Konnichi wa / Great Outdoors / Spring 2019
Maine State Parks: Secluded Beaches in Maine
From secluded areas with unique wildlife to popular swimming spots, these beaches and parks will suit every personality and lifestyle.
No matter what your preference, whether it's a trendy beach town or a remote place away from it all, you'll find what you are looking for in this state. No matter whether you're planning a beach vacation for next weekend or next summer, these five beaches are worth a visit.
Birch Point Beach State Park
Located halfway up the Maine Coast, the Birch Point Beach State Park is perfectly situated in the Penobscot Bay. The park sits on a peninsula near the Mussel Ridge Channel, and it offers some of the most unforgettable coastal scenery in the state. Birch Point is open for daytime use year-round. It offers visitors a number of activities, including fishing, photography, wildlife viewing, and beach-combing.
Sandy Point Beach & State Park
If you're looking for a soft, white sand beach, Sandy Point is it. This beach is a tranquil and scenic spot in mid-coast Maine. You'll never find development or excessive building growth here, as the beach and the surrounding area is protected land. This beach offers 100 acres to explore. Along with swimming and sunbathing, you can go birding, hiking, and enjoy a picnic lunch.
In order to reach this beach, you'll have to hike about 1.5 miles first. But the stunning scenery of this secluded beach is worth the wait. And on your hike to the coastline you'll pass through a variety of habitats and ecosystems, including beautiful pine forests, open fields and meadows, and marshland. The beach is part of a national estuary reserve, which means it contains protected habitat for wildlife. Because of its protected status, Laudholm is home to rare species. Despite the fact that the hike in is over a mile long, the terrain is beginner-friendly and accessible.
Roque Bluffs State Park
Roque Bluffs State Park, located near Machias, covers 275 acres. The beach at the park is a combination of white soft sand and pebbles. The shoreline gives way to gentle, shallow waters, which make it a perfect place for families and less experienced or less confident swimmers. And if you'd like to swim in even calmer (and warmer) waters, just head over to the adjacent Simpson Pond. This warm, saltwater pond covers 60 acres, and its interior is surrounded by scenic shoreline. Six miles of trails offer prime wildlife watching opportunities. If you're lucky, you might see bald eagles.
Final Thoughts on Maine State Parks & Secluded Beaches in Maine
Of course, there are many other beaches and Maine state parks that we didn't mention:
- Sebago Lake State Park - Opening in 1938 as one of Maine's 5 original state parks, this 1,300+ acre park just outside of Portland is a must see.
- Camden Hills State Park - With many hiking trails, including Mount Battie Trail, through its over 5,000 acres, this is a great outdoor park about two hours from Portland.
- Popham Beach State Park - About an hour's drive north of Portland, this park offers sandy beaches and many picnic areas.
- Baxter State Park - A large wilderness area and outdoor paradise in the northern part of the state; it includes Mount Katahdin, the highest mountain in the state of Maine.
- Rangeley Lake State Park - A popular camping destination near the Canadian border.
- Bradbury Mountain State Park - A public recreation area managed by the Department of Agriculture about thirty minutes outside of Portland.
- Aroostook State Park - Maine's first state park in the very northern part of the state, this park contains about 1,000 acres of forested area for camping, hiking, etc.
- Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park - About a thirty-minute drive outside of Portland, this park occupies around 200 acres of land on a narrow peninsula and is famous for the ospreys that nest on nearby Googins Island.
- Quoddy Head State Park - In the very northeastern section of the state, located near New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, this park sits on the easternmost point of land in the continental United States and is home to a red- and white-striped lighthouse.
- Two Lights State Park - About 40 acres located on Cape Elizabeth with exceptional views of Casco Bay and the Atlantic Ocean, this park is famous for the two lighthouses not actually in the park but that can be easily seen from the park.
- Ferry Beach State Park - A white-sand beach with picnic tables and changing rooms, the park also features inland trails and a nature center.
- Cobscook Bay State Park - In the northeastern part of the state near Quoddy Head State Park, this park features nearly 900 acres of land near Cobscook Bay and gives a view of dramatically changing tides, rising as high as 28 feet in some cases.
- Lake St. George State Park - Home to a beautiful lake about 1.5 hours north of Portland, this park features the fourth-largest lake in Waldo County, which is home to 14 different species of fish, including salmon and brook trout.
- Lily Bay State Park - A ~900-acre park in the north-central part of the state, this park sits on the southeast shore of Moosehead Lake, the largest lake in New England.
- Warren Island State Park - Just across from Camden Hills State Park, this 70-acre park sits on an island in the Penobscot Bay.
- Crescent Beach State Park - A park with a beautiful mile-long, crescent-shaped beach for swimming and sea kayaking as well as trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.
- Holbrook Island Sanctuary State Park - Located across from Holbrook Island and just north of Warren Island State Park, this protected habitat sits on ~1,300 acres of land and features trails for hiking and cross-country skiing.
- Grafton Notch State Park - In the northwest part of the state near the border with New Hampshire, this park features expansive views with cross-country skiing and backcountry hiking.
- Peaks-Kenny State Park - An ~800-acre park on the south shore of Sebec Lake that's about 30 minutes north of Dexter, Maine, home of Burt's Bees.
- Fort Knox Historic Site - A well-preserved military fortification along the Penobscot River, built in 1844 to protect the Penobscot River Valley from a possible future British invasion.
- Swan Island - A four-mile island in the Kennebec River, a good place for hiking, camping, and most outdoor activities.
- Fort Point State Park - Overlooking Penobscot Bay on the tip of Cape Jellison, this ~150-acre park features Fort Point Light and the site of historic Fort Pownall.
- Moose Point State Park - A small park just off U.S. Route 1 near Belfast featuring panoramic views and hiking trails.
- Eagle Island State Historic Site - Retirement home of Arctic explorer Robert Peary, this small island is accessible from Portland by water ferry.
- Colonial Pemaquid State Historic Site - A publicly-owned, historic property in Bristol, this site includes the reconstructed Fort William Henry and a museum with artifacts from the 17th and 18th centuries.
- Range Pond State Park - Small park about forty-minutes outside of Portland, just on the eastern end of Lower Range Pond.
- Scarborough Beach State Park - A fee admission beach that offers some of the best swimming in New England; water temperatures stay in the high-60s throughout July and August.
- Allagash Wilderness Waterway - A ribbon of lakes, ponds, and streams in northern Maine that includes much of the Allagash River, that offers excellent canoeing.
There are countless spectacular beaches in Maine, and it is nearly impossible to visit just one. But if you're looking for several of the top beaches to explore, these are a good start. From secluded preserved areas with pristine shores and unique wildlife to popular swimming spots, these beaches and parks will suit every personality and lifestyle.
Looking for more on Maine State Parks and secluded beaches in Maine? Try these: