20 Maine State Parks

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The New England state of Maine is a wonderful mix of mountains, forest, quaint villages and rugged stunning coastline. There’s no better way to explore Maine than by visiting these 20 state parks. Most of Maine’s state parks are located along the coast and provide spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Maine State Parks

20 State Parks in Maine

1- Scarborough Beach State Park

Pine Point Beach
Scarborough Beach State Park is one of the best Maine state parks if you want to spend time at the beach.

Scarborough Beach State Park is in southern Maine and just 20 minutes’ drive from Portland.

This is one of the most popular state parks and when you arrive you will surely see why.

Whether you visit in spring, summer, fall or even winter this place is tranquil and beautiful.

Scarborough Beach is definitely one of the best swimming spots in Maine, perhaps even New England.

The turquoise waters are unparalleled and the soft sand a spectacular place to relax.

You may want to spend the whole day at the beach but sunrise and sunset are excellent times to visit.

If you are travelling with your four-legged friend you will be pleased to know dogs are allowed in the park.

Scarborough Beach State Park is at 418 Black Point Rd, Scarborough, ME 04074.

2- Quoddy Head State Park

candy-striped lighthouse at Quoddy Head State Park
Quoddy Head State Park is one of the Maine state parks with a historic lighthouse.

Quoddy Head State Park is on the coast right on the border with Canada and looks out across Grand Manan Island.

The red and white stripy lighthouse is an iconic feature of Quoddy Head State Park.

The lighthouse was built in 1808 and is the easternmost lighthouse in the U.S.

It is cute, charming and feels quintessentially New England; West Quoddy Head Lighthouse looks like a giant candy cane! There are picnic tables surrounding the lighthouse, making for a lovely and picturesque spot for lunch.

The park is known for its walking trails.

Bog Trail is the most popular route in the park and is a one-mile trail that leads you along the coastline.

Quoddy Head State Park is at 973 S Lubec Rd, Lubec, ME 04652.

3- Grafton Notch State Park

Grafton Notch State Park is in western Maine, close to the New Hampshire border.

This park is a must visit for those in search of backcountry hiking.

The park is situated among the Mahoosuc mountains and offers 12 of the most challenging hikes along the Appalachian Trail.

With challenging hikes comes great reward and that’s certainly the case at Grafton Notch State Park.

The nearly 12km out and back Old Speck Mountain Trail is one such route that provides wonderful views of the valley below.

If you aren’t quite ready to take on the challenges of Appalachian Trail routes then you can opt for some of the shorter routes that lead to some lovely waterfalls and gorges.

You can also travel by car along the Grafton Notch Scenic Byway where there are plenty of pull-offs with great views.

Grafton Notch State Park is at Newry, ME 04261.

4- Sebago Lake State Park

Sebago Lake State Park is on the northern shores of Sebago Lake in southern Maine.

If you are staying in Portland then this is a lovely state park for a day trip as it’s less than an hour away from downtown.

The 1,400 acres of forest that surround the lake is a lovely place to explore.

Mainers and out of staters flock to Sebago Lake to enjoy swimming at the sandy beach, fishing, boating, picnicking and camping.

Spend your day in the sun and then enjoy the woodland for some reprieve from the heat.

There’s also a 250-site campground that is perfect for families.

Sebago Lake State Park is at Naples, ME 04055.

5- Camden Hills State Park

Camden Harbor From Mount Battie aerial view
Camden Hills State Park in Maine.

Camden Hills State Park is another of Maine’s coastal state parks.

The park is just outside of Camden and 1 hour 15 minutes from Bangor.

The park is at the top of Mount Battie and the park provides expansive views of Penobscot Bay and the surrounding islands.

You simply cannot beat this exquisite view, especially in fall with the vibrant orange and red hues.

On a clear day you can see right across to Acadia National Park.

At the park you can head out along 30 miles of hiking trails which can be accessed from five trail heads.

This state park is a wonderful place to camp with the family.

There’s a 107-site camping area with hot showers, electric hook-ups and water.

This campground is a lovely place for stargazing.

Camden Hills State Park is at 280 Belfast Rd, Camden, ME 04843.

6- Rangeley Lake State Park

Rangeley Lake State Park is around 2 hours 25 minutes west of Bangor in western Maine.

This park in Maine’s Western Mountains is a lovely place to hike, picnic and camp.

The lake is a wonderful spot for anglers who try their look at catching salmon and trout.

When winter arrives, the park is a snowy playground with people riding four wheelers and snowmobiling.

There is also a campground at Rangeley Lake State Park.

There are 50 sites that are located close to the lake and from the beach you can soak in the views of Saddleback Mountain.

Rangeley Lake State Park is at 1 State Park Rd, Rangeley, ME 04970.

7- Two Lights State Park

The popular Two Lights State Park is around 20 minutes from both Portland and Scarborough.

The biggest draw at Two Lights State Park is the rocky coastline.

In fact, the park has 41 acres of rocky headland.

The park provides views of the Atlantic Ocean as well as Casco Bay.

The park’s twin lighthouses are at the end of Two Lights Road and were built in 1828.

While at the park you can view the lighthouse and the ocean along the shoreline trails.

You can watch as the ships sail past and into Portland Harbor.

Two Lights State Park is at 7 Tower Dr, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.

8- Fort Point State Park

Fort Point State Park is close to the mouth of the Penobscot River and Penobscot Bay.

This 120-acre state park is named after Fort Pownall which was built in 1759.

Within the park there’s a rocky shoreline, a tidal sandbar and a variety of interesting plants.

The park also includes the Fort Point Light Station.

You can relax at the picnic sites that overlook the water or go for a walk, bike along the pathways, paddle in the water or go fishing.

As you wander along the paths you can read the informative interpretive signs which detail the history of Fort Point as a maritime and military centre.

Fort Point State Park is at 207 Lighthouse Rd, Stockton Springs, ME 04981.

9- Birch Point State Park

Birch Point State Park is in the middle of Maine’s coastline.

The park is 1 hour 45 minutes from Portland and 30 minutes from Camden.

This is a relatively small state park but there’s a wonderful beach that you won’t want to miss.

The crescent shaped beach is great for picnics, relaxing and swimming.

While there aren’t any walking trails you can just take a casual stroll along the waterfront.

Staying at the park until sunset also adds a fun and picturesque element to a day at the park.

Birch Point State Park is at 459 S Shore Dr, Owls Head, ME 04854.

10- Reid State Park

Reid State Park Maine beach and rocks
Another of the coastal state parks in Maine is Reid State Park.

Reid State Park is a peaceful and eye-catching state park in the south of Georgetown Island.

Reid State Park was Maine’s first ever state-owned beach.

Back in 1946, Georgetown resident and businessman Walter E. Reid donated land to Maine with the intention of it being preserved forever.

Reid got his wish and the park was later named after him.

There are two beaches at the park: Mile and Half Mile.

At Mile Beach there is a sand dune that protects the salt marsh behind.

The presence of the marsh and sand dune make this an excellent nesting area for the endangered least tern and piping plovers.

Reid State Park is at 375 Seguinland Rd, Georgetown, ME 04548.

11- Damariscotta Lake State Park

Damariscotta Lake State Park is on the northern shores of Damariscotta Lake.

The park is just a short 30-minute drive from Augusta, the state’s capitol.

This freshwater lake has a fab sandy beach that many people head to for a fun day on the water.

Pack a hearty picnic, grab your friends and family and make a real day of it.

This Maine state park might be small but it’s got all you need for a pleasant day of fun on the water.

Damariscotta Lake State Park is at 8 State Park Road, Jefferson, ME 04348.

12- Bradbury Mountain State Park

Head slightly inland and 23 miles north of Portland and you will discover the panoramic views of Bradbury Mountain State Park.

Bradbury Mountain is only 485 feet high but it offers visitors extensive views of Casco Bay.

A sea of trees (which are wildly colourful in autumn) seem to go on forever more!

The park is home to 21 miles of hiking, biking and equestrian trails which range from easy to advanced.

Make the most of your time at Bradbury Mountain by staying at the campground.

There are 35 campsites which allow tents and campers.

Bradbury Mountain State Park is at 528 Hallowell Rd, Pownal, ME 04069.

13- Baxter State Park

Mountain in Baxter State Park Maine in the fall
Fall is a beautiful time to visit Baxter State Park in Maine.

People visiting Baxter State Park have Percival P. Baxer to thank for its existence and preservation.

The former governor of Maine was believed to have had a “magnificent obsession” with protecting Maine’s wilderness and the park now fulfils his wishes to protect Maine’s natural beauty.

This is definitely one of the most stunning state parks in Maine.

Be sure to bring your camera for some of the best lake and mountain reflection photos around.

This inland state park might not offer views of the coast but there’s rock climbing, fishing, biking and boating all with views of the mountains.

Hiking is one of the best things to do in the park.

There are so many trails but the 10.9-mile Mount Katahdin and Hamlin Peak Loop trail is an excellent all-day hike.

Baxter State Park is at Millinocket, ME 04462.

14- Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is a 30-minute drive north of Portland.

The park looks out over many of Maine’s islands.

The marshes, open fields and woodlands provide a peaceful relief from the busy shopping district of Freeport.

If you love bird watching then keep your eye out for ospreys who nest on neighbouring Googins Island.

You should head out along Casco Bay Trail which follows the coast and provides excellent views of the islands of Eagle and Cousins.

Bring a picnic and enjoy the fresh sea breeze at this beautiful coastal state park.

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park is at 426 Wolfe’s Neck Rd, Freeport, ME 04032.

15- Ferry Beach State Park

Ferry Beach State Park is 20 miles south of Portland.

The breathtaking beach park is at the mouth of the Saco River and looks out over the Atlantic Ocean.

As well as exploring this state park you can head a little further down the cost to visit Camp Ellis Beach.

If it’s sandy shores and blue waters you are looking for then you’re in the right place.

Many generations of Mainers and New Englanders have flocked to Ferry Beach State Park to sunbathe and swim.

The park has a picnic area and nature trails.

There’s also a nature center where you can learn more about the local flora and fauna.

You can even learn about the black gum tree that stands tall in the park (it’s a rather unusual sighting as north as Maine).

Ferry Beach State Park is at 95 Bayview Rd, Saco, ME 04072.

16- Popham Beach State Park

Popham Beach State Park looks out towards two lighthouses: Pond Island Lighthouse and Seguin Island Light Station.

The park is an hour’s drive from Portland and well worth an early start to beat the crowds.

While you find yourself in this part of Maine be sure to check out other nearby attractions like Hunnewell Beach, Fort Baldwin Memorial Park and Fort Popham State Historic Site.

Popham is actually the busiest state park beach in Maine and for good reason.

Sand dunes back the beach and because of the changes in sand movement you can feel as if you are visiting a new beach every time you go to Popham Beach.

You can spend the whole day at Popham knowing that there are facilities like fresh water, solar showers, restrooms and charcoal grills.

Popham Beach State Park is at 711 Popham Rd, Phippsburg, ME 04562.

17- Aroostook State Park

On the western banks of Echo Lake, Aroostook State Park is one of Maine’s few inland state parks.

With so much coastline to explore sometimes it’s a refreshing change to head inland.

The park is in northeastern Maine just around 30 minutes from Canada and the New Brunswick border.

Aroostook was Maine’s first state park, opening in 1938.

The park actually started out as a donation from the people of Presque Isle.

They donated 100 acres of land and more land has been donated since reaching 800 acres today.

The park includes Echo Lake and the picturesque Quaggy Jo Mountain.

The shores of Echo Lake are wonderful for relaxing, picnicking and swimming.

Boaters and anglers can head to the water where there’s a dock and launch area.

If you don’t have your own boats, you can rent canoes and paddle boats.

There’s also a campground which has 30 wooded sites for tents or trailers.

It is a lovely and quaint place to base yourself.

Aroostook State Park is at 87 State Park Rd, Presque Isle, ME 04769.

18- Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park

In southern Maine close to the New Hampshire border, you will find Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park.

The park is just an hour’s drive from Concord, New Hampshire and it’s only 1 hour 15 minutes from Boston, Massachusetts.

This 160-acre park is a bit of a hidden gem and well worth visiting.

The park is open from 9am until sunset between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Outside of these times visitors can still enjoy the park but must park outside the grounds of the park.

This state park is a forest tract that heads alongside the Salmon Falls River.

You can hike through old-growth pines and hemlocks and find that peace and quiet you’ve been looking for.

Vaughan Woods Memorial State Park is at 28 Oldfields Rd, South Berwick, ME 03908.

19- Lily Bay State Park

Lily Bay State Park is on the lovely sounding Moosehead Lake in central Maine.

This state park runs close to the 2190-mile Appalachian Trail route.

Firstly, Lily Bay State Park is a wonderful place to go camping.

The campground is arguably the gateway to Maine’s North Woods.

There are 90 wooded and waterfront campsites to choose from.

Fishing is a popular activity on the lake.

With salmon and trout being popular catches on Moosehead Lake.

The best time to fish is in the weeks following ice out (around early to mid-May) or in September when the waters are cooler.

There’s an excellent two-mile trail that leads you along the shoreline between the beach and Rowell Cove campground.

This route gives you a real taste of the beauty of Lily Bay State Park and Moosehead Lake.

Lily Bay State Park is at 425 Lily Bay Rd, Beaver Cove, ME 04441.

20- Crescent Beach State Park

It would be a disservice to Maine, to end this list of the best state parks with anything other than a coastal park.

Crescent Beach State Park is north of Scarborough Beach State Park and around 15 minutes south of Portland.

Of course, crescent shaped, this state park looks out across Seal Cove towards Richmond Island.

This park opened in 1966 and has been wowing visitors ever since.

A sandy oceanfront is immediately enticing but with the addition of rocky ledges, coves and woodland this makes for a fascinating state park.

Crescent Beach State Park is at 109 Bowery Beach Rd, Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107.

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harriet comley
Harriet Comley is a travel enthusiast, freelance travel writer and a lover of safaris. Since 2017 she has been travelling the globe living in the UK, Canada, Vietnam, China and now Zambia, where she is completing her PhD in Sustainable Tourism. For 3 1/2 years she taught English in Vietnam and China. Now she has turned her attention to writing, having contributed to a number of travel blogs and websites always focusing on what she loves most…exploring!