This Beach On The Maine / New Hampshire Border Is A Hidden Gem
While Maine does have a few really nice sandy beaches on the coast, like Popham Beach and Old Orchard Beach, most of our beaches are a little on the rocky (gravely?) side. This is basically a rule when it comes to the beaches on our lakes and rivers.
However, there are a few places that don't follow this rule.
Weston's Beach in Fryeburg is a good example of this deviation from the rule.
Situated on the Saco River, right near the Maine / New Hampshire border, this wide beach is fairly sandy. There are a few rocks, of course, but nothing like most of the river beaches in New England. On top of that, it is massive, considering it is on a river. This means there is plenty of room to spread out.
It is a great place to launch a canoe, kayak, or tubing adventure. It also makes a great place to stop for a rest, snack, or drink on that adventure.
It features a large parking lot and it is free to park and use the beach.
See Swim had this to say about the beach:
This is an idyllic place for river swimming, with a massive sand beach curving along green water. There is a rope swing downstream on other side of the bridge, and a small island with what seem to be the ruins of a rampart. People were swimming, floating, and kayaking. The beach is big enough that it still feels peaceful even though there were a lot of people there.
To get there from most of Maine, take Route 302 into Fryeburg and bang a right onto River Street. Cross the bridge over the Saco River. The parking lot for the beach will be on your right.
For generations, the Saco River has attracted people to Western Maine and Mount Washington Valley. Back in the day, it was a "highway" through the area. More recently, it has become one of the go-to attractions to the area. While still fairly calm and shallow, it is deep enough to canoe, kayak, and tube. On your next Saco River trip, make a point of stopping at Weston's Beach.