This state park is the site of a marvelous stretch of sandy beach in southern Maine. It is managed by a unique partnership between the state of Maine and Black Point Resource Management. With that, the fees and hours to visit may vary from that of other Maine state parks.
The park is in Scarborough – only 20 minutes from Portland to the north, with Boston being only 110 miles and less than two hours south.
Along with the park’s setting that includes marshland, it is near both Prout’s Neck Bird Sanctuary and the Scarborough Marsh. These are settings to explore during a southern Maine weekend or vacation.
Activities at Scarborough Beach State Park
The park is a favorite spot for swimming, exploring the beach, having a picnic, and watching wildlife and birds. This is a super spot for launching your sea kayak, giving you the chance to view wildlife from offshore. Surf’s up here a lot so be sure to bring your board along for the day.
Accessibility is rated as limited. There is a long board walk to access the beach from the parking lot.
Boating at Scarborough Beach State Park
Sea kayaking and surfing are allowed here by obtaining a permit at the park’s control station. There are nearby shops at which you can rent kayaks and equipment for hours of paddling enjoyment.
There’s a public boat launch on the Nonesuch River in Scarborough if you have a motorized craft with you. It’s a part-tide ramp that’s ADA accessible and is found at Lat. 43.56750 Long. -70.32320. You’re expected to adhere to Maine’s Boating registration laws.
Swimming at Scarborough Beach State Park
The ocean water here gets into the high 60s during the summer heat. That makes for a refreshing swim, even if it’s a bit brisk for some. You’ll warm up quickly on the broad beach expanses. There’s a lifeguard during the summer months. It’s advised to swim in their designated area due to frequent rip currents.
Hiking at Scarborough Beach State Park
The beach is a trail unto itself! If you’re seeking a nice, long walk, head south on the beach to pick up Cliff Trail that’s reported to head toward Prout’s Neck Bird Sanctuary. Other nearby hiking spots of interest include:
- Libby River Farm that’s only a mile away with a 1.3-mile network of easy and moderate trails and views of the adjacent Scarborough Marsh. This spot is pet-friendly, free, and open for hiking, as well as snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing when there’s enough snow.
- Blue Point Preserve is nine miles away on the western side of the Nonesuch River. There’s an easy loop for hiking or snowshoeing. No fees are charged for time spent in this peaceful setting by the Scarborough Marsh. Your leashed pet is allowed to be with you on the dirt and gravel-surfaced path.
Biking at Scarborough Beach State Park
Although there isn’t a bike trail here, there’s a spectacular one just under four miles away! Bike rentals are also available nearby if you left yours at home. The Eastern Trail Maps guide you north to South Portland or south to Kittery. The well maintained trail is multi-use, year-round, and allows leashed pets. Motorized vehicles are prohibited.
Fishing at Scarborough Beach State Park
Fishing is not a designated activity here. Don’t let that keep you from doing some nearby. As you just read, there’s a public boat launch on the Nonesuch River. That means you can have the best of both freshwater or saltwater fishing while following Maine’s fishing and boating
The river is a spot for all kinds of fishing with a chance of catching brook and rainbow trout, a few sunfish varieties, smallmouth bass, among others. Offshore is known for catching striped bass, mackerel, and maybe a bluefish.
Birding at Scarborough Beach State Park
The park and surrounding areas, including the vast marshland, are a birder’s paradise. The park beach dunes provide breeding shelter for plovers and least tern, both of which are protected. Various seagulls abound, including the herring, ring-billed, and black-backed. This is an area to catch a glimpse of osprey and eagles as they soar in search of fish.
Much of the year you’ll see the great blue heron, whereas the great and snowy egrets are here during the warm months. Cormorants and American black ducks are other species you’ll see. The shore area attracts grebes, loons, scoters, and eiders during the cool months.
Songbirds are seasonal in the marshy areas, including red-winged blackbirds and sparrows. Hike to more wooded areas to spot thrushes, kinglets, warblers, and finches.
Nature & Wildlife at Scarborough Beach State Park
The water in and off of the state park is habitat for a range of wildlife including harbor seals, otters, muskrats, and mink. The marsh and its grasses protect the shoreline while providing algae for small fish that attract nesting and migrating birds. Whether you’re onshore or boating offshore near the park, keep an eye out too for porpoise and whales.
Pets at Scarborough Beach State Park
Pets are not permitted on the beach from April 1 through September 30. Your leashed pet can visit the beach with you from October 1 through March 31.
Camping at Scarborough State Park
Although there isn’t any camping here, there are campgrounds about 10 miles away. Both of these are pet friendly and have different hookup options for your convenience.
- Bayley’s Camping Resort is just that with sites for full-size RVs, tents, and all rigs in the middle. There are also rental units, many amenities, and numerous nearby adventures.
- Wassamki Springs Campground is on a private lake with a one-mile sandy beach. It too has tent sites and spots for various sizes of RVs.
Scarborough Beach State Park
414 Blackpoint Road
Scarborough, ME 04074
Here is a short YouTube video with aerial footage of Scarborough Beach State Park: