The Hike To This Secret New England Beach Is As Scenic As The Destination

While many of us associate New England with vibrant fall foliage and charming small towns, the area is also home to some of the U.S.'s most stunning beaches. New England is a hiker's paradise, too, with abundant trails, long and short. Luckily, the area often combines shoreline and hiking; nowhere does this better than Maine, home to stunning natural landscapes.

Maine's long coastline (longer than California's!) provides tons of hiking opportunities for those who like to be close to water. And just one hour north of Portland, you'll find a gorgeous hike to the quiet and picturesque Seawall Beach. The Morse Mountain to Seawall Beach trail is a 4-mile out-and-back hike through woodland and aquatic grasses to an unspoiled sandy shore. Don't be put off by the "mountain" in the name if you don't like challenging hikes. It's rated as an easy hike on AllTrails and has less than 500 feet elevation gain.

Hiking to Seawall Beach

Your hike begins at the parking lot just off Morse Mountain Road, south of Phippsburg. There's usually a volunteer in the lot between March and November. You can get a map of the hike from them, though most hikers say you don't need one. That might be subjective; you may benefit from printing or referencing the Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area map

The route takes you along a dirt and gravel road and passes several private properties along the way — make sure not to wander into any of them by mistake. The trail meanders past salt marshes and slopes gently upward through woodland before heading down again toward the shore. Around halfway up the mountain, you can take a side trail to reach the peak. Visitors say that the climb to the beach is worth it and the views are amazing.

Finally, you'll reach beautiful, uncrowded Seawall Beach. It's a gorgeous gem, offering stunning views of the ocean and the surrounding scenery. You can walk a long way along the beach or spend time beachcombing, looking for clam shells and sand dollars.

Timing is everything

Before hiking to Seawall Beach, there are a few things to consider. First, the parking lot only has space for around 30 vehicles and can fill up quickly. About 20,000 people hike to the beach between March and November, so it's a good idea to get there early and grab a spot. A local guide on Google wrote that the lot can be full by 9 a.m. in the summer. You can check the status of the parking lot to be well-prepared.

The other thing to consider is the tide times. It's best to hike to the beach around low tide. One reason is that the road floods for around an hour before and after high tide, meaning you could be stranded on one side or the other. The other is that there's a lot more shoreline to explore at low tide.

Finally, there is one downside to this hike. If you're there during summer, you'll need bug spray or some other way to keep mosquitoes away. Almost every reviewer who hiked in summer wrote about being bitten by mozzies while on the trail, with swarms of horseflies being a fun addition. Despite this, beachgoers give the trail and the beach stellar reviews, so it's totally worth it.