There are always those random days in the heart of winter that tease us with warmer temperatures and remind us that spring is not as far away as it sometimes seems after three consecutive snow storms. They’re always a special, happy occasion. When the temperatures jumped up to 55 degrees on a recent Sunday, we headed to Popham Beach State Park. For Maine in February, this was practically sunbathing weather.
We were struggling to find trails in the area that would be appropriate for winter hiking, so in the end decided to head to the beach and walk along the water which turned out to be the perfect decision. We arrived just after low tide which was ideal for exploring this popular destination. While there is a beautiful, sandy beach area there is also the rocky and interesting Fox Island just off the shore which can be accessed by foot only during low tide.
There is a fee to get into the state park. It was $6.00 each for Maine residents. We had originally tried to park at Popham Fort, which does not have any fees (at least in the off-season), and is located about a mile and a half past the state park entrance, but it was full so we went back to the park entrance. We have been planning to buy a state park pass this year but hadn’t gotten around it it yet. I’ve since rectified that problem! For more information on purchasing an annual park pass, click HERE.
We were not the only ones excited to be out on this warm, sunny winter day. The beach was packed. There were almost as many dogs running along the beach as people too as dogs are allowed on the beach during off-season from October through March. We also saw multiple pairs of horses and their riders. Horseback riding is also allowed during the off season right before and after low tide. It was fun to watch them all having such a great time on the beach.
Since we didn’t want to miss our opportunity to explore Fox Island, we headed there first. It was beautiful and everything you picture about the Maine coast wtih rocky terrain, crashing waves, and stunning views. I may have taken a few too many pictures. I couldn’t stop!
After our fun climbing over the rocks, and exploring all sides of the small island, we headed back to the beach and started our walk up to the Fort. We figured that since we couldn’t park there originally, we’d make that our hiking destination. Walking on the beach is beautiful and peaceful, but also challenging. It’s a good work out. We finally arrived at the fort, only to realize the gates were closed so we couldn’t explore inside but we did walk around the area a bit and enjoyed the views.
This was an amazing spot. I can’t wait to come back again in the summer. There is still much in the area we have to explore but it was a great first visit and a wonderful way to spend our warm winter day.
|things to know|
|Location||Popham Beach State Park|
|Address||10 Perkins Farm Lane
Phippsburg, ME 04562
|Website||Popham Beach State Park|
|Favorite ♥||Exploring Fox Island|