Arriving at a new hiking destination for the first time is always a bit confusing. So when we stopped at the admission booth at Reid State Park to show them our park pass, we asked for a map and she handed us a photocopied, one page simply drawn diagram. It was a nice, high level overview but didn’t help us figure out where we actually wanted to go. After passing through the entrance, we encountered a fork in the road, and went left.
We quickly came upon a decent size parking area also on our left. I caught brief views of the ocean horizon through openings in the trees so it seemed like a good place to start. We pulled into the lot, and my husband opted to hang in the car so he could cajole his cell phone into bringing up more helpful hiking maps for the area. It’s always a challenge on our hikes to make technology work for us. I’m fine without it, but my husband likes to have a plan mapped out. So, while he worked on pulling the route together, I made a beeline for the beach.
As soon as I navigated the short path to the water, a quintessential rocky Maine coastline was staring back at me. I don’t know if it was because we were coming off multiple rainy days in a row, or if it is typical to this area, but the water was full of activity with rows upon rows of waves cresting one after the other until they crashed on the rocky shoreline in an explosion of spray. Nestled among the rocks was a small section of sandy beach littered with driftwood, but overall the draw of this area was the rocky outcroppings. They made the beach far more rugged and interesting. According to the maps that I consulted after finishing our hike, this was East Beach.
While waiting for my husband to arrive, I spent my time taking pictures and climbing among the rocks. One section was slightly higher than the rest, although the ocean had managed to deposit a blanket of seaweed among the crevices. My husband eventually arrived and explored the area with me for a while before we headed out for our hike.
He had found a 2.1 mile loop (the ski loop trail) that ran through the adjacent woods. It started on the other side of the fork we had encountered. The road on the other side was blocked off because we were there before beach season really kicked into gear so we parked off to the side.
We found the trail entrance and headed into the woods. While I normally have to maneuver tree roots and other obstacles on my hikes, this path was fairly even and easy to walk.
There were a few spots where puddles lingered from the previous days of rain leaving muddied edges to gingerly step across and, other than on spot where my foot slipped and went into the water, it was easy to stay dry. Even my one misstep was fine since I was wearing wicking hiking socks which proved to be true to their advertising and kept my feet dry.
We found a little offshoot path near a pond which we followed to get closer to the edge of the water. There was a couple standing there holding binoculars, “There’s an eagle sitting on top of that tree over there,” they informed us as they gestured toward a group of bare branched trees jutting out from the shallow water.
After a little squinting we saw the eagle calmly looking around as he cleaned and aired out his wings. He was a little too far away for pictures, but if you’d like to see an eagle up close check out my previous post about my visit to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray. With a guide, I was able to get within a few feet of one of their eagles to take some closeup pictures of this amazing bird.
After resting and eagle watching for a few minutes, we returned to the main trail and continued on. Spring was starting to peak through all the brown. We encountered some long abandoned stone walls covered in bright green moss which lent a fairy like quality to the woods. I am always intrigued by stone walls, even those that have started to be reclaimed by nature as these were. What is the story behind them?
Rather than finish the loop we were hiking, when we came to an intersection with another trail, that headed back towards the ocean, we went that way. I like loop trails but it’s also fun to have a destination in sight too. We left the blue markings of the first trail, to this one which had maroon tags on the trees although we still spotted a couple of random blue ones which kept things interesting. This trail became a little more challenging although still manageable. It was not as wide as the first one and had more ups and downs.
Eventually we emerged from the trail, immediately finding a perfectly placed picnic table perched on a high spot overlooking the beaches in the distance. We took out our breakfast bars and water bottles from our go bag and enjoyed the views while finishing our snack. When done, it was time for a bit more walking so we could get back to the beach. We climbed and explored another grouping of rocks at Todd’s Point that separated two sandy stretches of shoreline known as mile and half mile beach. Can you guess which one is longer?
It was getting later and cooler so we wandered towards the empty parking lot and followed the paved road back to the entrance and our car. The trees that lined the road were not yet filled out with green, this early in the season, but there were plenty of birds hopping from branch to branch watching us carefully. They would quickly fly away if we leaned in too close. They chirped as we walked along tired but happy.
I loved this spot and hope to come back soon. We still have some key areas to explore including Griffith Head which is supposed to have amazing views. Not that I feel like we missed out on this trip. Our views were spectacular and exactly what I was hoping for on this hike but I know there are many more areas of Reid State Park to explore.
|things to know|
|Name||Reid State Park|
|Address||375 Seguinland Road
Georgetown, ME 04548
|Website||Reid State Park|
|Favorite ♥||Ocean Views|