Spring at the Marginal Way, Ogunquit, Maine

Benches, path, and rocky cliffs along the shoreline in Ogunquit

Listen Here

We visited the Marginal Way in Ogunquit on an overcast spring weekend. It was given this name because it brings visitors to the “margin” between land and sea.

The walkway along the rocky coast is paved, with stunning ocean views for over a mile. The land was donated to the town of Ogunquit in 1925, as noted in a plaque we passed as we walked.

At least 39 (!) benches await visitors. They are mostly numbered, but some are not. The well-maintained resting spots invite visitors to stop and smell the flowers (and other plantings when the gardens are blooming in the summer).

A great Easy Walk along the rocky Maine Coastline

Take your time and enjoy multiple viewpoints of the rocks, waves, and many, many shorebirds bobbing in the ocean right next to the rocks as well as farther out to sea. We spotted harlequin ducks, eiders, a loon, and a double crested cormorant squadron sailing low over the waves on their way to somewhere else.

Eider ducks, male and female

Be sure to bring your binoculars. The more we looked, the more ducks we saw out on the waves. The rocky shoreline is great habitat for diving ducks looking for food. Lower tide often draws birds closer to shore where they can more easily find a meal. The down side of bird watching when they are feeding is that they come up for air and then often disappear again in their search for more food.

The Marginal Way, although paved, is rather narrow, about 5 feet wide in most places. Dogs are allowed from October 1 to April 1. Bikes are not allowed.

Parking is a big challenge. We found some 3-hour-limit street parking just steps away from the Lobster Point Lighthouse, a landmark on the path. Get live views of the Marginal Way here on this live webcam set up inside the lighthouse overlooking the ocean.

On the southern end of the Marginal Way is Perkins Cove, with restaurants and paid parking. Additional parking is available behind the Ogunquit Fire Station at the Obed’s Lane lot.

Since this was a day trip, we did not look closely at where to stay, but you may find help with lodging here. For those of us in the greater Boston area, reaching Ogunquit, Maine is about a two- hour drive. Visit early (before 9am) or later (after 6PM) to take in the views at less crowded times. Happy trails!


Marjorie Turner Hollman is a writer who loves the outdoors, and is the author of Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionMore Easy Walks in Massachusetts, 2nd editionEasy Walks and Paddles in the Ten Mile River Watershed, and Finding Easy Walks Wherever You Are. Her memoir, the backstory of Easy Walks, is My Liturgy of Easy Walks: Reclaiming hope in a world turned upside down.

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