A DYNAMIC AND CHANGING LANDSCAPE - Sand movement and beach dynamics have had a dramatic effect on Popham Beach, causing extreme shoreline change and dune erosion. Please refer to the BEACH ADVISORY CALENDAR to plan your next visit to Popham Beach State Park. Dates listing a Beach Advisory have a high tide during peak hours resulting in very little beach space during busy times. Bordering the south side of the mouth of the Kennebec River, Popham Beach State Park is truly one of Maine's rare geologic landforms that features a long stretch of sand beach. Sunbathers relaxing on Popham's sands can see Fox and Wood islands offshore, and the Kennebec and Morse rivers border each end of the beach. Visitors can walk to Fox Island at low tide, but are warned to pay attention to the rising tides not to get marooned. The rolling Atlantic surf draws thousands of swimmers and surfers alike, and shell collecting is a pasttime of many a sea side stroller. Lifeguards are on duty during the summer months, but beachgoers should note that this is a strong surf beach with undertows and occasional rip tides. Swimmers should swim within their abilities and near the lifeguard. Call the Popham Beach State Park's Hotline during the summer for current tide and parking information: (207) 389-9125. Surfers can visit www.maineharbors.com for tide information and should add 9 minutes to the Portland chart for Popham Beach high and low tide data. Popham's cultural and social history is still being uncovered. Excavations of the Popham settlement of 1607 and Fort George continue each summer.
From Brunswick at the end of July, we took our first day-trip to Popham State Park, located at the end of the Bath peninsula, by taking a right turn just before crossing the bridge at US-1 onto 209S at Bath. After paying the $5 fee, we surveyed the pristine beach close to low tide. This is the beach where Message in a Bottle was filmed, starring Kevin Costner. We walked along the beach, which was not very crowded. The water was cold and numbed our feet. We waded a ways and noticed that as the tide went out, the rocky island was more accessible. We waded right on across and didn't get wet past our thighs. The water was refreshing, and the rocks were easy to climb (maybe will take water shoes next time as rocks are sharp).