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Crescent Beach and Kettle Cove State Parks

Sandy oceanfront beaches, saltwater coves, wooded areas, and rock ledges provide seashore recreation for visitors at these connected state parks. A few feet from the shore are gentle trails perfect for walking and observing nature.
Trail Activity
Snowshoeing Walking
2.20 miles, Network
Cape Elizabeth
Dirt/Forest Floor, Gravel/Crushed Stone, Rock/Ledge, Sand


Just twenty minutes from Portland, these two adjacent state parks offer magnificent views of the Maine coast and provide many recreational opportunities. The mile-long sandy crescent-shaped beach is perfect for a stroll, swim, and sun bathe.

At the western end of Crescent Beach State Park, one can explore a rocky area for small sea creatures or find a trail that takes the hiker through a meadow that continues offering fantastic views of the water, an old apple orchard, and nearby Richmond Island. The meadow is periodically mowed to continue its abundance of milkweed, attracting many monarch butterflies each late summer and fall. Milkweed is the only plant that its larvae can eat and is essential to the life cycle of this butterfly. This short trail will lead to an old fire road that meanders through the woods and ends on the entrance road to the park. The hiker can return along this entrance road to the main parking area.

Just to the west of the park's facilities there is a gravel service road located immediately behind the sand dunes that park staff frequently use. This road provides a peaceful walk that passes by wetlands where bird watching is optimal.

The service road that heads east from the park's facilities heads to Kettle Cove State Park; turn right at the end of the service road to walk to the end of Ocean House Road. If a visitor chooses to drive to Kettle Cove State Park via Ocean House Road, it is important to keep in mind that this small parking lot can fill quickly and is shared with a busy boat launch used by area lobstermen.

Kettle Cove, while small, offers additional spectacular ocean scenery, a grassy area, and an excellent area for tidal pool exploration. At the far end of the parking lot there are two trail heads that will take the hiker into a small network of gentle trails offering the opportunity to view yet another hidden cove.

View the Crescent Beach State Park page on BPL's website.

Other Information

These areas, although heavily visited, always offer excellent opportunities for peaceful, easy walking. Please be courteous of all park boundaries and park rules, which can always be found easily posted nearby. Crescent Beach State Park is open seasonally between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Visitors are welcomed to use the trails and beach in the off-season and are asked to park well off from the the road. Kettle Cove is plowed for parking in the winter months.

Pets are welcome at the park on a 4 foot leash but are not allowed on the beach from April 1-September 30. 

Trail Manager

Visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information or contact:

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Cape Elizabeth

Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Cape Elizabeth
7 Tower Drive
Cape Elizabeth, ME 04107
Phone: (207) 799-5871

Nearby Events


Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Tell someone your plan and when you’ll return, just in case.
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Trailhead Information

Kettle Cove and Crescent Beach State Parks are adjacent to one another and are located 8 miles south of Portland, off of ME-77. Kettle Cove is located at the end of Ocean House Road, left off of ME-77; continue 0.5 miles farther on ME-77 to find the Crescent Beach entrance and gate.

Click on a parking icon to get custom directions
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August 13, 2023
It is a beautiful setting, however I had a very unpleasant exchange with the park attendants regarding parking. I was followed around the circle by two park attendants in a golf cart. I stopped to the side once because I thought a car was pulling out and I was immediately accosted by these attendants to keep moving, and not in a friendly but very hostile manner. I moved and ran into two women that were putting things in their car and they said they just had to get their kayak on the car and I could have their space. Again I pulled well out of the way to the side and was waiting for them. I now had one of the attendants yelling at me to move and when I said I was waiting for them to get their kayak on so I could have their space he said I had to keep moving. I said I would wait for them to move. He said I was blocking traffic, I was not, in fact he was blocking traffic with his golf cart. He told me I was being “belligerent” and he was going to call the police. I never raised my voice I was simply waiting to park. People left and I park while being yelled at by this very angry man. While I was their I did not witness them following. Any other cars around the parking lot. I began to wonder if I had been targeted for my brown skin. I am indigenous, a Micmac, in fact indigenous to Maine. This man’s rage and behavior was being directed at me and there was no call for it. I have never ever had a bad interaction with a park employee anywhere in this state prior in fact all very professional and friendly. This person should not be working for this service.
August 11, 2017
What is the name of the red berries growing on the bushes at kettle cove park?
June 26, 2016
Daughter lost initial "A"necklace at beach today, believes in parking lot. Was her bday today, would mean a lot to have returned. Please email if found. Thank you
June 04, 2016
Thanks for pointing out the direction errors in this posting, juliab. We have made some corrections to the text and map, so hopefully no one will be confused in the future. Happy hiking! -MTF Team
May 31, 2016
Enjoyed walking on the beach and trails at Crescent Beach in mid-May. First visit so I was a bit confused by the description and map. Once I realized the description reverses East and West I did much better, though I would have appreciated if the map showed the park entrance and service roads mentioned in the description.
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