Great Salt Marsh by Water

Because the majority of wildlife habitat at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge is salt marsh, one of the best ways to see and experience the refuge is by canoe, kayak, or Paddle Board (SUP). Our water trail, which begins and ends at the boat launch (opposite Lot 1), will aid in your exploration. The water trail is comprised of two segments: Orange Trail (makers 1-6) and Yellow Trail (markers 7-13). Both segments are out and back. Please allow approximately 2-2.5 hours round trip for the Orange Trail. For the Yellow Trail, which covers a greater distance, allow 2.5-3 hours. Travel times are approximate and will vary with paddler ability and pace.

Tips for a Safe and Enjoyable Trip in the Salt Marsh

  • Boat with a buddy & dress for the weather
  • Wear a personal flotation device (PFD) and carry an extra paddle
  • Leave a “float plan” with a friend; let them know where you are going and when you plan to return
  • Optimal time for kayaking the marsh is within a two hour window either side of high tide; tide times are available at the refuge entrance station
  • Be alert for motorized watercraft
  • Carry a cell phone and GPS receiver in a floatable “dry bag”
  • Consider carrying a first aid kit, bilge pump, water bottle, snack food and insect repellant
  • Bring this water trail guide with you


  • Orange Trail
  • Yellow Trail