Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge

Monomoy National Wildlife RefugeOne of the popular pastimes guests of Chatham Gables Inn enjoy are day trips to Monomoy Island. Home to the Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, the island is a great  place to enjoy Cape Cod’s natural beauty and admire our native flora and fauna. This eight mile long island preserve is home to many seafaring birds as well as seals.  If you want to take in the beautiful coastal environment of Cape Cod, then you should consider an outing to Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge.


Southwest of Chatham, Monomoy Island was once home to the Monomoy Island Gunnery Range.  Later, the range was closed and Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge was established to provide a habitat for migratory birds. The refuge measures over 7,600 acres and includes marshes, dunes, freshwater ponds and of course, the ocean.  Monomoy Island is also home to the Monomoy Point Light, which is open to the public but has been decommissioned. Today Monomoy has been separated by storms into a North and South island.  Parts of Monomoy Island are only accessible by boat, so, to begin your day, you can take the Monomoy Island Ferry out to the island.


Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge is operated by the National Fish and Wildlife Service.   The number of migratory birds that stop over on the island make it an ideal place for guests who are enthusiastic about bird watching.  Species that call the island home include piping plover, eider, scoter, mergansers, sandpipiers, oystercatchers, brant and many more.  A list of over 285 species is available at the refuge.  Many ornithologists consider Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge to be one of the best bird watching spots on the East coast.  Hundreds of harbor and gray seals also come ashore in the winter, making it a popular spot for seal watchers.


There are plenty of nature trails to hike and explore on Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, providing wildlife and plant observation points. Other popular activities on the island include beachcombing, fishing and shellfishing. The dunes on Monomoy are an extremely important part of the wildlife and habitat conservation at Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge. Therefore, preservation of them is a big focus of the work they do on Monomoy. Guests should remain on designated walking paths and not wander off so as not to disturb the dunes that are so integral to this ecosystem. The way the dunes graduate into the pitch pine forest of the island is a trademark of this environment.


After you explore Monomoy National Wildlife Refuge, Chatham Gables Inn is an ideal place to relax and recount your day out.  Our luxurious guest rooms are all elegantly decorated in classic New England style. Your stay includes a full breakfast each morning which will give you fuel for the day’s adventures. With our personalized service and exceptional amenities, staying at our Cape Cod bed and breakfast is a great way to make certain your trip is memorable.  Now is the right time to find your favorite room and start planning a remarkable experience.


Photo courtesy U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Northeast Region.