When Katie's folks came to visit us during our summer in Maine, we decided to check out Popham Beach State Park. Popham has a large, paved parking lot to accommodate this very popular destination. It's easy to see why this place is held so high in the minds of beach-goers. With changing facilities and life guards on site, this is a very family friendly place to spend the day. Be aware that the gulls mean business when they spot your snacks, so either eat before hand or be prepared to try and hide what it is that you brought. Seriously, they'll swarm you.
If it's peak season and on a weekend, the parking lot fills up quick. We tried returning to Popham Beach and were disappointed when we couldn't get in. If this happens to you, alas! Do not fret. For I have another secret spot. And dare I say, it's even better than Popham.
If you're like us, a beautiful stroll, through a lovely forest, leading to a picturesque beach is right up your alley. (Did I mention multiple islands can be spotted from these two beaches? One even has a lighthouse you can see from the coast!) And that leads us to Seawall Beach via Morse Mountain Road!
Google "Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach" and it should bring up a small parking lot. During the weekends this parking lot has an attendant, who is happy to tell you about the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, provide directions to the beach (this is really straight forward...follow the semi-paved road for about 2 miles until you end up at the beach) and will instruct you where to park your car. Pro-tip, the attendant is a volunteer so please tip generously and bring them a snack and something tasty to drink!
There is an overlook down to the beach about a mile into the walk, where Summit Circle begins on your right hand side. If it's a busy weekend you'll see other folks walking up the lane or coming down from the top. It's a quick little detour that is worth a glance. Please be respectful of the property owners on the premises.
Once you make it to the beach, head left (North) to wade the banks of the Morse River. You may spot other Adventures swimming the mouth of the river coming and going from Popham Beach. Take in the views of Fox and Heron Islands as you head south to walk the remaining portion of Seawall Beach before heading back. Note- There are no restrooms at the parking lot to Seawall Beach or at Seawall Beach so please plan accordingly.
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