http://www.maine.gov/dacf/lmf/index.shtmlLand for Maine's Future https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parks/grants/land_water_conservation_fund.htmlLand and Water Conservation Fund http://www.mainebirdingtrail.comMaine Birding Trail http://iceagetrail.umaine.edu/Maine Ice Age Trail http://mainetrailfinder.comMaine Trail Finder


BeachesBeaches BirdwatchingBirdwatching CampingCamping CanoeingCanoeing Sea kayakingSea kayaking Walking (roads and paths)Walking (roads and paths) CampgroundCampground Picnic areaPicnic area PlaygroundPlayground RV dumping stationRV dumping station ShowersShowers Trailered boat launchTrailered boat launch

property guide photo

Description

Location Lat 44.850471 / Lon -67.160875

On U.S. Route 1 four (4) miles south of Dennysville.

Hours / Season Open all year; 9:00 a.m. to sunset daily unless otherwise posted at the gate. Fee collected year-round at entry booth by staff or self-service station. See the When to Visit section at the bottom of this page for more details.

Current Park Conditions.

The wildlife-rich waters of Cobscook Bay surround this 888-acre park on three sides, providing opportunities to watch birds and observe the ebb and flow of the region's impressive tides. Cobscook, the Maliseet-Passamaquoddy tribal word for "boiling tides," aptly describes this setting where the tidal range averages 24 feet and can reach 28 feet (compared to a 9-foot average tide along Maine's southernmost coast).

Cobscook Bay State Park is a great base for family camping and explorations in easternmost Maine. Many of the park's 106 campsites (both for tenting and RVs) border Whiting Bay, a sheltered inlet within the larger bay. The Park offers a boat launch for those with the experience to handle boating in challenging conditions (with rapids created by fast-moving tides).

Cobscook Bay is an unusual estuary with a narrow opening to the sea, a long and convoluted shoreline, and relatively few feeder streams and rivers. Nutrient-rich salt water flowing in from the Gulf of Maine stimulates plankton growth, which in turn feeds a vast array of invertebrates (such as shellfish and marine worms). Eagles, ospreys, seals, otters and even the occasional bear enjoy the Bay's abundant fish, including smelt, alewives, shad, sea-run brook trout, striped bass and the Atlantic salmon.

The Bay's productive food web nourishes more than 200 bird species (see www.mainebirdingtrail.com for more details). Attracted by Cobscook Bay's sheltered coves, mudflats, and eelgrass beds, thousands of shorebirds stop over each fall to rest and forage as they migrate south from northern breeding grounds. The Bay's inner coves support a quarter of Maine's wintering black ducks and the state's highest concentration of bald eagles. A free birding list for the Cobscook Bay region is available at the Park entrance.

Land for Maine's Future This property was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine's Future program. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage.

The Land and Water Conservation Fund contributed to this State Park. Learn more about LWCF.

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History

The park's geology is shaped by three primary forces: Cobscook Bay's powerful tides; the underlying bedrock (a volcanic tuff-breccia that dates back to the Silurian Age roughly 420 million years ago); and the glacial action from the Wisconsinan ice sheet (approximately 12,000-18,000 years ago)- which deposited mud and an assortment of rock, sand, silt and clay known as glacial till. These sediments form a thin layer over the bedrock that rarely exceeds 10 feet. Where the bedrock is exposed, grooves left by the ice sheet (known as glacial striations) are visible on rock surfaces. One of the first geologists to explore the area, Nathaniel S. Shaler, noted in 1886 that Cobscook Bay offers "a more interesting assemblage of phenomena than can be found on any other part of the eastern seaboard of the United States." For more information on this geologic legacy visit the Ice Age Trail.

For a guided tour of the region's geologic highlights, see The Geology of Cobscook Bay State Park

Cobscook Bay State Park is part of Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge, much of which was first purchased in 1937 with funds from the federal Duck Stamp Program. Moosehorn (which now totals 24,400 acres) is one of the nation's oldest refuges, having been designated a National Wildlife Refuge in 1937 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt (who summered on nearby Campobello Island in New Brunswick).

In 1964, the Refuge offered the State of Maine a long-term lease at no cost on a 'Recreation Area' it had created along Whiting Bay. After approval by the Maine Legislature, management of the area was transferred to the State and Cobscook Bay State Park was established.

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Activities

  • Beaches
  • Birdwatching
  • Camping
  • Canoeing
  • Sea kayaking
  • Walking (roads and paths)

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Rules

  • Camp only at established sites, many of which can be reserved in advance at www.campwithme.com.
  • Observe wildlife from far enough away that they do not change their behavior: do not follow or feed animals. Avoid areas with nesting birds, dens or young animals (even those that appear abandoned).
  • Keep pets on leash (not to exceed 4 feet) at all times and do not leave pets unattended.
  • No hunting is permitted.
  • Park rules prohibit use of intoxicating beverages.
  • Do not leave valuables unattended in your vehicle.
  • Quiet in camping areas is required between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.
  • If no red tide warnings are posted, campers may dig up to a peck of clams per person during the strictly regulated season. Check with park staff for details.
  • See Rules for State Parks and Historic Sites

Consider lending a hand. Contact us if you would like to help with stewardship or maintenance work.

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Trails

Visit the Cobscook Bay State Park trail map at Maine Trail Finder.

Cobscook Bay State Park has two short trails appropriate for walkers of all ages. The Nature Trail, which begins near the Park entrance, offers a forested, one-mile path that leads through forests, passes along a brook and then rises to two scenic outlooks with views out over Whiting Bay and Burnt Cove. The trail up to the outlook has a short, steep and rocky section: take extra care here in wet weather. The Nature Trail ends by two campsites, allowing walkers to return on a gravel road (for a 2-mile round trip).

The Shore Trail (also known as the Anthony's Beach Trail) is a 0.75-mile loop path that begins beside campsite 17, following near the shore to the boat launch, and then winding back through woods to come out between campsites 18 and 20. Many visitors enjoy shoreline explorations as well, but please don't wander into waterfront campsites and be mindful of fast-moving tides.

If you are not camping at the park but want to hike the trails, stop at the park entrance to obtain a map and pay the day-use fee.

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Tours and Programs

Geology of Cobscook Bay State Park on September 5, 2015 (PDF 120 KB)

View the Maine Parks and Lands EVENT CALENDAR

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Services and Facilities

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Special Considerations

While daytime summer temperatures average about 68 F. (20 C.) in eastern Maine, evenings and gray days can be chilly. The Downeast area is famous for fog, so be prepared for low visibility (particularly if boating). In winter, expect daytime temperatures around 18 F. (-8 C.) and take extra care in snow and icy conditions.

Moving firewood can transport exotic insects & diseases that pose a serious threat to our forests. Don't transport firewood, buy it from a local source. Buy It Where You Burn It

In late spring and early summer, be prepared for mosquitoes, black flies and midges (no-see-ums). While the area is not heavily infested with deer ticks, there are some so check yourself daily to prevent Lyme disease.

When boating or exploring along the shore, be mindful of how quickly the tides can move. Supervise children closely near the water.

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When to Visit

Shorebird migration in Cobscook Bay generally peaks in late August and early September. Mosquitoes, black flies and no-see-ums frequent the park from late May through July: they are less common in August, September and October.

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Location

Edmunds Twp, Maine

property locator map

Fees

current fees
camping reservations
park passes

Contact

Cobscook Bay State Park
40 South Edmunds Road
Edmunds Twp, ME 04628
(207) 726-4412

Maps

download park guide & map, color 16x 9 inches (1 MP/PDF)

download park map - color, 16x9 inches (1MB/PDF)

download campground map - black & white (470 KB/PDF)

download campground map - color (111 KB/gif)

Current Weather

Directions and Parking

Get Google map and directions

Take U.S. Route 1 to Edmunds and look for park signs marking the turnoff onto South Edmunds Road. The main park entrance is on the right 0.5 miles from the turnoff.

Nearby Attractions

Quoddy Head State Park
Quoddy Head State Park in Lubec has a photogenic lighthouse and scenic waterfront trails along the easternmost point of land in the United States.

Shackford Head State Park
Explore a bold headland overlooking Cobscook Bay

Roosevelt Campobello International Park
Campobello Island in New Brunswick (across the International Bridge from Lubec) has the historic Roosevelt Campobello International Park and East Quoddy Light.

Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge has a 6-mile wilderness loop trail off South Trail Road in Edmunds, roughly one mile from Cobscook Bay State Park.

For additional hiking opportunities in the area, purchase the Cobscook Trails guide (with detailed guidance on walking opportunities in the area) available in area stores and from the Quoddy Regional Land Trust (207-733-5509 or www.qrlt.org).

Relevant Contacts

Cobscook Bay Area Chamber of Commerce

Downeast & Acadia Tourism

Maine Tourism

Maine Trail Finder