Rachel Carson National Wildlife RefugeThe Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge protects 5,400 acres of salt marshes and estuaries that are home to plants and animals found nowhere else in Maine. Best of all? The refuge is only ten minutes from our Kennebunkport inn!

If you’re a nature lover, hiking enthusiast, photographer, or are just looking for some peace and quiet, you’ll love the Rachel Carson Wildlife Refuge.

The refuge, established in 1966, contains some 50 miles of Maine coastline between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth. The stretch of coastline is especially vulnerable to the impact of suburban sprawl and home to some rare plants and animals. There are plans to grow the refuge to 14,600 acres through future land acquisition.

The refuge was originally named the “Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge,” but was renamed in honor of Rachel Carson in 1969. Rachel Carson, 1907-1964, was a world-renowned marine biologist, author, and environmentalist. She loved the Maine coastline and composed a series of articles on Atlantic Coast wildlife refuges during her career. Her most famous work, the book “Silent Spring” made a clear and convincing case connecting chemical pesticides to environmental harm. She died, a victim of cancer, in 1964.

Visiting The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is an excellent place to connect with nature. The refuge contains a variety of habitats, including forested uplands, coastal meadows, barrier beaches and dunes, tidal salt marshes, and rocky Maine coastline. Visitors will enjoy astounding views and diverse wildlife along any of the refuge’s trails.

As stated above, the refuge is home to a number of both common and rare animals. Piping Plover, an endangered, beach-nesting shorebird, can be found here, along with another threatened species, the New England Cottontail. Saltmarsh Sparrows, another uncommon bird, also flourish here. As you can imagine, the refuge is a magnet for birders and wildlife photographers.

Other activities include beachcombing, canoeing, and kayaking. Hunting, angling, and shell-fishing are all permitted in season and by appropriate license or permit. Learn more at the refuge website.

The refuge is open year ’round at 321 Port Rd, Wells, ME 04090.

Kennebunkport Lodging
Captain Jefferds Inn, a Kennebunkport B&B, offers 16 individually decorated rooms, homemade 3-course breakfasts, and lush, beautiful gardens.  Come see why – book your stay today at Captain Jefferds Inn!