We had a free Saturday during the first weekend in June, so we decided to visit another state park. Between lots of travel at the end of May and our first big camping trip in late June, we decided to visit a park in Southern Maine. Due to a rainy weather forecast we decided to visit Two Lights State Park because it is close to our home.
On our way to the park, we made a stop at Scratch Bakery for the best bagels you’ll ever have in your life. The Maine sea salt bagel with their herb cream cheese is a 10. Someone also got a doughnut to go, but she will remain nameless.
Because we were high on carbs and driving right by Portland Head Light on our way to Two Lights, we decided to stop in and show Eloise the most photographed lighthouse in the world. It’s hard to believe we live so close to such a beautiful place. This write up isn’t about Portland Head Light, but if you’ve never been we highly recommend a visit. A visit here, any time of the year, never gets old.
Our next stop was the main attraction. Spoiler Alert…..Two Lights State Park is badass! It’s actually embarrassing that we have been to Crescent Beach State Park many times over the years and Two Lights is only a half mile away. Or even worse, we’ve been to the Lobster Shack several times, which is walking distance to Two Lights, and not once visited this incredible park. What was supposed to be a quick visit turned into a wonderful morning at the park.
When we pulled up to the Rangers Station, we realized that we forgot our state park pass in our GMC Acadia. We took our truck this day because the Acadia was getting hitched up and ready for “Warren”, our teardrop camper. In classic Maine fashion, when I told the ranger that we forgot our pass, she said not to worry and let us right in without paying. If you live in another state and aren’t familiar with this type of interaction, this is what we folks up north call the honor system.
You can’t get lost driving around Two Lights. Just past the Ranger Station is a very large parking lot. There are some sweet, real deal bathrooms on-site, not outhouses! Still, it’s a “carry in and carry out” park so if you have a dirty diaper or your child does, it must leave with you. Everywhere you turn there are water fountains, so don’t worry about having to pack or carry a lot of water around. You can get a sip of water in several locations around the park.
There’s also a brand-new playground near the bathroom and nice little pond that sits behind it.
Eloise had just turned 6 months a couple days before and we wanted to wait until around this time to test out her new hiking pack. It’s the Osprey Poco AG Plus Pack, aka the “Caddie.” After Coach (Danielle) finished reading the directions, we loaded up a fussy baby into her new ride and took her for a spin. Within a few steps, we could her giggling. Eloise was getting a kick out of riding high on her dad’s back. It also gave her easy access for playing with the back of his head. Not only did she tolerate being in the pack, she loved it!
We made our way over to the information kiosk and both of us quickly realized how much military significance Two Lights has. There, we realized that this park was going to exceed our original expectations. We aren’t in the business of giving history lessons on each blog or copy and pasting information from other sites, so to sum it up, there’s a large bunker on-site which you can take stairs to the top of for the best view in the park.
Hugging both sides of the bunker are two locations in which sister guns were pointed out toward the sea protecting the Maine coast. This military site was in service up to WWII and there’s better information on-site than listening to us try to remember what we read.
It’s hard to explain how beautiful and peaceful this section of the coast is. There were a couple times in which we had to just stop exploring and realize what was going on around us. The views throughout Two Lights are stunning. You can even climb down toward the water and walk along the rocky coast.
There are benches and picnic tables scattered all over the park so there isn’t a bad seat in the house. We saw lots of folks with bags of Amatos for lunch and a group of guys experimenting with charcoal in a picnic charcoal grill. This would be a top 3 “pack your own lunch/grill” spot in the greater Portland area.
Even without lunch, we quickly spent a couple hours walking around. This park couldn’t have been better for Eloise to try out her new pack. There is a lot for young kids to look at, but this park is even better for kids who are a little bit older. We say this because we witnessed it. They were running around, having a blast climbing and exploring the rocky coast.
As we made our way around the park and back toward our truck, we saw a sign for the covered picnic area and tower. Our curious minds decided to take a look. Down a path, through the woods, we found a large covered pavilion with a massive indoor fireplace. This can be rented and reserved, as well as some of the larger picnic areas in the park.
We almost left without seeing the Fire Tower, which is hidden toward the back left of the parking lot. We had no idea it was still standing and when we ventured down the path we saw this incredible structure watching over the park from up a small hill. This was the icing on the cake for the park visit.
There are a lot of pros about this park and very little cons. Between the ocean views, rocky coast, military history and overall park layout; we give Two Lights a surprising 8 Rubies. It’s a must visit if you are in the area. We plan to come back soon with visitors and a packed lunch this time.
Packing a lunch for state parks is turning into a theme, so we need to stop planning visits to nearby restaurants. This time, we visited the Lobster Shack. Not trying to knock this popular destination, but let’s just say the view is wonderful but the vibe changes quickly after you park your car and get out. There is typically a long wait and many hungry tourists. The view might be worth it, but you can get a lobster roll and clam chowder anywhere along the coast. So, if you happen to visit Two Lights State Park, skip the Lobster Shack and pack a lunch.
With a sleepy baby and a semi fresh doughnut for the 20-minute ride home, we had what we would call an unexpected perfect day.
Ready for the camper!