Maine might be best known for its beaches, but there is a lot of incredible nature to be found once you venture just a few miles inland from the ocean.

One such place is the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. It was named after Rachel Carson, a very popular and world-renowned marine biologist, who was also a very outspoken environmental activist during her lifetime. She was also editor in chief of the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Let’s take a closer look at the refuge and the wildlife it has to offer.

Natural Landscapes

What’s so great about this place? Well, it covers the best of both worlds. Nestled into approximately 5,400 acres along 80 miles of Maine’s very popular Southern Coast, it’s the perfect destination for beach tourists who are looking to see a few other sites on their vacations.

The refuge is comprised of a lot of different types of habitat. Visitors will be able to explore everything from rocky coastlines to salt marshes, river estuaries, and dunes. Since there is so much of the refuge that is on and near water, visitors can kayak and canoe the area, as well as fish too.

Because of the varied habitat in the regular visitor can enjoy a lot of hiking and hunting too, permits are allowed during various points throughout the year.


One of the biggest draws to the refuge is the abundance of wildlife that can be found. This is especially true when it comes to the migratory birds that come and go from the area. So, it’s no wonder this is a popular hotspot for birdwatchers who want to see sparrows, gulls, plovers, and sandpipers.

There aren’t just lots of birds to see at the refuge, visitors will also be able to check out some interesting mammals that they don’t usually get to see up close like deer, moose, bears, and even the seals that rest along the salt marshes.

Visitors should also keep a close lookout for a number of the endangered and protected species that make the refuge their home. These include bald eagles, piping plovers, and Maine cottontails.


How to Get There

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is easily accessible from many points along the East Coast. Located right off Route 95 in Wells, Maine, it is only about a 90-minute drive from Boston, so it’s easily accessible by car.

However, if you prefer public transportation, Downeaster service via Amtrak is available from Boston to Wells Station. From there, the 4 mile trip to the refuge can be taken via cab, or bicycle (which can be brought on the train.

Additionally, there is also an airport that many from around the country use to reach Maine. Portland Airport is only a 30-minute drive from Wells and the rest of the South Coast.

This is just one of the awesome hotspots you’ll find in and around the popular Maine Southern Coast. If you’ve been to the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge and enjoyed it, be sure to let us know in the comments!