East Point Audubon Sanctuary, Biddeford
Updated: Jan 26, 2022
Located at the end of Biddeford Pool, this short, easy loop is one hundred percent ocean. Well there is a foot path. You don't have to swim.
A short loop was about all that I could handle on a 7 degree morning in Maine. Luckily, my friend Becca was up for braving the frigid temps with me. We dressed appropriately - layers, upon layers. Upon layers.
We did NOT re-check the temperature at the trailhead. Once you've done all you can to prepare, knowing how brutally cold it is will not help with a positive mindset. If you bundle up and bring the right company, you'll be ok in any temperature.
This pristine 1.5 mile loop follows the rocky ocean cliffs and along the perimeter of the point. Views of Wood Island Lighthouse, Saco Bay and the Gulf of Maine can be taken in by sitting on one of the benches along the way. This 27-acre sanctuary is considered by many to be one of the best birding locations in southern Maine. More than 260 different bird species have been spotted here! We spotted one black crow of course, because they follow me everywhere I go.
Maine Audubon sanctuaries are free and open to the public year round. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed at any of them, as their presence can be disruptive to wildlife. Romy was not invited to this adventure, but she was having her own adventure at Roscoe's Bed & Bark. We all survived.
Parking here is limited and is more of a dirt shoulder in front of someone's big house. As you reach the end of your drive, you will find yourself on Lester B. Orcutt Blvd. Once the ocean comes into view, look to your right where you will see space along the road for about 6 cars. Here is the view as I looked back at our car from the ocean. See the fence on the left and two cars parked next to it.
The entrance to the sanctuary would be easy to miss as well, if you weren't paying close attention. I do wonder if these somewhat hidden trails are that way intentionally? Regardless, we did in fact find it and part of the fun is in the treasure hunt.
As you leave your parked car and head towards the ocean, look for this trail entrance on your left. If you come to a driveway that says "private", you've gone too far.
This is the start of the trail. It will lead you past a golf course before opening up to the ocean views. And now it's time for some pretty pictures...
The trail will take you along the point, then continue on until you reach the lighthouse views and more protected cove. Once you've arrived at the bench for Jack and Toots Gibbon, take a pause. Not only is our Seek'em hidden here, Toots is also a name you just can't breeze past. Look under the bench to find our friend...dressed for the occasion in ocean colored attire.
Beyond this bench, the trail continues to follow the ocean, then winds in towards some woods. When you've reached the end, which would have been somewhat unclear had I not been following my All Trails GPS, turn around and head back to your warm car.
Becca and I stopped at Elements coffee shop at 265 Main Street in Biddeford on our return trip. If you're interested in books, coffee and beer, you'll want to stop here too. Ocean-tacular trails, good friends, books and coffee. Is there anything that could make this day better? Maybe temps of 75. But we'll get there this summer. This trip definitely deserves a round two in the warmer months.