Morse Mountain Preserve

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Address: 282 Morse Mountain Rd., Phippsburg, ME 04562

Latitude/Longitude: 43.74300556, -69.8252778

Web site: click here

Pricing: Free


Morse Mountain Preserve — officially Bates-Morse Mountain Preserve — is one of the best-kept beach secrets in Maine.

The preserve, administered by Bates College in cooperation with the Nature Conservancy and the Maine Audubon Society, contains over 600 acres of coastal forest, tidal estuaries, and Seawall Beach, a spectacular stretch of sand just south of the justly popular (and often overcrowded) Popham Beach State Park. Unlike Popham, entrance to the preserve is free; but there is a catch — one must hike over Morse “Mountain” (more a hill than a mountain) on a graded road/trail for 1.75 miles to reach the sea. The hike itself is a delight, taking the walker through the forest, across a tidal estuary, and to the top of Morse Mountain for a lovely view out toward the Atlantic before dropping down to the beach.

Largely unknown to tourists, the preserve is a favorite spot for locals in all seasons. The beach is a fine place for a fair-weather picnic and offers views of Seguin Light at the entrance to the Kennebec River and across a tidal river to Popham Beach.

The preserve is about a 20-minute drive from Bath. Follow Route 209 south from Bath for 11.5 miles. The road to Popham Beach turns sharply to the left; continue on another .4 miles to Morse Mountain Road, on left. The parking lot is just down the road on the left, before the barrier.

From the Author: Seawall Beach is a great place for a summer picnic. A great place to stop for that picnic is North Creek Farm, a pleasant cafe, deli and perennial garden just off of Route 209, on the road to the Sebasco Harbor Resort.

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