Wanderlusting: Crescent Beach
“The three great elemental sounds in nature are the sound of rain, the sound of wind in a primeval wood, and the sound of outer ocean on a beach.” ~ Henry Beston
I have written extensively about my love affair with the Maine Coast. I could go on and on until I bore you to tears, unless you are a mermaid like I am then perhaps you appreciate the lyrical whimsical prose from me about my love affair with all things ocean. This is Live In The Nautical after all.
It is no secret I would move to coastal Maine in a heartbeat if it weren’t for the bitterly cold winters and lack of Broadway. There is something utterly magical about it and no more so then on Cape Elizabeth which is home to four lighthouses, one that is still in operation today as well as being the most photographed lighthouse in the world, and also has three State Parks.
Cape Elizabeth mixes old and new with gorgeous houses sitting along the millennia old rocky coast, some of which are worth hundreds of thousands if not millions of dollars, which also might play a small hinderance in my moving there, just a small one. The small coastal town feel located just a couple miles from the city of Portland makes it a huge draw. Not to mention it is home to one of my favorite beaches.
Crescent Beach State Park
Perhaps I do have some mountain girl in me thanks to having grown up in the White Mountains, but I love the feel of Crescent Beach which also happens to be a State Park. A mixture of foresty trails, sandy shore, and rocky coast, this quite family friendly beach while not as commercialized as Old Orchard Beach, will still keep everyone entertained in a more peaceful back to nature setting.
Crescent shaped like its name, the sandy beach is about a mile long and book ended by rocky cliffs that you can explore, especially at low tide. The beach is flat, with compacted sand that makes it easy to walk on as well as being accessible to get too. The ocean is relatively calm with small waves, making it the perfect spot for kids to have their first salt water experience. At high tide there is still enough sandy beach that you won’t be kissing your neighbors as long as they respect personal space.
Miles of interconnected trails which are labelled, run parallel to the beach with paths jutting off to it, making for an easy walk or even jog that you can personalize to your hearts content. It is the perfect mixture of trees, wildlife, and ocean, for those seeking to connect with nature, but crave that salty air.
Because it is a State Park you do have to pay if you don’t buy a seasons pass, but it is worthwhile. There is immense parking, and if by chance the parking lot is full, (which I have never seen) They have a loading and unloading area so you don’t have to lug your beach paraphernalia a long distance.
The bathrooms are what you would expect from a State Park, bare bones, but they are clean, with flushable toilets and sinks to wash your hands. No port-a-potties here thank heavens. There are also changing rooms as well as cold water showers, so you don’t have to go home with salt and sand in your hair if you are sick of being a mermaid after a long day in the surf.
There are also picnic tables, and benches spread throughout the park. There is also an area set-up with grills so you can have a cookout, as well as a swing set for kiddos to play on. You can really make a day of it, and I have even seen people host birthday parties here. (my kind of party!) Thanks to islands situated nearby, it is the perfect place to go kayaking or do some stand up paddle boarding, and Portland Paddle is located right on the beach making it easy to rent a board if you don’t own one.
While they do urge you to carry-in and carry-out, there are a couple trash receptacles. In fact Crescent Beach might be one of the cleanest beaches I have been too with very little trash left behind. The people who visit here truly care about the environment and not leaving a footprint behind. They come because they truly love the ocean and marine life and have a great respect for Mother Nature.
I love spending the day here. Every time I go, I stay longer and longer, until eventually. just might not leave! There are always new places to discover and explore. Adjacent to Crescent Beach, is Kettle Cove which is another smaller beach with very limited parking, You can walk from one beach to the other through interconnected trails as well as the sandy shore.
Crescent might be quieter then other beaches and more family oriented, but it still gives opportunities for entertaining whether it is of the human variety or sea-rats that live there and love to dive bomb and steal people’s food.
Quiet in the mornings, it is where I have taken many of my pictures, (thank you trusty tripod) caught up on a ton of reading, and done a lot of self reflection especially the last few months. It is where I can just be whether it is for a couple hours or the whole day. Crescent Beach is definitely where my mermaid soul was born and where it continues to be cultivated..
What is your favorite beach? Have you been able to catch some rays and dip your feet into the sandy shore this summer?