Take In Beautiful Coastal Views At This Eastern US State Park

If you're in need of a mellow seaside retreat, you don't have to take a long flight to a remote tropical destination. The Northeastern Coast of the U.S. is home to gorgeous, natural beaches that allow you to relax in nature while still away from the crowds. To take in some breathtaking coastal views of the North Atlantic Ocean, visit Reid State Park in Maine.

Located in Georgetown Island in Sagadahoc County, Reid State Park includes over 760 acres of pristine coastal environments. Within the U.S. state park are two sandy beaches, which is a rare find in Maine. Moreover, there are protected dunes, fresh and saltwater wetlands, tidepools, and headlands blanketed by flourishing maritime forests. Wildlife viewing, birding, hiking, and swimming are all popular activities among visitors. The park is also known for being an excellent New England destination for surfing, thanks to hollow waves that create ideal conditions for tube riding. Whether you take a seaside stroll to the salty waters or hike to the headlands for an aerial outlook, Reid State Park won't disappoint.

Walking along the beach

Unsurprisingly, Reid State Park's two beaches — Mile Beach and Half Mile Beach — offer beautiful maritime panoramas. The Mile Beach Trail is a 1.6-mile out-and-back route that runs parallel to the rugged coast. On this 30-minute nature walk, you'll have a front-row seat to the Atlantic Ocean's moody waves. In addition to stunning seascapes, walking along Half Mile Beach shores will give you a glimpse of the unique coastal wildlife that thrives at Reid State Park. Areas of the park's beaches are nesting and feeding areas for many species of shorebirds, including the endangered piping plovers. 

Just off the coast, you're likely to spot ducks floating on the water's surface before they dive under in search of food (and maybe a surfer or two in the distance). To observe marine critters like hermit crabs and sea snails, you can gently explore the tidepools that dot the beach. Once you've finished wandering the shore, you can stop for lunch at one of the park's picnic tables that overlook the Atlantic Coast.

Heading to higher peaks

Making your way to higher points in the park provides expansive vistas that reach well beyond the shoreline. Griffith Head is an overlook that offers unrivaled views of Mile Beach, the Sheepscot River, and several nearby islands, including Damariscove — a 210-acre historic island preserve that's worth a visit if you're in the area. You can also spot the lighthouses on Seguin Island and Hendricks Head. South of Griffith Head is Todd's Point, another picturesque overlook that offers great opportunities for birdwatching.

Hiking the laidback Little River Trail will lead you through scenic coastal landscapes that hug the beach. The 2.8-mile path first winds through rocky oak-pine woodland that was once covered by an ancient glacier; if you look closely, you might spot seashells on the forest floor. From there, you'll head along a ridge before reaching an observation point near a freshwater wetland on the east side of the trail, and of the Little River salt marsh from above. Maine's coastal park is a must-see for nature enthusiasts seeking an oceanside oasis that doesn't skip out on the views.