Hiking in Maine: Saco Beach Loop has history and an ocean vista

Ferry Beach State Park in Saco, Maine is a 117-acre gem in Maine’s state park system that features a nice stretch of oceanfront beach, a pleasant network of foot trails and some interesting history.

Long before the advent of roads, a ferry crossing connecting Hills Beach and Camp Ellis at the mouth of the Saco River served early travelers along the beach from as far away as Boston, thus giving Ferry Beach its name.

By combining the park’s trails plus a walk along Ferry Beach with three trails of the Saco Bay Trails system and two short sections of paved road, hikers can enjoy a scenic and ecologically diverse four-mile loop hike known as the Saco Beach Loop.

Ferry Beach State Park is open from April 1 through Oct. 31; that’s when you can start the loop hike from the beach parking lot in the park’s interior. Outside of that period, hikers must begin from the gate at the park entrance on Bayview Road.

By combining the Red Oak, Tupelo, Greenbriar and White Oak trails on your trek through the park, you’ll enjoy easy walking through a mixed forest while visiting a tupelo swamp and a freshwater tarn named Long Pond.

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