The glittering beaches and beautiful pier, mixed in with the historical forts and lighthouse views, made Fort Foster in Kittery, Maine a particularly great spot for a day trip. Fort Foster Park includes miles of trails, each offering different views of the beautiful landscape. This is of course a very popular spot during the summer, but on this warm winter day, there were so few people that we felt like we almost had the entire park to ourselves. I prefer to visit places in the off- season. When you visit in the off season you get an opportunity to take it all in, to linger where you please and let the view intoxicate you. You are free to explore, and see things you probably wouldn’t think to look at when there are crowds to navigate.
Fort Foster was completed in 1901 as part of a larger effort to refortify the nation’s coasts, which had fallen into a period of neglect. Construction or restoration of forts took place as a result of the findings of William Endicott and the Board of Fortifications he was appointed to by president Grover Cleveland. The Fort structures are abandoned, so you can go inside the observation area and get the 360 degree view of the coast, the way the soldiers did when it was operational.
Most of the defenses were constructed between 1890 and 1910, with Fort Foster being one of three forts in the area that were fortified, including Fort Constitution, the site of the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse, which is visible in the distance.Whaleback Light, a granite, 5o foot tower built in 1872, can also be seen from Fort Foster.
The Park also has a nice playground for younger children. The best feature in my opinion was this awesome little play boat, with a view of the sea, the perfect place for a child to let their imagination soar.There are plenty of benches throughout the property for one to sit down and enjoy the fantastic views from any vantage point you wish. When I saw this particular bench I found myself wishing I had more time so I could sit here with a book after I finished exploring. If I lived in this area I think I would be here nearly every afternoon to do my reading, particularly in the warmer months.
The beach was beautiful and seemed to reflect light with a particularly interesting tonal contrast between the seaweed on and the smooth stones on the shore. I loved being able to see the long pier change perspective as I got closer and closer to it. The sun was high, having just recently made an appearance for the first time that day, but I was able to find a nice shady area near the pier.
I’ve been wanting to take a shot under a pier for a while now, but haven’t made it to the right beach. There is definitely something cool about the way the the light streams in under a pier, and that may be why it is an extremely popular shot in nearly every beach with one. Walk all the way down the pier and you get a closer view of the Coast Guard Building and Whaleback Light. I didn’t stick around for sunset, but if this was my view a little after 1pm, I can only imagine how beautiful a view of the sunset must be from this very spot. Fort Foster is fantastic, I plan to be back in the summer when there will be parking, swimming, and you can even rent a grill for barbecuing and picnicking. In addition to being a great location, it is also very affordable, particularly for families, at only $10 per car, and is open 7 days a week from 10am to 8pm from Memorial Day to Labor Day. But if like me, you want to visit in the off season, then you also have the added benefit of it being FREE, although you will have to park outside the gates and take a short and easy hike to access the park, which is well worth the savings, specially if you plan to do some hiking and exploring anyway. While you are already in the area, be sure to check out New Castle Island, and Fort Constitution and the Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse.
Phone: (207) 439-2182
Address: Pocahontas Rd, Kittery Point, ME 03905