Things To Do Harpswell Maine

Things To Do in Harpswell, Maine: Exploring a Coastal Gem

Located on the picturesque coast of Maine, Harpswell is a charming town that offers visitors a delightful blend of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and a close-knit community. With its stunning coastline, quaint villages, and abundant recreational activities, Harpswell is a perfect destination for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike. Here are some of the top things to do in Harpswell, Maine, along with five interesting facts about this hidden gem.

1. Explore the Coastal Trails:
Harpswell boasts an extensive network of trails that wind through its breathtaking coastal landscape. From the Harpswell Cliff Trail to the Giant’s Stairs Trail, hikers can immerse themselves in the beauty of the rocky shores, dense forests, and panoramic ocean views. These trails offer varying degrees of difficulty, ensuring there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a seasoned hiker or simply looking for a leisurely stroll.

2. Visit the Historic Cundy’s Harbor:
Cundy’s Harbor is a historic fishing village in Harpswell that provides a glimpse into the town’s rich maritime heritage. Stroll along the working waterfront, admire the picturesque harbor dotted with lobster boats, and explore the quaint shops and galleries. Don’t forget to sample some fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants for an authentic taste of Maine.

3. Marvel at the Bailey Island Bridge:
Serving as the iconic gateway to Bailey Island, the Cribstone Bridge is a remarkable engineering feat. Built in 1928, this unique bridge is constructed entirely of granite slabs, allowing the tidal currents to flow freely beneath it. Take a leisurely drive or walk across the bridge, and be sure to capture the stunning views of the surrounding islands and the Atlantic Ocean. The bridge is especially enchanting during sunrise and sunset.

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4. Discover the Marine Life:
With its abundant marine resources, Harpswell offers a plethora of opportunities for marine enthusiasts. Take a boat tour or rent a kayak to explore the pristine coastline and discover hidden coves and secluded beaches. You might encounter playful seals, majestic ospreys, or even spot a bald eagle soaring above. Fishing enthusiasts can also cast their lines in the waters surrounding Harpswell, known for its excellent striped bass and mackerel fishing.

5. Experience Island Life on Orr’s Island:
Connected to the mainland by a scenic bridge, Orr’s Island is a tranquil oasis that offers a glimpse into the laid-back island lifestyle. Explore the picturesque beaches, hike along the wooded trails, or rent a bicycle to leisurely pedal through the island’s winding roads. Don’t miss the chance to visit the iconic Land’s End Gift Shop, which offers a wide range of Maine-made products and souvenirs.

Five Interesting Facts about Harpswell, Maine:

1. Harpswell is known for having the longest coastline of any town in the United States, stretching over 200 miles.
2. The town is home to the world’s only natural whirlpool, known as “The Devil’s Back,” located near the coastal cliffs of Harpswell Neck.
3. Harpswell was once a significant shipbuilding center, producing over 400 vessels during the 18th and 19th centuries.
4. The famous American poet, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, spent many summers in Harpswell, seeking inspiration for his renowned works.
5. Harpswell’s lobster industry is thriving, contributing significantly to Maine’s reputation as the lobster capital of the world.

Frequently Asked Questions about Harpswell, Maine:

1. How do I get to Harpswell?
Harpswell is located approximately 40 miles northeast of Portland, Maine. The nearest airport is Portland International Jetport, and the town is easily accessible by car via Route 1.

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2. Are there any accommodations in Harpswell?
Yes, Harpswell offers a range of accommodations, including cozy bed and breakfasts, vacation rentals, and cottages overlooking the ocean.

3. What are the best times to visit Harpswell?
Harpswell is beautiful year-round, but the summer months from June to August offer the most pleasant weather for outdoor activities. Fall is also a popular time to visit, as the foliage paints the town in vibrant colors.

4. Can I go lobster fishing in Harpswell?
Yes, there are several local companies that offer lobster fishing experiences, where you can learn about the trade, haul traps, and even enjoy a fresh lobster feast.

5. Are there any grocery stores or restaurants in Harpswell?
Harpswell is home to several grocery stores where you can stock up on supplies. Additionally, there are numerous restaurants serving fresh seafood and traditional New England cuisine.

6. Are there any art galleries in Harpswell?
Yes, Harpswell is known for its vibrant art community, and you can find several galleries showcasing local artists’ works.

7. Can I bring my dog to Harpswell’s beaches?
Yes, dogs are allowed on most of Harpswell’s beaches, but they must be kept on a leash and under control.

8. Are there any lighthouses in Harpswell?
Yes, Harpswell is home to the picturesque Halfway Rock Light, which can be seen from various points along the coastline.

9. Can I go kayaking in Harpswell?
Absolutely! Harpswell offers numerous opportunities for kayaking, with rental services available for those who don’t have their own equipment.

10. What other outdoor activities are available in Harpswell?
Apart from hiking and kayaking, you can also enjoy birdwatching, paddleboarding, fishing, and beachcombing in Harpswell.

11. Is Harpswell a good place for a family vacation?
Harpswell is an ideal destination for a family vacation, with its safe beaches, family-friendly activities, and opportunities for outdoor exploration.

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12. Can I go whale watching in Harpswell?
While whale sightings are not guaranteed, there have been occasional sightings of whales off the coast of Harpswell. However, for a higher chance of spotting whales, it’s recommended to take a whale watching tour from nearby Boothbay Harbor.

13. Are there any historical sites to visit in Harpswell?
Yes, Harpswell boasts several historical landmarks, including the Old Harpswell Meeting House, the Elijah Kellogg Church, and the Harpswell Historical Society.

14. Can I go camping in Harpswell?
Unfortunately, camping is not permitted in Harpswell itself. However, there are several campgrounds nearby, such as in nearby Freeport and Brunswick, where you can enjoy a camping experience while still being close to Harpswell’s attractions.

In conclusion, Harpswell, Maine, with its stunning coastline, rich history, and endless recreational activities, offers a unique and memorable experience for visitors. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, exploring charming villages, or simply immersing yourself in the tranquility of island life, Harpswell has something to offer everyone. So, plan your visit to this coastal gem and discover the wonders it holds.


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