not permissible.
- Headset radios only.
- No firearms or fireworks.
- Camp only within your assigned site.
- Be considerate of other campers by keeping the noise level down.
- Your Camping Permit must be with you on site and be presented to a sanctuary patroller upon request.
Getting to the Island
If you plan to use your own canoe(s), please note that canoe(s) can be put in at Rt. 97 (one mile upstream of Perkins Island) or further upstream at River Road behind the Essex County Co-op. Vehicles are not allowed on the sanctuary trails. It is approximately a 10 minute walk (1/2 mile) to carry your canoe(s)/gear from the parking lot to the canoe landing on the sanctuary.
Campers wishing to leave vehicles, canoe trailers, etc. at the sanctuary parking lot overnight may do so; however, you will be asked to sign a form relieving Mass Audubon and its staff from any responsibility or liability for damage, loss, or theft to vehicles and trailers. All vehicles parked overnight on sanctuary property are at the owner’s risk.
We also offer canoe rentals to Mass Audubon members.
Canoe Rental Fee:
- $35.00 per canoe for a 24-hour period. (PFDs and paddles included)
- Limit: 3 people per canoe, 2 canoes per Mass Audubon member
- Use of a canoe beyond the 24 hour camping period will result in payment of the regular hourly rate of $7.00.