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Take a Stroll Along the Cliff Walk in York, Maine

There are so many wonderful reasons to stay at the Stage Neck Inn, and being just a short walk away from some of the most beautiful scenery in the state is one of them. The Cliff Walk near the York Harbor, is a 1-mile out-and-back walking route popular with walkers, runners, birders, and anyone who enjoys a quiet walk in nature.

What to Expect at the Cliff Walk in York, Maine

Walking toward the harbor on Cliff Walk feels a bit like walking back in time. The trail contains sections of concrete – some of it cracked and worn – alternating with sections of narrow dirt path. Starting from the Stage Neck Inn, explorers can head straight to the 0.5-mile trail and enjoy the pebble-filled beach.


There are a few moderate inclines, short stone staircases, and uneven surfaces to navigate. However, the trail is still considered easy to moderate for most fit people. It is not wheelchair accessible and may not be recommended for those with balance problems.

Hikers are cautioned to stay on the designated trail. This is both for safety and to respect private property boundaries that nestle along the trail in places. Pets are also not allowed on the trail.

Out-of-town visitors may have difficulty finding parking close by, especially on weekends and warm summer days. Look for two-hour parking spaces along York Street. Two hours will give you more than enough time to explore the trail and stop for a snack or do a little shopping.

Be aware that poison ivy grows in many places along the trail. That’s another great reason to stay on the designated path.

What Will You See on the Cliff Walk

The sights and sounds you experience will depend on the season and what nature is busy doing that day. A constant is the crash of surf you can hear even at the start of the trail. Wild roses, native plants, and wildflowers of every shade flank the trail in some areas, and in others, you have nothing but an unobstructed view of York harbor beach, rocky Maine Coastline and Atlantic Ocean.

The scent of salt air and the light perfume of the natural greenery are reason enough to explore the Cliff Walk, but keep going. The trail opens up to a short stretch of sandy beach and a view any painter or photographer would be thrilled to try to capture.

Birders enjoy taking the Cliff Walk and keeping their eyes peeled for the migratory and nesting shorebirds found in this area of Maine, including:

  • Least Sandpiper
  • Semipalmated Sandpiper
  • Red Knit
  • Ruddy Turnstone
  • Black-Bellied Plover
  • Dunlin
  • Piping Plover
  • Common Snipe
  • Willet
  • Killdeer
  • Spotted Sandpiper

Coastal Maine provides rich habitat for both migratory and nesting birds. The concentrations of intertidal invertebrates are a reliable food supply, while abundant beach flora provides privacy for nesting.

It is highly unlikely you’ll encounter any of the black bears or red foxes indigenous to Maine, but do be on the lookout for a New England cottontail and a few adorable eastern chipmunks searching for a snack.

Making the Most of Your Cliff Walk Experience

Even though it’s a short hike, a little preparation will help you make the most of the experience. Don’t forget your phone or camera, and remember that beach breezes can be cool even in the summer. Bring an extra layer in case you want to spend some time strolling on the sandy beach.

If you’re a romantic at heart, plan your walk for the end of the day so you can enjoy the sunset. Carry a flashlight for the walk back in the dark over uneven trails.

Whatever time of day you go, including the Cliff Walk in York, Maine in your travel plans will add wonderful memories to your trip to Maine.

For additional information and photos, check out the links below:

Stage Neck Inn is an iconic destination where families and friends share delightful experiences that evolve into lifetime memories. Offering spacious accommodations with modern amenities and classic décor, breathtaking ocean and harbor views and the ocean’s relaxing sounds make for the perfect stay at our oceanfront resort in York Harbor, ME. Book your stay online now.