Date Of Visit: September 23, 2017
Location: Arboretum Drive West, Newington, New Hampshire
Hours: open daily, dawn to dusk
Handicapped Accessible: Yes, some trails have boardwalks and are not too steep or difficult
Parking: There are about 40 parking spaces in the main parking area (people do park on the side of the road when the spaces fill up)
Website: Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge
Trail Map: Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge Trail Map
Trail Size/Difficulty: 1,000 acres, easy to moderate trails
Highlights: easy trails, scenic views, boardwalks, wildlife
- mosquitoes, ticks and poison ivy are a common issue at the refuge
- bald eagles, especially during the winter, are a common sight there
One of the more overlooked parks in New Hampshire, Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge is home to a variety of wildlife, pretty flowers (when in bloom) and scenic views.
Great Bay has a boardwalk with an overlook at the main trail at the parking area.
Across from the main parking area is a fenced off area that was once used to be used as a weapons storage area for the nearby Pease Air Force Base.
The trails at Great Bay are fairly easy with a few very moderate inclines.
There is a bridge along the trail as well as an overlook with a view of the bay.
When I went to visit there were still lots of flowers in bloom.
There were lots of chipmunks and squirrels scurrying around gathering acorns for the upcoming winter. I saw this little critter while I was walking along the boardwalk. If you look closely, you can see what looks like a cut or injury to his or her head just above his or her left eye. It is a sign of how unyielding and harsh nature can be. But, it is also a sign of how resilient and hardy animals are regardless of their size. I have to admit I wanted to take this little fella home and nurse the chipmunk back to health. But, as you can see from the photo, wildlife has a way of healing and surviving.
Chipmunks aren’t the only animals at the refuge. There are birds, turkeys and turtles as well as other types of wildlife and insects there.
The one downside of Great Bay, for me at least, is that dogs are not allowed there. However, I did see some evidence of them and I do think they visit from time to time, although I did not see any during my visit.