Phippsburg, Maine Vacation Guide
Day trips and scenic drives are as much a part of a Maine vacation as lobster, wild blueberries and bait shacks strung with painted buoys. Phippsburg, Arrowsic and Georgetown are a hop, skip and jump from downtown Bath. When you are cruising on Route 209, you will come to a scenic causeway. The narrow Phippsburg peninsula exists on the other side of Winnegance Creek. In the old days, this waterway was used as a shortcut between Casco Bay and the Kennebec River, and you can still see architectural traces of the tide mills that once thrived here. Past Phippsburg, you will find the islands of Arrowsic and Georgetown.
Two historic narratives define Phippsburg. First, it was the site of the ill-fated Popham Colony. While this 1607 settlement is widely-known as the first English colony in New England, it proved to be short lived. However, the colonists did build the Virginia of Sagadahoc, a boat that is often recognized as the first in Maine’s venerable ship building history. Second, Popham Beach was a turn of the century resort community. Boston and Kennebec steamers docked at the wharves. Today, all that is left is the wooden pilings from these glamorous steamboat wharves, but once you see the spectacular strip of sand, you will understand why men in double-breasted suits and women with parasols sought out this seaside haven.
Phippsburg is home to several historic forts and state parks. Fort Popham is a stunning Civil War era fort. Sitting at the mouth of the Kennebec River, which is also where you will find the Pond Island Lighthouse, the Popham Fort is made of granite. If you visit the fort, then be sure to pack a lunch, as there are picnic tables with scenic views. Fort Baldwin and Fort St. George are also in the nearby area.
From fishing and kayaking to hiking and sunbathing, outdoor activities abound in Phippsburg. The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area consists of over 600 acres. A two-hour walk will take you to Seawalk Beach, an idyllic nesting ground for piping plovers. Also, an easy hike will lead you to the top of Morse Mountain, where you will be greeted with a sweeping view. Nature lovers will also enjoy Popham Beach State Park and the Phippsburg Land Trust. At Hermit Island, you will find some of the best salt water camping in Maine.
Located on the Sasanoa, Back and Kennebec Rivers, the name Arrowsic means place of obstruction. Due to the numerous rocks and boulders that clogged the waterways, this was the name the Abenaki Indians gave this ten-mile island. Today, Arrowsic is a hotspot for artists and birders. Robinhood Road is the main thoroughfare that cuts through town. There are two lighthouses on the island: Doubling Point Light and Squirrel Point Light, and both of them were built as navigational aids for ships on their way to and from Bath. Grab the field book and high-powered binoculars and try to identify as many birds as you can at Bald Head Preserve.
Route 127 will take you into the heart of Georgetown. If you did not get your fill of cormorants and whiskered terns in Arrowsic, then Georgetown has several green spaces to explore. The Ledgemere Nature Preserve and the Josephine Newman Wildlife Sanctuary are two popular destinations. However, Reid State Park, which is considered to be Maine’s first state-owned salt water beach, is Georgetown’s best recreational resource. The beach at Reid State Park is not rocky but comprised of large, rolling sand dunes. It is an excellent place to view the Seguin Island Lighthouse.
Lodging & Dining
Lobstah, as they say it in New England, is the star on all of Maine’s menus, and the sheer number of lobster boats in the Phippsburg, Arrowsic and Georgetown area ensure that thousands of pounds of these crustaceans are finding their way to the restaurants, shacks and pounds throughout the region. However, there are also southern style barbecue joints, pizza shops, cafes and steakhouses. From fried parsnip appetizers and the pan-blackened catch of the day to mountainous pulled pork sandwiches and prime rib, the menus are filled with culinary options. New England is the birthplace of the B&B. These small, historically refurbished guesthouses often have different themes for different rooms. For example, why not hang your hat in the Rose Room, the Lighthouse Room, the Artist’s Studio or the Captain’s Quarters? If none of these options are to your liking, there is always a good old-fashioned motel down the street.
Phippsburg Area Directories
Visit the following directories to find lodging, dining, attractions, shops, services and recreational activities in the Phippsburg, Maine area.