Reid State Park Loop

East Beach, Reid State Park, Georgetown, ME

Reid State Park in Georgetown, Maine is at the southeast corner of the long coastal peninsula formed by the Kennebec River to the west and the Sheepscot River to the east. In 2015, Reid’s popular beaches were named #1 in New England for surfing by the Boston Globe. The fee for day use of Reid State Park, payable at the entry gate, is $6 for Maine residents, $8 for non-residents, and $2 for non-resident seniors. We visited at the tail-end of the winter season, enjoying the peace and quiet. As the parking lot at Todd’s Point was not yet open, we parked by the East Beach, and began our hike there, moving in an easy 4.8 mile clockwise loop covering Reid State Park’s best features in about two hours. The park does have a map, accessible from a link on the state park website. This map, though no doubt made available by a dedicated public servant, is terrible for hiking. First, know that the official map is upside-down, meaning north is at the bottom. Additionally, no trails are listed. Below is a screenshot of the correctly-oriented All Trails route we took, with helpful labels added by daughter.

The East Beach has a group picnic site overlooking the ocean, with a large shelter from the sun or inclement weather. Paths connect picnic sites, but to start our hike, we walked south along Griffith’s Head Road, crossing a small tidal inlet of the Sheepscot, where a red-breasted merganser rode the current foraging for food. We quickly arrived at Griffith Head, with the buildings shuttered for the winter (note: a pit toilet here was the only open winter bathroom). We walked down a stone staircase to Mile Beach, and the sun, sea air, and the sound of the waves filled the next mile of our walk along the sand.

Mile Beach from Griffith Head, Reid State Park, Georgetown, ME

The rocky promentory of Todd’s Point rises above the water, with a short climb yielding great views in all directions. Here, the bathing facilities were shuttered, as well, with the empty parking lots between Mile Beach and Half Mile Beach roped off until the summer season. We looked briefly at Half Mile Beach, then walked behind the dunes on a spur trail between the beach and the Little River, emerging with a long view towards Popham Beach.

Half Mile Beach, Reid State Park, Georgetown, ME

Returning through birdsong, we found the trailhead for the Little River Trail, unmarked but for a small wooden sign, on the northwest side of the lower (south) parking lot, past a series of picnic tables. This trail wound along the salt marsh alongside the Little River, with long ridges between the trail and water, and small boardwalks over streams. We heard woodpeckers and a bald eagle patrolling the open woods to the east. A large hill with a water tower, crossed by power lines, marked the highest point. A trail labeled as the Loop Trail divides at a woods road, with right taking you east to Todd’s Point Road and the park entrance, and left towards North Boundary Road and Seguinland Road. We turned left to make a longer loop.

Little River Trailhead from Todd’s Point, Reid State Park, Georgetown, ME

This trail skirted the edge of Ice Pond, along Seguinland Road, before turning back into the woods. We explored a spur on this small pond, where a prominent beaver lodge commanded the lagoon. A hermit thrush sang close to the path, and I played a thrush song from my phone, causing the curious bird to walk towards us with its chest puffed out and its mouth open. We continued through the woods until reaching the park entrance again, and then turned onto Griffith’s Head Road to return to the car. What to do post-hike? The center of Georgetown is at the end of Route 127, and in the summer months, Five Islands Lobster, adjacent to an ice cream shack, presides over unrivaled ocean views.

Beaver lodge on Ice Pond, Reid State Park, Georgetown, ME