Published June 21st, 2011

Just across the harbor from French’s Point you’ll find Fort Point State Park, a historic site with dynamite water views, hiking and biking trails, and more than a mile of rocky shoreline.

Located three miles off Route 1 in Stockton Springs, the 120-acre park sits on a long peninsula where the Penobscot River meets Penobscot Bay. Bring a picnic and relax along the shore, or bring a fishing rod and mosey to the end of the 200-foot pier to see if the mackerel or striped bass are biting. You can even arrive by boat and tie up at one of several floats.

Looking to stretch your legs? Lace-up your hiking boots or hop on your bike and set out on one of the park’s trails, which wind through fields, forest and then on to the water’s edge. Heading out from the parking lot, you can jump on a seven-mile loop around Cape Jellison.

Also on the trail is Fort Point Light Station, a small lighthouse built in 1836 to guide ships navigating the Penobscot River. The light station’s light is visible for more than 10 miles, and its fog signal, a cast iron bell suspended on a tower, remains visible.

Don’t miss signs illustrating the park’s history as a military establishment. Named for the point where Gov. Thomas Pownall established a fort in 1759, the park is also home to a stone marking the original burial site of a general for whom the region, Waldo County, and a nearby town, Waldoboro, were named.

In the late 1800s, the park was home to a luxury resort for wealthy tourists from Boston and New York who arrived by steamboat, drawn by the inn’s luxurious amenities, including running water, a bowling alley and a dance pavilion. The hotel ultimately burned in 1898.

But the harbor seals are still around — at low tide, walk along the sandbar to try to spot a few.

For another off-site ceremony location for French’s Point brides, check out the Real Maine Wedding of Martha and Eliot’s Memorial Day Weekend!!