Even when there isn’t a pandemic going on, March always makes me want to wiggle out of winter and explore outdoors. It’s the time of year I grow most impatient. I begin to itch for sunny days filled with short-sleeves, sandals, and sunglasses. Yet, getting out (especially with small kids) in a New England spring is not all tulips and roses. (so. much. mud.) But there are a handful of outdoor spots in the Seacoast that are definitely worth the spring peek. So pull on your Bogs and favorite spring jacket and kick that cabin fever, mama.
Little Harbor Loop Trail in Portsmouth, New Hampshire
This is seriously one of the best kept secrets on the seacoast. Nestled just next to the Wentworth-Coolidge Mansion, this little trail area is a great family hiking spot for all ages. It has lovely wooded sections overlooking Sagamore Creek, easy routes for small feet, and stunning views. Even when it’s not terribly warm, this spot gets sunny and can be a fun place to throw stones into the water or take a leisurely walk.
Fort Foster in Kittery Point, Maine
Fort Foster is hands-down one of the most versatile outdoor spots on the Seacoast. With dozens of paths to explore, this park has a beach front (for swimming when it finally does get warmer), a playground, a pier, and open grass for ball play. It’s an easy option for a spring picnic and one of the few places where your pup can play, too!
Ogunquit Beach & the Marginal Way in Ogunquit, Maine
Typically in the summer months, Ogunquit beach is teaming with out-of-town visitors, making parking and exploring a challenge. But we have found that the spring and fall are the absolute best time to enjoy this Seacoast surf side gem. If you’re looking for a great walk, I highly recommend the Marginal Way path. With long stretches of sandy beach, this outdoor spot is ideal for shell hunting and spring tide-pool play. Time your visit with the low-tide for the best adventures.
Planet Playground in Exeter, New Hampshire
While I am quite partial to many of the stellar playgrounds along the Seacoast, such as South Mill Pond (Portsmouth) and Henry Law Park (Dover) this is the mother of all playgrounds. It is also a bit of an icon for structure play in the area, as the largest wooden playground around! Enclosed and oh so fun for outdoors spots on the seacoast, if your kids enjoy playgrounds, this is a spring must-see.
Odiorne State Park in Rye, New Hampshire
Explore the woods, the shore, tidepools, or the Science Center (reservation required) at Odiorne. Spring is an excellent time to visit since there are fewer tourists and parking is ample. The paved path is an ideal outdoor spot for young cyclists or the playground can be fun for even the littlest of kiddos.
Vaughan Woods State Park in South Berwick, Maine
In talking to local friends, I have found that Vaughan Woods is not as well-known as I would expect it to be. So I urge you, check it out! it is a treasure to be enjoyed! This charming park of trails along the Salmon Falls River is a historic site with huge, old trees, and handsome, sloping dirt paths. While it is a stunning spot in the springtime, it can get muddy and due to its thick woods, may be more prone to ticks than other outdoor spots. Still, it is a favorite park worth visiting.