Places to Explore — North Shore

Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries on the North Shore.

Nature Center & Trails

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Topsfield
Trails: 12 miles

Whether exploring by foot or paddle, you'll marvel at the diversity of wildlife inhabiting this sanctuary's forests, meadows, wetlands, and namesake river. Details >

Joppa Flats Education Center

Joppa Flats Education Center

Location: Newburyport
Trails: None

Celebrate this region's wildlife-rich habitats through guided tours, marine touch tanks, art exhibits, drop-in programs, and interpretive displays. Details >

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Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary

Endicott Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Wenham
Trails: 0.5 miles

Enjoy a short walk on a trail through mature mixed forest with views over a wet meadow. The building is home to the Ipswich River Nature Preschool and serves as a base for several of Mass Audubon’s staff. Details >

Trails Only

Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary

Eastern Point Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Gloucester
Trails: 0.5 miles

Located on a peninsula near the historic Eastern Point Lighthouse, the small sanctuary is a hot spot for butterflies and seabirds at particular times of the year. Details >

Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Marblehead Neck Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Marblehead
Trails: 0.85 miles

In the center of a peninsula that extends into Massachusetts Bay, Marblehead Neck's swamp, thickets, and woodlands are a haven for migratory birds, especially warblers. Details >

Nahant Thicket Wildlife Sanctuary

Song Sparrow at Nahant Thicket (Photo: Rosemary Mosco)
Song Sparrow (Photo: Rosemary Mosco)

Nahant Thicket Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Nahant
Trails: 0.25 miles

Explore this inviting spot for hundreds of migrating songbirds such as warblers, vireos, and thrushes along a short trail that winds through a tiny patch of red maple swamp. Details >

Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Sunset at Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary © Paul Mozell
© Paul Mozell

Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Rowley
Trails: 1.7 miles

Encompassing spectacular coastal woodlands, salt marshes, tidal creeks, and salt pannes, Rough Meadows supports an astonishing diversity of wildlife. Details >

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Straitsmouth Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Lighthouse on Straitsmouth Island © Thacher Island Association
© Thacher Island Association

Straitsmouth Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Rockport
Trails: 0.33 miles

Encompassing most of a rocky island 500 feet from the mainland in Rockport, this wildlife sanctuary is adjacent to the town-owned historic lighthouse and lies within a designated Important Bird Area. Accessible by kayak. Details > 

No Trails

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Kettle Island Wildlife Sanctuary

White faced ibis © Craig Gibson
White-faced ibis © Craig Gibson

Kettle Island Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Manchester-by-the-Sea
Trails: None

A designated Important Bird Area, the island hosts a large colony of nesting waterbirds. You can view wildlife from small boats and kayaks, but landing on the island is prohibited. Details >