I know what you inlanders are thinking: “Why would anyone want to go down to the coast in winter, especially when the wind is coming in off the water and increasing the wind-chill factor?”

My answer: “Because it’s beautiful!” But believe it or not, winter is slowly on its way out, so it’s now or never if you want to see some of the winter beauty of the Maine coast.

For this road trip, we went from Freeport northeast to Brunswick and on to Orr’s Island and Bailey Island in Harpswell. For those wanting to get outdoors, Brunswick’s downtown offers an ice rink on the picturesque town common for all to use, while Freeport offers many hiking trails as well as Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park, where you can go hiking and snowshoeing.

Not an active person? Well bring your camera and take some snapshots of what you see on your travels. For instance, at Wolfe’s Neck, you might just find a few trees sporting snowball faces smiling at you. Or work horses digging in the snow to reach the tender grass beneath — while looking at you with snow-encrusted noses.

Maybe you just want to go for a walk near the ocean, and that’s possible too. Potts Point Preserve at the end of Harpswell Neck road, for instance, is one of many land conservation projects of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.

So if winter’s cabin fever is getting to you, fight back! Get in the car and drive down to the coast and see what you can find. Here are a few ideas to get you started out.

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park

426 Wolfe’s Neck Road




This is a great park to visit at any time of year. Winter offers hiking and snowshoeing on your own, or go along on one of the state park’s winter programs (check the website for a schedule). In the warmer weather, a pair of ospreys nest on the small island off the park. They’re among the many things to discover there. Bring a lunch with you and make a day of it.

Wilbur’s of Maine Chocolate Confections

174 Lower Main St.




Chocolate knows no season. And this candy maker hasn’t met a theme it doesn’t like. Check out their nautical-themed chocolates, including lobsters and lighthouses. If you can’t have summer, have chocolates that remind you of it.

Antonia’s Pizzeria

193 Lower Main St.



Trip Advisor gives them 4 out of 5 stars and ranks it fourth among 58 Freeport restaurants. Italian, Greek and American menu choices and the pizza is some of the very best around. They have distinctive brew flavors that rotate with the seasons. This is a good place to stop in after hiking in the woods to warm up and fill up on delicious goodness.

Freeport Wharf

End of Main Street

South Freeport

Drive down early in the day and you can see the fishermen getting ready to go out to get their daily catch. In summer there are many pleasure boats docked here, so there is always something to see. Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster opens there in May, giving you another reason to visit.

Bliss Woods Trail

South Freeport Road, about a mile from Route 1

South Freeport

South Freeport Trails

This is an easy hike, 2 miles of trails marked with yellow blaze marks on the trees.

The Black Sheep Wine Shop

105 Mountain Road




Open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 to 6, this small establishment offers wine and beer along with gourmet gift hampers and gift certificates. It also offers custom-made Maine hardwood serving pieces and corkscrews, decanters, glassware and other wine accessories.

Wilson’s Cove Trail

Harpswell Neck Road



This is just one of the trails you’ll find in this area available for year-round recreation thanks to the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust. A one-half-mile trail leads from the small parking lot next to the Harpswell Neck Road to a cliff at the shore of Wilson’s Cove. The cliff offers a scenic outlook onto Middle Bay. For directions, go to the website.

Johnson Field Preserve

Mackerel Cove

Bailey Island


You can’t miss this field on Mackerel Cove. It overlooks the cove and has been a landmark. This is one of Maine’s scenic working harbors, so stop in and just sit on the grass and watch the activity in the harbor and let the sea air fill your lungs and just relax! It’s a great photo opportunity year-round.

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