This dog-friendly trail leading through forest, open meadow, an old apple orchard, a pond and a beach with red sand may be a surprise to you, as it was for me. The red-sand cove, called Jordan Point, is located at the western end of Crescent Beach State Park. This sweet spot is separated from the larger beach by rocky ledge, so you'd never know it was there.
I heard about "the trail leading through the woods to Crescent Beach" from my friend Meghan many times, but it took a while before we actually explored it with her. When we finally did, the place blew me away! I'd been to Crescent Beach State Park SO many times and had no idea this little gem was tucked alongside it.
My kids knew about it though. Every June, we join other families for an end of school year gathering at Crescent Beach. And every year, a group of our kids venture over the rocky ledge at the end of the beach to explore the "red sand" at the secret beach. I never knew where they were actually going and had never seen the mysterious beach myself. So I was amused to learn that Meghan's trail brought us directly to it. It was a full circle moment and a great reminder that your next favorite trail could be right under your feet.
The entrance to Crescent Beach is located at 109 Bowery Beach Road (Route 77) in Cape Elizabeth. During off-season, park just outside the main gate and walk along the park road until you've reached the trailhead on the right, just passed this sign.
You'll walk through the woods briefly before the trees open up to a meadow. Here's a picture of my mom, enjoying the feeling of expansion as she left the woods and entered the wide open, grassy path.
This path winds down towards the water, straight to a small opening leading to Jordan's Point. Here you will find tide pools, views of Richmond Island and red sand. During our visit, Meghan did a quick search on the source of the red sand and discovered it comes from garnet in the beach rock. I did not do any further research, but if you know anything more about this red sand, send it my way!
I thought the red-sand beach was the most exciting part of this trail, but there was more to come. Meghan suggested we continue on towards the larger stretch of Crescent Beach, then cut back into the woods to walk along the pond in the marsh. The what?! There was also a pond here?? At this point, my mind was a bit blown. All of these treasures, so close to a beach I'd visited countless times without knowing they existed.
To find the pond and our Seek'em, continue along the grassy path from Jordan's Point towards Crescent Beach. Just before reaching the open sand, there is a trail leading back to the woods on the left. Just inside this trail, you will see a large, gnarly tree on the right. Look inside to find our Seek'em.
Carry on to the marsh and surprisingly large pond tucked into the woods. The word on the streets is that people skate here in the winter. A ski in, skate and beach walk sounds like a trifecta to me.
From the pond, the trail will lead you to the large parking lot for the State Park. We hugged the left side of the lot until reaching another trail into the woods, winding back to the main park road through a wet, unclear path. You may opt to walk the park road directly from the parking lot, which would be an easier route. Or you may choose to continue along the 1-mile stretch of sandy beach at Crescent and connect to Kettle Cove for a longer, 2.8 mile loop. Here's the All Trails link for that walk. Here's the link for details on Crescent Beach State Park as well.
With the flat, wide path, and year round recreational opportunities, this trail is perfect for all abilities and seasons. Can't wait for you to explore this one.