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Easy Walks Around Portland, Maine

Updated on July 24, 2012

Portland Head Light

Even though it is located ten miles away, the Portland Head Light is forever associated with Portland, Maine
Even though it is located ten miles away, the Portland Head Light is forever associated with Portland, Maine | Source

Visit A Lighthouse

Visiting the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine is definitely an activity that will provide any visitor with some easy seaside walking, At the same time you are strolling along the top of the rocks, you can also get a good glimpse of one of the nation's most photogenic lights. Portland Head Light can be found in Fort Williams Park within the town of Cape Elizabeth. Visitors should enter the park until they come to the section where the lighthouse is located. You can park here, walk to the base of the light and explore the neighboring coastal trails from this location.

Closer to the city of Portland, in South Portland, exist two other lighthouses with adjacent walking areas. In fact, the Bug Light and Spring Point Light are close enough in proximity, so that the distance can be covered in twenty minutes or less. Also called Breakwater Light, the Bug Light Park has more room to leave your jalopy. However, both abundant places to walk along the harbor shoreline and survey the busy harbor.

Aerial View of Portland, Maine

Portland, Maine borders Casco Bay home to several hundred small islands.
Portland, Maine borders Casco Bay home to several hundred small islands. | Source

Two Urban Waterfalls

The coast of Maine features a rocky shore that is often referred to as a flooded coastline. In geological terms this implies the sea level has naturally risen above the sandy deposits built up over time and now butts up against the edges of rocky cliffs. In Maine the coastal terrain often rises quickly in elevation as one travel away from shore. In the Portland area this natural phenomena has created two small waterfalls that can be found within the city limits.

Portland Trails is a citywide system of walking trails. This walking paths vary from easy strolls along harbor sidewalks and paved surfaces to earthen paths that take the hiker into wooded environs, more typical of a rural state park. Within the latter grouping, there exist two excellent easy-paced hiking trails that lead to isolated waterfalls. Named Jewell Falls and Presumpscot River Falls, these secluded areas can be accessed by such a few minutes of quiet walking. To find the trailhead to Jewel Falls drive east on Congress St. until you come to the Fore River Sanctuary.

On the other hand, the trailhead to Presumpscot River Falls takes a little looking. A map from Portland Trails would aid hikers in locating the various access points off of Allen Rd. on the north side of town.

Eastern Promenade

The eastern promenade borders Portland's Casco Bay
The eastern promenade borders Portland's Casco Bay | Source

The Eastern Promenade

Beginning at the Casco Bay Ferry Terminal, there is a walking, biking and skating paved path that follows the shoreline all the way to the Eastern Promenade, a small park that overlooks the water. On the way the trail passes the remains of Fort Allen, the East End Beach, a boat launch and small parking area. This is a popular and busy place that also has a small narrow-gauge train line that still escorts riders along the same route. No matter how you negotiate the distance, you are bound to have an enjoyable visit.

Portland, Maine and the View West

View of Portland from above Casco Bay
View of Portland from above Casco Bay | Source


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    • harrynielsen profile imageAUTHOR

      Harry Nielsen 

      4 years ago from Durango, Colorado

      Yes, there are two places to walk to from the the cruise ship docking. If you take a right it will take you on a beautiful flat walk to the Eastern promenade. This a scenic and popular path that leads to a marina. To get back to the center of town from this point, you will either have to retrace your steps or climb a high hill with a great view of the harbor and Casco Bay.

      On the other hand if you take a left from the cruise ship dock this leads straight into the Old Port, where you will find a myriad of seafood restaurants, gift shops and upscale bars. A fascinating place but very busy.

    • mbgphoto profile image

      Mary Beth Granger 

      4 years ago from O'Fallon, Missouri, USA

      We will be having a stop in Portland on our cruise in September. Do you know if there are places to walk to from near where the cruise ships dock? Thanks for an interesting hub.

    • Patty Kenyon profile image

      Patty Kenyon 

      6 years ago from Ledyard, Connecticut

      I love Maine and have family that live in all areas!! The people are so friendly and the view are breathtaking!!

    • bankscottage profile image


      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I have a son that lives in Portland so we get there often. The East Promenade is a great place to walk. So it the Back Bay area. I also like taking the ferry out to Peaks Island (just across the harbor). It is fun to walk around the island and then stop for lunch. I've been to Portland Head Lighthouse when people are flying kites. That is always interesting and a beautiful site.

      Voted up and interesting.


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