Lighthouse just one of the attractions at Fort Point State Park

Posted Nov. 10, 2010, at 7:27 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:21 p.m.

From my home in Belfast, Fort Point State Park in Stockton Springs is just a 30 minute drive away for a great walk through woods and along the upper reaches of Penobscot Bay. There’s also a scenic resting spot near a pretty lighthouse and the remains of an 18th century fort.

My wife and I like to park at the state park gate and walk the road, which winds through softwood forest. There is a pleasant, marked side path that takes you to Grant Cove. You can continue along the shore to the park’s pier at low tide, but I recommend returning to the paved road, then proceeding into the park.

We wander left at the small parking lot to visit the pier, then return south to a spit of sandy beach where the bay waves meet the current from the mouth of the Penobscot River. Then climb the bluff toward the bell tower and lighthouse (which is a private residence, so respect their privacy). The berms in the clearing are the remains of Fort Pownall, built in 1759.

You can return by the park road, but we prefer to exit the park by the lighthouse driveway and walk along Lighthouse Road, which affords views down the bay toward North Haven.

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To get there: Turn south from Route 1 (near where Route 1A joins it) toward the small village of Stockton Springs. Follow the park signs, which take you to the loop road on Cape Jellison. The park is on the southeast side of the cape.

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