Great Misery Island Birding and Nature Tour with Chris Leahy

by Essex Heritage



Great Misery Island Birding and Nature Tour with Chris Leahy

by Great Misery Island Birding and Nature Tour with Chris Leahy

Date & Time

September 13

8:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Essex Heritage
Visit Organizer Site
Salem Ferry Dock
10 Blaney St
, MA
Visit Venue Site

About this Event

Join naturalist Chris Leahy for an in-depth exploration of the nature and birds of Great Misery Island.

Explore the birds and environments of Great Misery Island.

With 83 acres of varied habitats, Great Misery Island – now protected by The Trustees – offers a fascinating mix of natural and human history. On this 3.5-hour trip (including 30-minute boat ride each way), you will explore these varied elements with naturalist and Cape Ann resident, Chris Leahy. Of special interest will be the commencement of fall bird migration. We will spend the morning walking slowly on well-maintained trails, some of which go uphill, but not very steeply. Comfortable shoes, sunscreen and insect/tick repellant are recommended.

Boat Departure Location: Naumkeag departs from the Salem Ferry dock at 10 Blaney Street, Salem MA 01970.


Please read all the information listed below before purchasing your ticket(s).

  • Adults: $40
  • Children (4-12 yr): $25
  • Essex Heritage Members receive a 20% discount! Not a member? Sign up here:

What You Need To Know Before You Go! Frequently Asked Questions

How long is the trip?

About 3.5 hours round-trip (includes 30-minute boat ride each way).

What should I wear or bring with me?

  • Rubber-soled shoes.
  • Flip-flops not recommended; NO heels.
  • Comfortable clothing.
  • IMPORTANT: It’s colder on the water and there is no shelter from the weather on our open boat. Bring an extra layer!
  • Pack water and a snack if needed.

Are there restrictions on who can go?

Yes. All passengers must be:

  • At least 4 years old (No infants; in arms or baby carriers)
  • Capable of negotiating the boat ramp and the rugged island terrain without assistance.

What is the trip like?

It is an adventure aboard Essex Heritage’s landing craft Naumkeag

  • Sit back and enjoy a 30-minute trip from Salem to Great Misery Island.
  • Arrive at Great Misery Island to disembark on the beach.
  • Walk with naturalist Chris Leahy for a 2.5-hour exploration of the bird species that inhabit Great Misery Island.
  • Be ready to depart from Great Misery Island the designated time for a 30-minute ride back to Salem.

What if it rains or is stormy?

Boat trips depend on the weather. Naumkeag has no rain or sun cover on it. You will be exposed to the elements going to and from the island.

What is the Cancellation Policy?

  • If Essex Heritage cancels the boat trip: If it is too rainy or stormy or the seas are too rough, and Essex Heritage has to cancel the boat trip, you will be fully refunded the cost of your ticket
  • If ticket holder cancels: If you cancel because you think it is too sunny, rainy, windy or whatever, but the boat still goes, tickets are non-refundable.

How will I know if my tour has been cancelled?

Essex Heritage staff will do our best to email all ticketed passengers in advance if your trip has been cancelled. We will also keep an updated weather advisory line at 978-998-2188.

Is smoking allowed?

Smoking is NOT permitted on the boat or anywhere on the island at all.

Are there bathroom facilities?

The bathroom facilities are VERY limited. There are bathrooms at the Salem Ferry dock, but there are no bathrooms on the boat. There are facilities located on Great Misery Island, but they are limited and will not be easily accessible during the walk.


Please call Essex Heritage’s Visitor Information Desk (located in the National Park Service Visitor Center) at 978-224-2036. The Visitor Information Desk is open seven days a week, from 9 AM-5 PM.

Essex Heritage does not assume responsibility for any lost or stolen personal property.