Blake Walsh

15 Best Things to Do in Phippsburg, ME

  • Published 2022/09/01

Phippsburg is a coastal town in Sagadahoc County, Maine, on the west side of the Kennebec River.

The town gets its name from Sir William Phipps, a former governor of Massachusetts in the late 17th century.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town’s land area spans 28.58 square miles, with 42.62 square miles of water.

It has a population of 2,155 per the 2020 census.

Likewise, a peninsula bridge connects the town to Bath City.

The bridge also separates the Kennebec River from Casco Bay.

This hidden gem remains largely untouched by the public.

You will find beach destinations, lighthouses, mountain trails, museums, and other exciting activities.

This is the perfect place if you need a quiet yet unforgettable time away from the razzle and dazzle of the cities.

Are you ready for a new adventure?

Here are the best things to do in Phippsburg, Maine:

Bask in the Sun at Popham Beach State Park

Footsteps on Popham Beach State Park's sand


Popham Beach State Park is one of the most popular beaches in the state for its glorious stretch of sand and majestic view of Wood Island offshore.

After enjoying a relaxing sunbath or picnic, you can explore nearby Fox Island during low tide for a change of scenery or some quiet time.

Spanning 529 acres, this spacious park is the home of rolling Atlantic surf waves, perfect for swimmers, surfers, and adrenaline junkies.

Horseback riding at Popham Beach State Park

Paul VanDerWerf from Brunswick, Maine, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Besides swimming or surfing, you can try other fun activities such as bird watching, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Lifeguards patrol the Popham Beach State Park during summer to keep you and your companions safe.

Commune with Nature at Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area

With 600-acre coastal uplands and salt marshes, Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area is popular with hikers and beach-goers.

The Bates-Morse Mountain Conservation Area Corporation owns the area.

This conservation area extends from Sprague River to the Morse River to the upland edge of Seawall Beach.

It is open from dawn until dusk.

Visitors must leave their cars at a designated parking space and enter the area on foot.

The scenery changes from mountains, forests, and rivers as you walk towards its final destination, a crystal clear ocean.

You can also bring your lunch and beach towel and spend the rest of the day relaxing in the waters.

Challenge Yourself at Wilbur Preserve at Cox’s Head

The Rankin family donated the Wilbur Preserve at Cox’s Head to the land trust in 2010.

It was once a territorial defense area uring the American Revolutionary War and War of 1812.

It is a short yet spectacular trail that leads toward the Atkins Bay shore.

Likewise, the trail scrambles over granite ledges with steep drop-offs.

Along the trail, you will also pass by a spring-fed pond and an apple orchard revived by Phippsburg Land Trust.

Spend the day at the Wilbur Preserve at Cox’s Head.

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane at Fort Popham State Historic Site

Exterior of Fort Popham State Historic Site

Doug Kerr, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Fort Popham State Historic Site sits just a short drive from Popham Beach.

This crescent-shaped fort made almost entirely of granite is perfect for photography enthusiasts because of its spectacular coastal landscape view.

Built in 1862 on the banks of the Kennebec River, the fort defended Augusta against Confederate attacks during the Civil War.

Interior of Fort Popham State Historic Site

Carol Boldt, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Learn history while having a great time in this two-level fort.

If you’re lucky, you might also see some wildlife, such as otters, seals, and birds.

The Fort Popham State Historic Site has 30-foot walls housing 36 cannons arranged into tiers of casements.

See Protected Animals in Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge

This ten-acre island at the opening of the Kennebec River is a sanctuary for several animals and plants.

This is a safe place for endangered and threatened species.

Likewise, it’s a feeding, nesting, and roosting areas for migratory birds.

Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the five protected wildlife habitats that cover Maine’s coast.

Since it’s next to Popham Beach, you can easily reach other coastal islands, forests, freshwater wetlands, and other estuaries.

The staff provides visitors with a motorized inflatable boat from Kennebec Point.

Built in 1973 as part of the Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge, the animal refuge joins other animal sanctuaries in the area.

Other animal refuges include the Petit Manan National Wildlife Refuge, Cross Island National Wildlife Refuge, Franklin Island National Wildlife Refuge, and Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge.

The Pond Island National Wildlife Refuge is one of the smallest refugees in the country’s National Wildlife Refuge system.

Sleep in a Real Lighthouse at Sebasco Harbor Resort

The Sebasco Harbor Resort lets you sleep in their newly renovated lighthouse with an observatory that shows you a 360-degree view of the coast.

Feel free to choose from its ten guest rooms with double, queen, and king-sized beds.

This 450-acre site also hosts coastal weddings, family reunions, and retreats.

Spend the day in its nine-hole golf courses or play bowling, ping pong, air hockey, basketball, foosball, pinball, and more!

After a day of fun activities, indulge in regional American recipes with ingredients grown and harvested from the local community.

During the summer, the Sebasco Harbor Resort prepares its specials, lobster bakes and blueberry pancakes.

This resort is dog-friendly, too.

Stay in dog-friendly cottages to let your furry pal join your adventure.

Set up Camp at Hermit Island Campground

Daytime view of Hermit Island Campground

Kris West /

Do you enjoy a campground’s slow-paced, rustic, and chill vibe?

If so, then Hermit Island Campground on Casco Bay is the perfect destination for you.

Since opening in 1952, the island campground has attracted generations and generations of campers.

It has 271 unique campsites for you to choose from onsite.

Visitors on pop-up trailers are also welcome to camp at this site.

Each campsite in Hermit Island Campgroundhas a convenient fire pit, picnic table, and parking spaces.

They also have free hot showers, bathrooms, pit toilets, and a storage room for your belongings.

You can reach Head Beach on the south end of the entrance.

Bring your kayaks!

If you don’t have one, rent the canoes, rowboats, paddleboards, and kayak rentals at the campground.

Take a Dip at Hunnewell Beach

Hunnewell Beach is nearby Silver Lake and Sabino Hill.

This is a popular tourist beach destination, with over 240 vacation rentals to choose from.

Most of this beach’s rentals have swimming pools and pet-friendly spaces.

It is perfect for both outdoor adventure and peaceful staycation.

Hunnewell Beach is also just 0.4 miles away from Popham Beach.

Explore the Fort Baldwin State Historic Site

Exterior of a battery at Fort Baldwin State Historic Site

Paul VanDerWerf from Brunswick, Maine, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Overlooking the Kennebec River and Fort Popham, this historic site on Sabino Hill will surprise you.

Listen to exciting stories and make discoveries as you walk onto its hidden gun batteries.

You can’t access the fire control tower, but you can still explore the rest of the ruins.

People at the Fort Baldwin State Historic Site

Nabeel H from Cambridge, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

During World War II, soldiers manned the mounted guns and patrolled the Fort Baldwin State Historic Site.

The US Armed Forces decommissioned the fort in 1949.

Trees have grown there over the years, turning this U.S Army artillery fortification into a peaceful and quiet sanctuary.

Spend the Day on the Water at Abkenoc Guiding and Adventure Learning

Are you interested in a quick kayak trip with friends, family, or just by yourself?

If so, then the Abkenoc Guiding and Adventure Learning service awaits you.

This place offers regular and custom half-day or full-day kayak trip to marshes and rivers.

During your trip, seals, eagles, osprey, and other wildlife act as your companions.

Located at Captain John Parker Road, Abkenoc Guiding and Adventure Learning offer canoe adventures, striper, freshwater fishing, rowing and sculling.

You can even get a ride to Camp Mobile if you stay at Camp Nowhere.

Its owner and certified Maine guide Oliver Dominick has a Ph.D. in biology.

He incorporates informative facts about natural sciences with every activity.

Revisit the Past at Malaga Island

Situated at the mouth of the New Meadows River, Malaga Island was once home to a mixed-raced community from the mid-1800s to 1912.

It is now one of Maine’s most important historical sites.

A spruce-fir forest surrounds the 42-acre Malaga Island Preserves, with at least a two-acre meadow on the northern end.

You can find brackish ponds and salt marsh on this island.

The white-shell hash beach on the northern part of this island serves as the best docking area for small boats.

Visitors must not touch the lobster traps and fishing gear on the waters, since the local economy relies on the lobster industry.

Enjoy the local catch by ordering at nearby stores and restaurants.

Spend the day at Malaga Island!

Enjoy the View of Pond Island Lighthouse

Daytime view of the Pond Island Lighthouse

Jameslwoodward, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Pond Island Lighthouse is a twenty-foot-tall tower made out of bricks.

Built in 1855, this cylindrical tower is on the southern part of the Kennebec River.

You can find it on the ten-acre Port Island.

The tower itself is closed to the public.

However, you can still enjoy its view from sightseeing cruises along Pond Island.

The Pond Island Lighthouse shares space with a one-and-a-half-story wooden keeper’s dwelling.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service manages the island where the Pond Island Lighthouse stands.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Explore Maine’s Seafaring History at Maine Maritime Museum

Exterior of the Maine Maritime Museum

EQRoy /

Founded in 1962, the Maine Maritime Museum stands on a 20-acre waterfront campus at the banks of the Kennebec River.

Fishing boats exhibit at Maine Maritime Museum

Linda Harms /

It houses galleries, exhibits, a historic wooden shipyard, a boat shop, and more.

You can find it in Bath, Maine, nine minutes from Phippsburg.

A boat on the waters of Maine Maritime Museum

EQRoy /

Appreciate Art at Chocolate Church Arts Center

The Chocolate Church Arts Center is a 12-minute drive from Phippsburg.

Visitors can watch live music, visit gallery exhibitions, and attend art lectures and workshops.

This arts center in Bath also serves as a theater for young artists.

Stop by Doubling Point Lighthouse

Daytime view of the Doubling Point Lighthouse

cdrin /

Located on Arrowsic Island on the Kennebec River, stop by Doubling Point Lighthouse to enjoy its calm and relaxing vibes.

Relive Maine’s rich history and marvel at Doubling Point Lighthouse’s scenic views.

You can find this lighthouse in Arrowsic, Maine, 21 minutes from Doubling Point Lighthouse.

Sunset over Doubling Point Lighthouse

Jamie Hecker /

Shop Fresh Produce in Bath Farmers’ Market

Check out Bath Farmers’ Market if you want fresh vegetables, meats, seafood, cheese, eggs, baked goods, soups, and coffee!

You can find Bath Farmers’ Market in Bath, 14 minutes away from Phippsburg.

Likewise, check out the gift shops and the various music events in this market.

Visit an Oil House at Squirrel Point Light

Exterior of the Squirrel Point Light

E.J.Johnson Photography /

Squirrel Point Light is home to an oil house, boathouse, and barn.

However, you will need a quick hike to reach the lighthouse.

Squirrel Point Light is an octagonal-shaped tower on Arrowsic Island, just a 25-minute drive from Phippsburg.

The top part of Squirrel Point Light

E.J.Johnson Photography /

Final Thoughts

Phippsburg is a must-see treasure with several attractions intertwined with each other.

Bring home lasting memories from exploring the town’s pristine beaches, exciting trails, historic lighthouses, and essential structures.

Plan your trip today and discover the best things to do in Phippsburg, Maine!

© All rights reserved.