Did you know that the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge – less than a 10 minute drive from our Kennebunk Inn – contains 5,400 acres of protected forest and coastline unlike any other in Maine?
Established in 1966, the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge consists of ten divisions – between Kittery and Cape Elizabeth – spread along 50 miles of York and Cumberland county coastline with an eye on eventually containing 14,600 acres, pending further land acquisition.
Endangered shorebirds and mammals, migratory waterfowl, shellfish, and more rely upon the protected marsh lands, estuaries, and shrublands of the refuge. The beauty of the resulting, unsullied nature contained within Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is difficult to describe and overstate.
Visitors to Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge can expect to see diverse wildlife along any one of the five developed trails that traverse a variety of habitats, making the refuge a magnet for birdwatchers and nature photographers.
Tidal flats within the refuge offer opportunities for beach-combing and recreational shell-fishing, while other sites within the park allow for daytime fishing, canoeing, and kayaking. Be sure to check the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge website for a list of events, visitor activities, restrictions, and more.
Originally known as the Coastal Maine National Wildlife Refuge, the site was renamed in 1969 for Rachel Carson (1907-1962). A world-renowned marine biologist, author, and environmentalist, Rachel Carson received the honor for her untiring environmentalism and love of the diverse and endangered, natural Maine coast habitats.
During her tenure as aquatic biologist and Editor-in-Chief for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Rachel composed a series of articles on Atlantic Coast wildlife refuges. This thread ran through her greatest work, too: Silent Spring drew clear and convincing connections between the unrestrained use of chemical pesticides with deadly consequences for all in the environment – including humans.
The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge protects a unique range of major habitat types, including forested upland, barrier beach/dune, coastal meadows, tidal salt marsh, and Maine’s distinctive rocky coast. Piping Plover, a federally threatened and state endangered, beach-nesting shorebird, New England Cottontail, and Saltmarsh Sparrows are just a few of the rare and common animals to be found here.
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge
321 Port Rd, Wells, ME 04090
Click here for a map of the refuge
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Lodging
Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge is not the only attraction conveniently near The Inn at English Meadows. Our newly renovated Greek Revival home is within short drive or even walking distance of ocean beaches and rocky coastlines, as well as a variety of shops, galleries, fine dining, and other activities in Kennebunkport and the Lower Village of Kennebunk. No matter what brings you to the Kennebunks, The Inn at English Meadows is the perfect place to call home.