Places to Explore on the North Shore

Not sure where to start exploring? Try visiting one of our wildlife sanctuaries on the North Shore. At two sanctuaries with nature centers, friendly and incredibly knowledgeable staff members and volunteers will be happy to help you make the most of your visit!

Nature Center & Trails

Joppa Flats Education Center

Joppa Flats Education Center

Location: Newburyport

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

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Canoeing on the Ipswich River (Photo: Carol Decker)
Photo: Carol Decker

Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary

Location: Topsfield
Trails: 12 miles

Explore forests, meadows, wetlands, drumlin, and esker, and travel down the namesake river, which meanders through the sanctuary, by canoe. Details >

Preschool & Trails

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 >

Just Trails

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

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

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 >

No Trails

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 colonial waterbirds. You can view wildlife from small boats and kayaks, but landing on the island is prohibited. Details >