Avoiding the Parking Fees
As you probably know, Orchard Beach is now charging $10.00 to park on weekends and $8.00 during the week. Seniors get a discount during the week.
Rodman’s Neck and Turtle Cove parking are closed. If you would like to bird the park and avoid the fees, I can offer a couple of strategies.
1. Park your car on City Island, just over the bridge. There is usually parking around Dunkin’ Donuts or across the street. Walk over the bridge. It may look daunting, but it took me less than 5 minutes at a normal walking pace. There are some nice views, and sometimes an interesting bird or two. Continue walking the paved path on the right and you will arrive at Turtle Cove. If you continue, you will be at Orchard Beach. Just reverse your course to get back.
2. Park your car on City Island and walk over the bridge. Just as you cross onto the mainland there is a wide path/road to the right that takes you to the shoreline. Continue to a nice, wide, wood-chipped path that follows the shoreline and ends at the Southeast corner of
Orchard Beach. Here you have some options.
a. You can continue, and walk on the boardwalk. Then if you wish, easily find your way to Hunter Island. You can reverse your course or walk a paved path to return to your car.
b. Alternately, follow along the grassy area/tree line and you will eventually come to a wide gravel road on your left. If you walk this road you will soon come to a small dumpster area. Continue walking, the road turns from a wide road into a wide path and veers left. A little after it veers left, you will see a small foot path on your right just before a sign that says, "Natural Area Restoration in Progress". This path will take you directly to Turtle Cove. From there you can take the paved bike/walking path back to City Island and your car.
c. If you don’t take the footpath, but continue on, you will eventually be back on Orchard Beach where you began. Alternate paths on the right will lead you back to the bike/walking path to City Island. You really can’t get lost.
Think of it as a birding adventure. None of this is more than 2-3 miles total. Just be aware of ticks and some possible muddy spots.
Don’t forget your sunscreen, water and mask.