Date: 9/29/17 12:44 pm From: Hojnacki, Katlyn <katlyn_hojnacki...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Parker River NWR Closes Marsh Loop Portion of Hellcat Trail
I wanted to pass along the press release that we just put out today, as it will impact many of you. Due to safety concerns, refuge management has decided to close the portion of the Hellcat Trail that loops through North Pool. Please send all inquiries regarding this to Refuge Manager Bill Peterson.
For Immediate Release
Date: September 29, 2017
Contact: Parker River National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
Officials at the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge have decided to permanently close a section of the popular Hellcat boardwalk. Specifically, and effectively immediately, the Marsh Loop will no longer be open to public access, due to the deteriorated condition of the boardwalk structure itself. The remainder of the 1.5 mile boardwalk, including the Dune Loop, will remain open.
Beginning in the early 1970s, the Hellcat interpretive boardwalk was constructed, over a number of successive summers, by Youth Conservation Corps workers. After 40+ years of weathering and active use, the boardwalk is showing its age. The good news is that the refuge is working with the Friends of Parker River NWR, Inc. to secure the funding required to replace the aging boardwalk.
Refuge staff is aware of the popularity of the Hellcat boardwalk and greatly appreciates the cooperation of refuge visitors regarding this closure. As a partial offset to the closure, a new trail, providing access to the tip of Stage Island, was recently opened.
Kaytee Hojnacki USFWS- Parker River NWR 6 Plum Island Turnpike Newburyport, MA 01950 (978) 465-5753 ext. 202