Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge offers opportunities for people of all ages to see an array of wildlife in its diverse habitats. There are two trails to explore, and both are family friendly with generally easy terrain. The Upper Peverly Pond Trail is only half a mile long and is wheelchair accessible. The trail has a boardwalk that loops through the forest and provides a viewing area at Upper Peverly Pond. The William Furber Ferry Way Trail is a bit longer at 2 miles, and it immerses you into the range of habitats found in the refuge, from forest to field to wetland. The trail starts across the road from the large, paved parking lot, and it passes a beaver pond and apple orchard before arriving at Great Bay. Due to the wet and muddy nature of some areas of this trail, waterproof footwear is recommended.
While visiting the refuge, you may encounter a deer, coyote, red fox, or turkey. Beavers, river otters, frogs, salamanders, and turtles may be found in wet areas. Listen as you walk, as many songbirds live in the refuge during the summer, and keep an eye out for raptors soaring overhead. The refuge is open year round, and some wildlife species change with the season. Many raptors can be found in the refuge during migration in the spring and fall, and bald eagles may be seen during the winter.
The refuge sits on what used to be part of the Pease Air Force Base, and remnants of the land’s history may be visible along the trails. Most notably, across from the parking area and along the first section of the William Furber Ferry Way Trail, you’ll see a fenced off area where concrete bunkers for weapons storage once stood.