Phippsburg is known as the site of the first European settlement in New England, with the first settlers arriving in 1607. These settlers built the ship, Virginia of Sagadahoc, the first ship to be built in Maine's long and extensive history of shipbuilding. Before the arrival of the settlers the Abenaki Indians inhabited Phippsburg during the summer months. 4,000 year old clam shell heaps have been found in coastal areas. With a seemingly endless coastline and a strong fishing community, this salty town has remained connected to it's roots for generations.
Sites and Attractions
Like it’s sister town, Georgetown, Phippsburg enjoys sandy beaches, a vibrant summertime community and a deeply entrenched fishing community reaching back many generations.
- Fort Popham. A historic piece of the original Popham colony, the fort was built in 1808 and saw minor action during the war of 1812. Fort Popham was mainly used to guard the entrance of the Kennebec River.
- Fort Baldwin. This fort was built in the early 1900s. It was used during World War I as a base for over 200 soldiers. During World War II it was used to locate and sink enemy vessels. Now this great observation site is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
- Hermit Island. A great place for camping with the family. Many visitors return year after year. This island has many beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and a restaurant/convenience store.
- Sebasco Harbor Resort. This waterside resort offers beautiful water views, golf, dining, swimming, spa treatments and various accommodations. Some people head straight to Sebasco Harbor and stay there for their entire Maine vacation.
Places to Eat
Phippsburg offers a number of unique dining experiences. Much of what you’ll find is local and fresh, especially the delicious lobster and sweet corn-on-the-cob.
- Spinneys Restaurant. Right on the beach and next door to Fort Popham Spinneys serves delicious Maine seafood.
- Percy’s Store. Percy’s is a general store with a little bit of almost everything.
- North Creek Farm. This little farm has great homemade food and fun souvenirs.
- Anna's Water's Edge Restaurant. Near Sebasco Resort and within feet of a working wharf here you can watch your meal get unloaded from the boats fishing in Casco Bay.
- The Lobster House. This diner-esque eatery offers American fare near Small Point Harbor.
- Sebasco Harbor Resort. This Maine vacation resort offers two places to dine. Visit The Ledges for fresh and healthy Maine flavors served with sophistication. Visit The Ledges Pub for a more casual dining experience.
Places to Stay
In Phippsburg you’ll find more Inns and beachside Cottages for rent than large hotels. These little spots make for great summer getaways.
- Sebasco Harbor Resort. This resort offers one of Maine’s great golf courses as well as boat moorings, a saltwater pool, hiking trails and waterfront lounging.
- The 1774 Inn. This elegant Bed & Breakfast offers historic charm and a peaceful setting along the Kennebec River.
- Stonehouse Manor Bed & Breakfast. This Nationally Registered Historic Seacoast Cottage is located near Popham Beach State Park and offers year round accommodations. This B&B specializes in weddings, receptions, family reunions and other events.
- Hermit Island Campground. Contact the campground early, this popular and beautiful spot fills up ahead of the season. It is a favorite for families who return year after year.
- Bates Morse Mountain Vacation Houses. Bates college manages a gorgeous conserved area near Popham Beach. There are five houses available for rent with astounding views and privacy, but make your reservations early, the houses are usually filled.
Conserved Areas & Trails
- Popham Beach. A beautiful beach with views of the mouth of the Kennebec River, islands, lighthouses, Bay Point and the Atlantic Ocean. Here you will also find picnic areas, a bath house and plenty of parking. While you're there visit Fort Popham just down the road.
- The Wilber Preserve. Located at Cox’s head this 10 acre preserve offers beautiful scenic views. The ¼ mile trail takes you past a spring-fed pond, a wild apple orchard and a Revolutionary War garrison.
- Center Pond Preserve. Explore vernal pools, mixed forests, ridges, streams and ponds on this 253 acre preserve. The birding is excellent here too.
- Noble Hill Preserve. This smaller preserve features woodlands and a unique trail along the river, you’ll even see horses on the neighboring farm.
- Rigewell Preserve. The Rigewell Preserve consists of 46 acres. Its trail guides you through forests, along the edge of a marsh and to the Seguin Island overlook where you'll enjoy lovely views of Seguin Island and the Atlantic Ocean.
- Seguin Island. A unique island with one of Maine’s few working lighthouses. This island is open to the public and offers occasional tours.
- Bijhouwer Forest Easement. Visit this 73 acre forest to see one of the northernmost stands of mountain laurel in New England. Here you will also see rare wildflowers and seasonal waterfalls.
- Sprague Pond Preserve. This is a 114 acre preserve with a nearly 10 acre, spring-fed pond and a lovely trail system.
- McDonald Sanctuary. This small preserve protects the last undeveloped shore of Spirit Pond. The McDonald loop trail connects to the Spirit Pond trails to the west.
- Spirit Pond Preserve. Stewarded by the Phippsburg Land Trust this preserve lies along the north and west shores of Spirit Pond. Tails take you along the pond and past an old mill dam. The birding is also excellent here.
- Bates Morse Mountain Conservation Area. This land is managed by Bates College for environmental research and education. The 500 acre conservation area features a stunning mile+ long beach and dunes. The hike in takes you through mixed forests and along marshlands. There are no dogs allowed here, and be alert, the area is also open to hunting.