Cobscook Bay State Park sits on 888 acres of wildlife rich land approximately four miles south of the town of Dennysville, Maine. The name of the Bay comes from the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy Indian word for “boiling tides”. Visitors to the area can see the abundant water-life during both low and high tide times in the area. The tides in Cobscook Bay, on average, reach a high of approximately 24 feet, with some areas experiencing tides as high as 28 feet.
Cobscook Bay State Park is considered by many to be an excellent location to set up base camp for family adventures in Eastern Maine. The park provides 106 campsites, featuring a combination of tent and RV campsites, with many of the sites adjacent to Whiting Bay. Whiting Bay is a smaller inlet that rests inside the larger Cobscook Bay and is famous for clamming. The Bay’s unusual shape and tidal flow provide food sources for an abundant array of fish, which are in turn enjoyed by close to 200 bird species. Among the fauna that can be seen feasting are the American Bald Eagle, ospreys, seals and otters, along with the occasional bear.
Beachcombing, bird watching, day picnicking, boating, canoeing, camping and hiking are among the activities that can be enjoyed within the boundaries of the park. There are two short walking trails that are convenient to the park entrance and are suitable for walkers of any age. The first is the Nature Trail, which heads near the park entrance and offers a one mile path through the forest. The trail passes beside a running brook and rises in elevation to two scenic outlooks for breathtaking views of the area. Hikers and walkers should take care on the scenic outlooks in wet weather, as the location can be slippery in wet or icy conditions. The second walking trail is called the Shore Trail and begins near the campsite designated as Campsite 17. This trail follows the shoreline to the boat launch before turning through the forest and ending between Campsites 18 and 20. This shorter trail ends after a ¾ of a mile long loop.
The Cobscook Bay State Park offers campground facilities, a group picnic shelter, open picnic area and children’s playground for family activities. There are also provisions for an RV dumping station, showers for campers and a trailered boat launch for boaters and fishers. Visitors to the park do not need to camp, although camping spaces can be reserved online, they can pay the day-use fee and visit the park just for the day.
In the summer time, Maine weather is some of the mildest in the country with highs on average of 68 degrees. Even with the warmer summer weather, overcast days and evening can become chilly, so clothing provisions should be made for potentially cooler weather. The area the Bay is situated in is famous for foggy mornings, so hikers and boaters should take extra care in foggy conditions causing lower visibility. Winter daytime temperatures are generally below freezing, topping out at approximately 18 degrees on average. Transporting firewood, either purchased or cut down, from other locations can upset the ecological balance of the area by also transporting insects and diseases not native to the area. The Park recommends only burning firewood which has been purchased locally.
Other considerations for visiting Cobscook Bay State Park are the late spring and early summer insects, which can be irritating. Mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums can irritate and bite, so the use of an appropriate insect repellant is recommended. Park officials advise the area is not overrun with deer ticks, though they are present in some parts of the park, campers should check for ticks daily to avoid infection with Lyme disease. Boating and hiking along the shoreline are popular activities in the area; however, care should be taken with children along the shore as the tide can come in quickly.