Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park
GOOD FOR: All Ages
RATING:


Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:426 Wolf's Neck Rd, Freeport, ME 04032
Hours:9 A.M. to sunset unless otherwise posted
Fee: $4.00 adult Maine residents, $6.00 adult nonresidents, $1.00 children ages 5–11; $2.00 non-resident seniors; children under 5 and Maine residents 65 and older are free
Contact:
Bathrooms: Restrooms at trailhead
Water/Snacks: A water fountain and spigot is provided at the restroom (during summer season).
Map:

USGS Freeport quad; parksandlands.com
 


This coastal treasure offers 5 miles of easy forest and shore-side walking trails, including a wheelchair- and stroller-accessible path. Bring your binoculars!

Children will enjoy the multiple bridges throughout the state park’s trail system.

Drive five minutes away from Freeport’s bustling shopping district, and Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park transports you into the tranquil natural world. This 245-acre park has 5 miles of easy walking trails, clean and modern restrooms, a picnic area, and diverse ecosystems, including mature hemlock and white pine forests, a salt marsh estuary, and the rocky shorelines of the Harraseeket River and Casco Bay. Named after the land’s early European settlers, Henry and Rachel Wolfe and established in 1972, this park is now considered one of Maine’s coastal treasures.

Explore the best of the trail system by setting off on Casco Bay Trail. From the north end of the parking area, enter the woods to the right of the big wooden sign. This popular trail offers an easy, short walk to the ocean.

To extend the trip and explore majestic stands of mature forest, add on the 1.8-mile Harraseeket loop. Just a few hundred feet after entering the forest, Casco Bay Trail meets Harraseeket Trail. Bear right here, ducking farther into the woods. Cross Old Woods Road Trail, Power Line Trail, and Wolfe’s Neck Road. (Note that Wolfe’s Neck Road is the road you traveled by car to access the park, so beware of vehicles when crossing.) After a gradual descent through lovely mature forest, the trail traverses the cliffs above the Harraseeket River, offering views of South Freeport and its marina and resident boats. Here, rocky ledges make for great rest spots, but take care that kids don’t get too close to the edge. Leaving the shoreline, the trail ducks back into the forest, over a wooden bridge, and gently uphill before recrossing Wolfe’s Neck Road. Bear right at each of the next three trail junctions to stay on Harraseeket Trail and eventually rejoin Casco Bay Trail at the ocean’s edge.

At the trail junction of Harraseeket and Casco Bay trails, an interpretive sign points out the animals of the bay, and a set of stairs leads down to the rocky shore. Kids will enjoy exploring the beach here, so plan to stop a while and take in the views of Casco Bay and Cousins, Eagle, and Googins islands. Googins is home to majestic ospreys, who mate for life and summer on the island before making the long flight each fall to South America. To learn more about ospreys and other wildlife who call this area home, consider joining one of the park’s many free, naturalist-led programs offered throughout summer and fall. Continue along Casco Bay Trail to return to the trailhead and parking area.

For those visitors exploring the park via wheelchair or stroller, head to the accessible White Pines Trail. Clear signage from the parking lot marks the way.

During the summer months, be sure to check out nature programs, held daily at 2:00 pm. And in the off-season, programs are held on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:00 pm.

Plan B:

The 626-acre Wolfe’s Neck Farm is a nonprofit saltwater farm open free to the public every day from dawn to dusk. Here, kids can visit the farm animals, learn about agriculture, hike, bike, kayak, canoe, and participate in myriad education and community events. For more information, visit wolfesneckfarm.org or call 207-865-4469.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Downtown Freeport is home to the flagship L.L. Bean store, as well as multiple outlet stores, restaurants, and ice cream shops.



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