Kettle Cove State Park is one of the numerous perfect examples of small, well-maintained, state-run trails and beaches that we’re so lucky to have effortlessly available to us here in Maine. What makes it stand out is the somehow private and secluded feel, making the ‘state park’ seem a bit contradictory.
There’s a decent sized parking lot as you pull up to Kettle Cove (though it can fill up quickly on a nice day), which is directly above the small sandy beaches and rocky area (AKA less stuff you have to lug to the beach – you can always just run to your vehicle quickly!). There is a small entrance fee (or free with an annual Maine State Park pass), and no other facilities – but there are plenty of beaches to watch the waves crash. Lounging on the beach, searching for treasure on the rocks, and the small wooden oceanview trails can keep you entertained all day here. Plus, Crescent Beach State Park and Two Lights State Park are both a very short, walkable distance away – in fact, Crescent Beach State Park‘s sandy beaches are directly adjacent to Kettle Cove State Park! If you’re exploring offseason (which, let’s face it – for Maine, that’s most of the year), check out the polar plunge – an annual community event that’s been going on for 19 years, where you get to run in the icy ocean on January 1st for an extremely brisk swim for charity!
Even with others also exploring the beach, there’s something serene and peaceful about this spot – ideal for curling up with a book or wading through the waves looking for sea glass and sand dollars. Kettle Cove State park isn’t full of big sandy beaches, wilderness hiking, or the rocky lighthouse shorelines that Maine’s so famous for – instead, it’s a tiny piece of each of those elements – without having to drive far to find it.