Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Seapoint and Crescent Beaches, Kittery

Looking for information on Crescent Beach in Cape Elizabeth?  Try THIS POST.  

What do you think of when you hear "Kittery"?  The Trading Post?  First rest stop in Maine?  Outlets?  Bob's Clam Shack?

Me too.  But Kittery is way more than that.  It has some amazing coastline, terrific views, and beaches.  Yes beaches.

This weekend we had a true taste of spring, with a bluebird sky, warm sun, and temps in the 40's.  The warmth was much appreciated by everyone who ran the Half at the Hamptons race on Sunday (myself included, despite having a wicked bad cold), and brought people out in droves to the parks and beaches.  Damon and I dragged the dog down for a weekend exploring and running.

Lots of rules.  Nice beach.
I might have made it sound like we should pity Kittery, being best known for shopping gridlock and rest stops.  But I think that's the way Kittery wants it, actually.  I think they don't want anyone outside of town to know about their amazing beaches.  Go ahead and stop at our businesses, tourists.  Nothing else to see here.  Move along.  Go on up to Boothbay after you've spent your money.  The beaches aren't set up for crowds.  There's very little space for parking, and it's limited to town residents in summer.  (Another reason we love off-season.)  Clearly, Kittery wants to keep this to themselves.

Sponges washed up on the beach.

A mussel with kelp holdfast and drill hole from Nucella (dogwhelk).  This guy didn't stand a chance!
After finding the busy parking area (on street) we clipped the leash on Dory and headed over the snowbanks.  Seapoint Beach, the northern portion of these two beaches) is pretty well protected, with some actual sand (interspersed with cobble and even some old salt marsh turf).  There were plenty of people taking advantage of the off-leash dog rules (which only apply offseason), with lots of fetch and chase and dig in the sand underway.

Looking north at Seapoint Beach

The southern end of Seapoint Beach used to be a marsh -- notice the old mucky remains of detritus.
Damon and I really enjoyed the point separating the two beaches.  Jutting into the sea, it had promising tidepools (but the tide was too high to check them out) and some terrific boulders to sit on while pondering the sea and soaking up the sun.  With breaks offshore, waves were wrapping around them coming ashore from several directions.

I love how you can see waves coming in multiple directions here.

Damon looks happy.  Dory looks like she's stuck with us losers.
Crescent Beach is much more exposed than Seapoint.  This is a cobble beach; with varying sizes of rocks to clamber over.  There were some amazing winter berms on the beach (which of course the pictures never can show); clearly there have been some big waves this year.  Although cobble beaches don't turn some people on, I love the sound of the waves sweeping and rolling the rocks around.  The southern end of the beach was piled with flotsam -- seaweed that was drawing quite the crowd of robins, probably finding insects in there to gobble down.

Crescent Beach  -- cobbles and winter berms.

How long have these been rolling around in the surf?

Robins hunting in the flotsam.

Me -- at the finish line of the half marathon!  Whoop!
 TO GET THERE:  Take Rt 103 north from Kittery.  Go right onto Chauncy Creek Road (in summer home to excellent clams at the Chauncy Creek Lobster Pier).  Go ~1 mile; you will see parking signs on the right hand side of the road.  Unless you're a local, visit off season or bike in.