Hellcat Interpretive Trail

Newbury, MA

The Parker River Wildlife Refuge in Newbury, MA is 4,662 acres of diverse landscape and animal habitats. Parking at trailhead for about 20 or so cars. Cost $5 cash at the entrance gate. 

It was established to preserve the feeding, resting, and nesting areas of migratory birds.


2.2 Miles

Hike Time

1.5 Hours

After a late start on Monday, we finally made it back to the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge to hike the Hellcat Interpretive Trail. You can walk/hike the entire trail without leaving the new boardwalk. The redesigned decking is made out of pressure-treated lumber and recycled plastic and hosts about 150,000 visitors a year. The entire loop is in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act – so if you are in a wheelchair you can make the entire loop. Also no dogs or bikes on this trail. Parking can also be a problem on summer days and fall weekends. There is a $5 cash charge to enter the refuge if you don’t have a National Park pass or seasonal park pass. 

plum island Beach at lot #1.

Walking along the boardwalk.

The foliage along the boardwalk was so beautiful.

The Ocean Overlook is spectacular – we could see all the way  to Halibut Point in Rockport from this location – with the help of our binoculars. Again the fall colors were outstanding!

The Marsh Overlook faces the Dyke Trail and you can see the plants and birds resting and nesting in the grasses along the edges of the marsh. 

The marsh overlook

The freshwater marshes of the Parker River Wildlife Refuge are home to many unique kinds of grasses and plants.

Support the Cape Ann Community Foundation

Dave holding the Cape Ann Community Foundation’s license plate at the Hellcat trailhead. 

Show your love for Cape Ann and give back to the communities you call home by purchasing a Cape Ann license plate!

All proceeds to go to supporting the area’s local non-profits!