We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

best state park in SW Maine

washington dc
4 posts
Save Topic
best state park in SW Maine

Out of these 4 state parks, which is one most worth visiting?

Crescent Beach State Park

Mackworth Island

Scarborough Beach State Park

Ferry Beach State Park

Washington DC...
Level Contributor
26 posts
Save Reply
1. Re: best state park in SW Maine

I live in DC but grew up in Portland. To answer your question it depends on what you're looking for. Mackworth Island is the home of the Baxter School for the Deaf. You can hike on trails and stroll the shoreline but its not much of a beach. Out of the remaining 3 I would recommend Crescent Beach. Scarborough Beach is not far from Crescent but isn't as pretty in my opinion. Crescent sort of curves around so you have things to look at and there is a small island (Ram Island I think) offshore plus it has a snack bar and stuff. It is more family oriented whereas Scarborough is where the HS kids go (at least when I was in HS 10 years ago). I don't really know the Ferry Beach state park - the Ferry I'm familiar with is the one in Scarborough nearby to Crescent and Scarborough - it is a town beach. So anyway, I can only help you out partially. No matter, you will definitely love any of the 3 beaches if you are looking for a nice relaxing day at the beach. Google each and go to the images section and you can see photos of each beach.

Cape Elizabeth...
Destination Expert
for Portland, Antigua
Level Contributor
1,560 posts
176 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: best state park in SW Maine

Mackworth Island is here in Falmouth, and is very small. There is a trail around the perimeter, which is only 1 1/4 miles. Locals use it for exercise. Kids have also built "faerie houses" in a certain area, so if you have really small children they might enjoy that. I would also caution that once the car park is full (which doesn't take long) you must park in the residential neighborhood nearby. At last month's town council meeting, the neighborhood asked the police to restrict parking in the neighborhood. This will likely be done.

As to Crescent Beach vs Scarborough, what the previous poster said about Crescent is all true (except that the island name is Richmond). Because this is a more sheltered beach, it doesn't get much wave action and sometimes gets some weed. But it is prefered by families because the surf is more gentle. There are a few wooded walking trails too, nothing special.

Scarborough is a much longer beach if you like to walk. In addition, at the south end of the beach there is a beautiful cliff walk around Prout's Neck----one of my favourite things to do in the Portland area. Crashing surf, lovely homes, spots to sit on the rocks and contemplate---it's all there. That being said.....a small but yucky observation. The State leases the management of Scarborough Beach, and at least last summer the lessees did a terrible job (so much so that I complained via email to the State). The few bathrooms were filthy and not cared for, etc. Crescent Beach by contrast is staffed by Rangers and they do a good job.

I think you mean the Ferry Beach in Saco, and like the previous poster, I don't know that one too well. The Ferry Beach in Scarborough is a town beach, and is nice at low tide if you like to walk far out on the sandbars.

Level Contributor
857 posts
9 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: best state park in SW Maine

Hi tangerine soup,

I've only been to Crescent Beach and it is lovely :).

However, if you're willing to drive a bit north, there are 2 beautiful beaches that are state parks and are just wonderful.

They are Popham and Reid State Parks both located not far from Bath.

Popham borders the southern side of the Kennebec River and is 14 miles south of Bath down Rt. 209 in Phippsburg. This beach is wide with lots of tide pools, mostly gentle waves, and at low tide you can walk out to Fox Island, which offers great views. Be careful of the incoming tide though. Don't want to get stuck on the island!

Reid is located 13 miles south of Bath down Rt. 127 in Georgetown. This beach offers big waves and if there's any storm out at sea, they become HUGE. During the early summer months there's a ton of beach roses in which the scent, mixed in with the salt air can be intoxicating :). From the nearby rocky bluff (which you can climb) you can see 3 lighthouses ie Sequin Island, the Cockholds, and Hendricks Head.

What's unique about Reid is that it really consists of 3 types of beach. First there is the large one mentioned with big waves; then there's a lagoon of sorts near the snackbar which is great for very young children; and then there's a small area right on the river where there are patches of sand, but mostly rock. This last beach is a great spot if it's too cold or windy at the large beach. Here you can find a sheltered spot on a rock and watch the tide come in and out and boats going by.

Both beach's are beautiful and each has it's own charm.

For further info on either call 389-9125 for Popham and 371-2303 for Reid.


4. Re: best state park in SW Maine

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 16 August 2009, 08:16