We just found another spectacular swimming hole and it includes a short hike. Thanks to my friend Sarah M. for sharing the details of this secret beach with me. It was our very last day of OMP Camp today and this was the perfect place to celebrate two years of outdoor adventuring with some incredible kids.
The path to this beach is part of the Sebago to Sea Trail, which is a continuous shared-use trail connecting Sebago Lake to Casco Bay. Managed by the Presumpscot Regional Land Trust, the 28 mile trail is comprised of 7 sections connecting 6 towns. The hike to the secret swimming area is part of section 1: Sebago Lake to Route 237 in Standish. Instead of starting on Route 237, we took an alternate, shorter route from the intersection of Route 35 (Chadbourne Rd) and Busque Blvd. If you enter Busque Boulevard, Standish into your GPS, it will bring you to the right place. Instead of pulling into Busque Blvd however, look directly across the street to the dirt parking lot. Here you will find a Portland Water District kiosk and a permit to complete before starting on your way. Note, keep one copy of the permit with you. I accidentally dropped the whole thing into the drop box and although no one asked us for the permit, technically, we should have had one with us on the hike.
This trail is a total of 1.3 miles one way. It took us just over 1/2 hour to get to the beach. Once you've walked about halfway, the trail will connect with the unpaved Pond Road, leading you to to this sign before taking a left towards the water's edge.
By the time you get here, you will be hot and ready to jump right in. The water is clear, warm and contains large rocks for jumping off of! A natural playground. My campers actually swam their lunches out to one of the large rocks for a picnic on a rock island. Food for thought.
Swimming is allowed at this lakeshore because it is just outside the 2-mile no bodily contact limit. Why no bodily contact? Because Sebago Lake serves as the drinking water supply for nearly 1/6 of Maine’s population, plus hundreds of thousands of visitors to the state each year. It is one of Maine's largest lakes and it is the deepest lake in New England at over 300 feet deep. They want to keep it clean, and so do we. Luckily, this sweet spot is up for the swimming. And I hope you do.