Salisbury Salt Marsh Wildlife Management

At the mouth of the Merrimack River, in Salisbury, large expanses of Salt Marsh border the river on its north side, opposite the tidal flats and downtown buildings of Newburyport. The productive beds of Spartina grass here are at the bottom of the estuarine food web. In one way or another, these marshes feed roosting and wintering Bald Eagles (Endangered, federally Threatened), Atlantic and Shortnose Sturgeon (both state Endangered; Shortnose is federally Endangered) heading upstream to breed, and Common, Least, Arctic, and occasionally Roseate Terns (all Special Concern except Roseates, which are both state and federally Endangered) diving for small fish in the tidal waters. Two rare plants – Eastern Saline Sedge (Endangered) and American Sea-blite (Special Concern) are found in the Salt Marsh itself.

Species of Note: Waterfowl (long-tailed ducks, scaup, wigeon, goldeneye) and raptors (bald eagle, northern harrier, short-eared owl) in winter, saltmarsh sharp-tailed sparrow in summer, shorebirds in spring and fall migration. Habitats: Small wooded upland section leads to the salt marsh and Morrill Creek along the Merrimack River estuary. Size: 427 acres Special Recognition: Within Great Marsh Important Bird Area; Western Hemispheric Shore Bird Reserve Network Regional Site


Sweet Apple Tree Lane Salisbury, MA 1952

Driving Directions

From US Route 1, turn east onto March Road (just at the north end of the Merrimack River bridge between Newburyport and Salisbury). March Road becomes Ferry Road. After 1 mile, turn right onto Sweet Apple Tree Lane. Park at the end of the road.

Notes & Advisories

Viewing Information: Parking is limited. Refrain from blocking access to the pathway through the marsh to the shore for launching small craft into Newburyport Harbor. Waterfowl hunters use this area as a point to launch. Statewide, hunting is prohibited on Sundays. Please respect the privacy of nearby residents.


  • Great Marsh
  • Natural Resources