Estuaries and Bay (Yarmouth Town Landing to Casco Bay)

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This segment of the Royal River Water Trail begins at the Yarmouth Town Landing and includes the Royal River Estuary and the Cousins River Estuary, where the rivers meet the Bay. These rivers, estuaries, and the bay provide diverse opportunities for boating, fishing, paddling, birding and exploring.  At low tide narrow river channels and a crowded harbor require courtesies to other boaters. Casco Bay and its islands include many sand bars, clam flats, and quiet coves but also cold- water ocean experiences requiring attention to safety.

More Information


Boat Access Points & Destinations

  • Yarmouth Town Landing: Boat access and overnight parking for a fee is available at Yarmouth Town Landing, off Bayview Street, in Yarmouth.
  • Winslow Park:  Boat access and overnight parking for a fee is available at Winslow Park in Freeport, along with camping, picnic tables, trails, a beach and more.
  • Lanes Island: The beaches and overnight campsites on Lanes Island are owned and managed by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.  Caution: the island is surrounded by mud flat much of the time.  Please respect camping limitations and reservations.
  • Maine Island Trail: The Maine Island Trail provides more trail and overnight experiences in Casco Bay, and informs boaters on more public access points and safety information.
  • Littlejohn Island Preserve: (located just off this “Estuaries & Bay” map). The Royal River Conservation Trust’s preserve at the end of Littlejohn Island is a destination by boaters for a picnic. Daytime use only. No boat access (no boat launch) from the preserve.
  • Casco Bay Public Access Sites By Boat: Maine Coast Heritage Trust has created this helpful map to identify all the public access sites for boats in Casco Bay.  This version zooms in on Yarmouth and nearby towns, and includes hand-carry access sites and tenting.
  • Sandy Point Beach, Cousins Island: Hand-carry boat access, daytime parking, and trails.
  • Cousins River upper reaches and Pratt’s Brook tidal access:  The upper reaches of the Cousins, and the tidal stretches of Pratt’s Brook have no public access and are impassable at low tides.  The boat launches at Winslow Park and Yarmouth Town Landing allow for exploration of these stretches. Be aware of tides, and respect private landowners or private restaurant or marina access.
  • Private marinas and private land: Several private marinas and restaurants in Yarmouth Harbor and on the Cousins River provide services, meals, and access for boaters.  Please contact businesses, tides, and charts to explore options. Please always respect private landowners and private businesses with water access, especially respecting “posted” signs and parking rules.

Bird Watching

Sandy Point Beach birding is described on the page Best Birding in the Royal River Watershed

Connecting Trails & Preserves

Looking for an adventure out of the boat? Here is more information on the land preserves & trails you can explore on foot along this segment.

Royal River Park to Yarmouth Town Landing ← Previous Segment