Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary (Sawyer’s Island)

Sawyer’s Island sits in the Great Marsh, of Plum Island Sound, one of the most pristine marsh systems in the United States. Sawyer’s Island, now part of the 265-acre Rough Meadows Wildlife Sanctuary, connects over 8,000 acres in a mosaic of protected land¬†and wildlife habitat within the Great Marsh Ecosystem, supporting an astonishing diversity of plants and animals, including rare and endangered species. It also serves as critical migratory bird¬†habitat and important breeding grounds for many species of birds, fish, and crustaceans. The site of the former Salem Fraternity Boys Camp, the island is bordered by Sawyer’s Island Creek and Mud Creek, which curves around its northern end. The views in every direction are spectacular, and include an active Osprey nesting platform. Stands of oak and hickory on the northwest edge of the island provide a lovely sheltered picnic area. The site is also a perfect launch for a kayak or canoe.


82 Eastern Avenue Rowley, MA 1969

Driving Directions

From the traffic light in Rowley Center: Drive north on Route 1A for about two miles. Turn right onto a dirt road marked Stackyard Road. Take the first left onto Patmos Road and follow it one mile to the property entrance. There are two options for parking. First, you can park at the property entrance (2-3 vehicle limit) by taking the first left off Stackyard Road onto Patmos Road. Follow that about one mile to the end. Park on the left near the property sign. Do not block private drive to the right of entrance. Second, you can park in the turnout on the right at the beginning of Stackyard Road, across from the forked intersection where Patmos Road turns to the left. From this point, you can take a very pretty mile-long walk along Patmos Road through the salt marsh out to Sawyers Island.

Notes & Advisories

A portion of the island is privately owned and protected by Greenbelt with a conservation restriction. Please respect the fence-marked boundary.


  • Great Marsh
  • Natural Resources
  • Parks
  • Swimming & Boating
  • Wildlife Viewing


  • Dog Friendly
  • Parking Available