(Last Updated On: September 19, 2022)

Sun rising above the ocean at Ferry Beach State Park

Ferry Beach State Park is located on a long stretch of white sand beach in southern Maine. The park is a half-hour from Portland and only 10 minutes from the center of Saco. Of course, during the peak summer months travel time can take a bit longer.

This Maine State Park includes 117 acres of varied terrain at the edge of Saco Bay. The beach sand is from glacial and river action that happened thousands of years ago.

The interplay of freshwater, dunes, and ocean have shaped a pocket swamp that welcomes you with shade, plants, and wild residents.

Activities at Ferry Beach State Park

Ferry Beach offers you scenic swimming in waters that are warm by Maine standards. You can also fish, picnic, and watch seabirds, wildlife, and all the boats that go by.

The park has good accessibility, with bay views and trails being rated as generally accessible. The beach can be accessed with assistance and a beach wheelchair is available for venturing to the water’s edge. There are restrooms and a changing area.

There’s a sheltered group picnic structure you can reserve by calling Two Lights State Park at (207) 799-5871; from April 2nd through the summer, call the park at (207) 283-0067. The space includes power, running water, and a group grill. The shelter can even be used for weddings.

Boating at Ferry Beach State Park

Although there isn’t direct boating access at the park, there are tour companies in Saco. Your google search will pull up those that are on the Saco River plus those that cruise Saco Bay. There are hard boat launches into the Saco River in Biddeford and Saco.

Swimming at Ferry Beach State Park

Swimming is in the Atlantic Ocean at Saco Bay. Summer water temperatures are generally in the 60s with air temperatures reaching into the 70s and, on occasion, the 80s. Lifeguards are found at the busiest Maine beaches, with the likelihood there won’t be one present here, as it tends to be less crowded.

Hiking at Ferry Beach State Park

A special kind of hike and sight-seeing awaits you on the 1.7 miles of joined trails that are part of the park. Be sure to read up on the flora and fauna you’re likely to see. This easy hike is pleasant in part because of the shade and also because of the raised boardwalk over boggy areas.

The rest of the trail is forest floor with some gravel. Keep in mind that this area can be wet. You can cross-country ski and snowshoe when there’s enough snow.

Biking at Ferry Beach State Park

Biking is nearby although not officially listed as a park activity. The Eastern Trail is under 5 miles away. It is a 65-mile cycling trail that travels from Bug Light in Portland through Kennebunk, with its southern-most point being in Kittery. You’ll have the option of traveling north, south, or both!

Fishing at Ferry Beach State Park

The park may become your favorite for shore fishing. Surf casting is most likely to yield striped bass, mackerel, and bluefish on a lucky day. Be sure to read up on how to access Maine fishing licenses.

Birding at Ferry Beach State Park

The area in and around the park provides an interesting mix for birding. That’s due to there being varied habitat for shore birds and those more inclined to freshwater settings. The Scarborough Marsh is nearby making the area inviting for egrets, blue heron.

During the summer there are nesting plovers and sandpipers as well as various gulls, including Bonaparte’s, living on or near the beach. During the colder months, there’s a good chance of viewing grebes, red-throated loon, and eiders by the shore. Be on the lookout for rough-legged hawks and a rare snowy owl.

Nature & Wildlife at Ferry Beach State Park

The quiet of the pocket swamp area means there’s a chance to catch glimpses of wildlife, including coyote, deer, racoon, and squirrels. The beach side of the park is home to Atlantic rock crabs, sand dollars, and Atlantic surf clams.

You may want to set aside time to visit Maine’s largest saltwater marsh, a mere 8 miles away. Scarborough Marsh is home to a wide variety of wildlife as well as songbirds and shorebirds. The website includes information about kayak and canoe rentals.

Pets at Ferry Beach State Park

Leashed pets are only allowed in the off-season from October 1 to March 31. The park requests you to clean up after your pet during your visit.

Camping at Ferry Beach State Park

This park is only open during the day. Although there’s no camping right here, there are campgrounds nearby.

  • Old Orchard Beach Campground is 10 minutes away and right by a bunch of OOB fun. They have all sorts of sites, including those for big rigs. You’ll find many things to do, including a pool, courts, and a dog park, as this is a pet-friendly place.

  • Cascadia Park is only 15 minutes away and close to many of southern Maine’s favorite places. They have a tenting area in a pine grove, plus spots for trailers and RVs. There are restrooms, a laundry, and WIFI near some buildings. Sites have picnic tables and fireplaces.

  • Shamrock Campground is 20 minutes away with full hook up sites and primitive tent sites. There is a saltwater pool, fishing ponds, pedal boats, other activities, and a laundry room. Each site has a fire ring and picnic table.

Park Location

Ferry Beach State Park
95 Bayview Road
Saco, ME 04072
Phone: 207.283.0067

Website

Map

Video

Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Ferry Beach State Park: