Explore Popham Beach State Park

As the days become shorter and winter approaches, it is very difficult to find the motivation to go on an adventure, let alone leave one’s bed. Nevertheless, Colby has amazing access to the outdoors right in its backyard, and that deserves some exploration.

For those who have not ventured out of the Colby bubble, now is your chance. Before the roads become icy and finals have you sleep deprived, grab some friends and explore the wonders of Maine.

For a location an hour away with some easy but exciting hiking, go to Popham Beach State Park. Located in Phippsburg, Popham Beach is a rare geologic landform full of constantly eroding sand dunes and pristine shores. While the tides are low and the sky is clear, a nice walk on the beach can provide the perfect opportunity for a quick picnic with friends or a nap in the sand.  On a clear day, a visitor of the beach can see Fox and Wood islands as well as the lighthouse that sits right on Seguin Island.

For those that may be a little more willing to explore, located a few miles away from the beach are Fort Baldwin, Fort Popham, and archaeological site Fort Saint George. All three historic sites provide spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean.

Fort Baldwin, built in the early 1900s, is located about 1.2 miles up through the Perkins Farm Train. While taking this leisurely walk through the woods, a short detour down to the Bay Farm Trail leads to another location that is easy to explore. The Bay Farm Trail provides a beautiful walk down to views of Atkins Bay.

If you prefer car rides to walking, there is an easy route right from the beach that will put you between Fort Baldwin and Fort Saint George. This location also provides picnic tables and a view overlooking Fort Baldwin.

A little ways down the road is Morse Mountain. Located on the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area, Morse Mountain is a two-mile trip up before descending to Seawall Beach. The paved service road trail makes this hike a fairly easy climb.  Once at the top, the small mountain provides great views of the marshes surrounding the beach as well as Seguin Island, Casco Bay, Sprague River, and, on a clear day, Mt. Washington.

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation, managed by Bates College, provides a 500+ acre conservation area with miles of stunning beach and dunes. This area is rarely crowded and is a large area waiting to be explored.

Even if you have hiked this area before, it is worth going back and finding other trails and beaches where you can explore, picnic, or relax and enjoy the view. The Colby Outing Club (COC) also provides a wide variety of trips around the area, which is worth looking into. Led by Colby students, the COC is a great outlet to find new and challenging adventures.

In these last few days of fall, go out with friends, or by yourself, and enjoy the last few changing leaves, the crisp breeze and the beautiful outdoors of Maine.

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