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The Great Bay serves as critical habitat for numerous bird and fish species. Credit: Greg Thompson/USFWS

Exploring New Hampshire’s Great Bay Estuary

By Tom Richardson

Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge in Newington, New Hampshire, a stone’s throw from Portsmouth, comprises a 1,100 acres sprawling estuarine shoreline and coastal forest.

The Great Bay Refuge is open year-round. Credit: Greg Thompson, USFWS

The Refuge features trails for hiking, birding (Great Bay supports 50 to 80 percent of the state’s wintering waterfowl population), photography, and other outdoor activities. In winter, the same trails can be used for crosscountry skiing and snowshoeing.

Visitors will find two short trails (Upper Peverly Pond and William Furber Ferry Way) that lead through a variety of coastal habitat, as well as open fields, an abandoned apple orchard, and a beaver pond.  A restroom and an interpretive kiosk can be found near the parking area. Interpretive programs are regularly offered at the refuge.

You can learn more about the Refuge through its online Brochure.