Marginal Way – Ogunquit, Maine
One of Ogunquit’s best-known treasures lies a mere beach pebble’s throw from the Colonial Inn: the Marginal Way. If you’re looking for the chance to really commune with the salt air along the Ogunquit waterfront, here’s the perfect venue!
The Marginal Way’s a much-loved, fully paved public footpath hugging the Atlantic: one of the few oceanfront pedestrian thoroughfares of its kind in New England. And it’s been a fixture of Ogunquit since 1925, when Josiah Chase, Jr. donated its core land to the town.
One Lovely Lane
The Way links the vicinity of Ogunquit Beach in the north with Perkins Cove in the south—a bit more than a mile in length—and you can pick it up from Shore Road just a short ways north of the Colonial Inn. It’s perfect for a leisurely stroll: Nearly 40 benches along the path provide convenient perches for contemplating the rocky, cliffy seacoast and that big blue (or storm-gray) horizon. Needless to say, a sunrise amble on the Marginal Way can be all-out breathtaking—a lovely start to a relaxing day in Ogunquit.
The walkway’s also lined with memorial plaques and some interpretive signage, and it’s anchored at about the halfway mark by the little Marginal Way Lighthouse.
From Perkins Cove, you can return to the Colonial Inn by backtracking on the footpath, by hopping the Ogunquit Trolley (which operates through mid-October), or by walking up Shore Road, which basically parallels the Marginal Way a few blocks inland.
Right now, the path’s ideal for soaking up Southern Maine’s splendid late-summer weather, but the Marginal Way’s a year-round route. From fragrant thickets of blooming seashore shrubs to the tranquility of a snowbound coast, the beauty’s spread out all across the calendar.
Make a Day of It
Besides the pleasant seashore ramble itself, the Marginal Way offers easy access to other fine Ogunquit attractions. Extend your Atlantic perambulating via the white sands of Ogunquit Beach—a delight for the whole family—or explore the shops, cafes, eateries, and galleries of Perkins Cove, which has rich history as both a fishing hub and an artist colony.
(Speaking of history, the Marginal Way has endured more than a few hefty nor’easters across its many decades, among them the mighty “Perfect Storm” in the autumn of 1991: Dedicated volunteers worked hard to restore the footpath in the wake of that epic tempest’s damage. You can see a photo of the Perfect Storm walloping the path at the Marginal Way Preservation Fund’s “History” webpage, which also includes plenty of other intriguing historical images.)
Give summer a fond last look—and greet incoming autumn—with a mosey down the celebrated Marginal Way. And then mosey your way back to your gorgeous digs at the historic Colonial Inn!