Welcome to Life in Washington County…Has anyone been to Cobscook Bay State Park? What an exciting and nice place to cool off on these warm days in Washington County.
The park is an 888-acre park and on three sides is surrounded by water, providing opportunities to watch birds and observe the ebb and flow of the region’s impressive tides. According to the website (Maine Bureau of Parks & Lands – Search for Parks and Properties) Cobscook Bay State Park is a great base for family camping and explorations in easternmost Maine. Many of the park’s 106 campsites (both for tenting and RVs) border Whiting Bay, a sheltered inlet within the larger bay. The Park offers a boat launch for those with the experience to handle boating in challenging conditions (with rapids created by fast-moving tides).
The history of the park states that….The park’s geology is shaped by three primary forces: Cobscook Bay’s powerful tides; the underlying bedrock (a volcanic tuff-breccia that dates back to the Silurian Age roughly 420 million years ago); and the glacial action from the Wisconsinan ice sheet (approximately 12,000-18,000 years ago)- which deposited mud and an assortment of rock, sand, silt and clay known as glacial till. These sediments form a thin layer over the bedrock that rarely exceeds 10 feet. Where the bedrock is exposed, grooves left by the ice sheet (known as glacial striations) are visible on rock surfaces. One of the first geologists to explore the area, Nathaniel S. Shaler, noted in 1886 that Cobscook Bay offers “a more interesting assemblage of phenomena than can be found on any other part of the eastern seaboard of the United States.” For more information on this geologic legacy visit the Ice Age Trail.
Cobscook Bay State Park has two short trails appropriate for walkers of all ages. The Nature Trail, which begins near the Park entrance, offers a forested, one-mile path that leads through forests, passes along a brook and then rises to two scenic outlooks with views out over Whiting Bay and Burnt Cove. The trail up to the outlook has a short, steep and rocky section: take extra care here in wet weather. The Nature Trail ends by two campsites, allowing walkers to return on a gravel road (for a 2-mile round trip).
The Shore Trail (also known as the Anthony’s Beach Trail) is a 0.75-mile loop path that begins beside campsite 17, following near the shore to the boat launch, and then winding back through woods to come out between campsites 18 and 20. Many visitors enjoy shoreline explorations as well, but please don’t wander into waterfront campsites and be mindful of fast-moving tides.