Thursday, October 31, 2019

Winslow Park Fun For All

Winslow Memorial Park
            Just 6.1 miles away from the busy and crowed streets of downtown Freeport, exists a hidden gem, beautiful Winslow Memorial Park and Campground. I have been camping here with my friends and family for the past several years and each and every year, I can’t wait to return. The reason for my exuberance is that the facility is so well maintained and that there exists dozens of fun activities for grown-ups and kids to enjoy. As an added bonus, they even accept dogs, for the fee of only $1.00 each!
            The campgrounds facilities include a tidal beach and boat launch (perfect for anything from trailered boats to canoes & kayaks), picnic tables and grills, a fishing pier, a playground, and a volley ball court. There also exists a small cottage onsite called the “Tea House” that is loaded with games and books, perfect for entertaining the kids on those rainy days! The campground additionally hosts a Summer concert series with local bands on weekends so be sure to check out the schedule out on their website (, see Winslow Park and Campground under the “Quick Links” on the right hand side of the page).
The campground itself has 23 waterfront tent sites, boasting expansive views of Casco Bay that can be reserved for the budget price of only $14 for Maine residents and $30 for non-residents. Visitors looking for RV hookups or more secluded wooded campsites, can choose from 100 different camping locations, all uniquely beautiful. Just be warned, campsite fill up FAST! To ensure visitors secure the campsite location and dates they prefer, reservations must be made by the first week of May. (Looking at their website recently, I noted that they are switching to a new online system this year!) Additional details related to the reservation policy, application and mailing address are all available on the website (see above).
Directions to the Campground:
From the South:
* Take I-295 North and get off at Exit 17 (Yarmouth/Freeport Exit)
* At the exit ramp take Route One North. You will pass the Muddy Rudder Restaurant, Freeport Inn and Café on your right. At the top of the hill after the Casco Bay Motel, take a right at the blinking light onto South Freeport Road (if you pass the Big Indian, you've gone too far).
* Take a right onto Staples Point Road (there is a wooden sign for Winslow Park at the corner of South Freeport Road and Staples Point Road).
* Stay on Staples Point Road all the way to the end and you will come into Winslow Park.

From the North:
* Take I-295 South and get off at Exit 20 (formerly exit 19). Take a left at the end of the exit ramp. At the first traffic light after the overpass take a right onto Route One South. Stay on Route One South until you come to South Freeport Road. Take a left onto South Freeport Road (at the blinking light). Take a right onto Staples Point Road (there is a wooden sign for Winslow Park at the corner of South Freeport Road and Staples Point Road). Stay on Staples Point Road all the way to the end and you will come into Winslow Park.
Great Local Eats
It never fails that even the most beautiful summer day can quickly turn miserable with an unrelenting afternoon thunder shower. When this happens at dinner time, the ravenous hordes can get angry. Have no fear, however, only eight minutes away from Winslow Park is the Harraseeket Lunch and Lobster Company ( located at 36 Main Street, South Freeport. Here customers will find a tantalizing assortment of fresh seafood that can be enjoyed inside their dining room or outside on picnic tables. Also remember that patrons are welcome to bring along their favorite beer or wine to enjoy with their meal! If looking to take live lobsters home or back to the campground, HLCC offers packing boxes and gel packs to suit all traveling needs.
Haraseeket River Striper Fishing in Kayaks
            One of the pursuits I find most enjoyable during my stay at Winslow Park are morning paddles in my kayak fishing for Striped bass. With a watchful eye on weather and tides, kayakers can safely navigate from the Winslow Park boat ramp down to the mouth of the Harraseeket River. A few years ago, I caught the largest striper of my fishing career off the small rock island at the mouth of the Harraseeket River. If camping without a boat, still bring your salt water pole! Excellent fishing for striped bass can be had either by tossing plugs or chucking bait off the campgrounds rock pier, located by the playground, or at the boat launch on Stockbridge Point.
Squid Fishing
Anglers who just can’t get enough of fishing, can also fish these spots in the evening for squid! All that is needed to fish for squid at night is a light, regular fishing pole and a squid jig. Squid jigs can be ordered on Amazon from such popular companies as Zak Tackle, Fishcm, Croch and Toasis. All that needs to be done to fish for squid is to shine the light on the water and jig the shrimp lure at various depths. When the shrimp corporate, anglers can harvest more calamari, in just a few short hours, than they likely care to eat!

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