If you allow your curiosity to get the best of you (like I do) – continue past Popham Beach State Park and along Popham Rd. until you reach the end of that road. There, on the high ground abutting the Kennebec River, is the graceful granite fortress of Fort Popham.
Like a mother awaiting her sons return from sea, Fort Popham stands quietly guarding the entrance to shipbuilder’s most important city; Bath. Thirty-foot solid granite walls encompass the 36-gun emplaced fort on this small spirt of land. Explore the sweeping sandy beaches, granite cliffs, and tidal pools at this strategic location on the coast of Southern Maine.
Open 9:00 a.m. to sunset daily year-round, Fort Popham is the perfect day trip for families with young ones. There multiple picnic tables just outside the fort and perfect for watching the lobstermen motor by. Keep a close lookout for seals, who might just enjoy the rock outcroppings more than we do (I spot some nearly every time I go). There is a small outhouse at the fort (but I’d recommend those only for emergency use). If you didn’t pack a lunch Spinney’s Restaurant is about a 200-yard walk from the fort.
Fort Popham is very much self guided, and I never felt lost with the plethora of historical plaques and informational boards spread throughout. Climbing the staircase to the top of the towers inside the fort offered a glorious lookout for viewing the beach, ferry dock, and ocean. Kepp an eye out for the hidden rooms; there are a handful to discover. I had to do a few loops around the small parking lot before finding a spot mid-July, but besides that, there’s nothing not excellent about Fort Popham.
It was so refreshing to find Fort Popham tucked away in the midst of the beautiful and secluded landscape of the lower Kennebec River. With few visitors and a friendly atmosphere, I make it an absolute must when showing friends and family the area. Visit mid-May to participate in community day at the Maine Maritime Museum before grabbing lunch and exploring Fort Popham.
Shots from Fort Popham
Where Is It?
From US 1, take State Rd. 209 SE out of Bath and handle bar the Kennebec River 16 miles to the Fort Popham parking lot. When you see the signs for Popham Beach State Park, you’re almost there – just continue straight on that road and you’ll end up right at the Fort.
219 Popham Rd, Phippsburg, ME 04562
(Plus Code: Q648+2J Phippsburg, Maine)
What else is nearby?
Travel is the best kind of education so go get lost, even if it’s just outside your own doorstep! Here are some more of our favorite places right next door!
- Popham Beach State Park
- Reid State Park
- Fort Baldwin