I knew that walking the Marginal Way in Ogunquit was one of the best, free things to do in Southern Maine. However, it wasn’t until I took this walk myself that I realized how amazing it actually is.
Also, at the same time, it was nothing like I expected it to be, from the views to the distance to the terrain.
Where is the Marginal Way in Ogunquit
There are two ways to access the Marginal Way in Ogunquit. One, you can enter off Shore Road across from Obeds Lane. The actual entrance is between two resorts.
All of this is very near to the Ogunquit Memorial Library.
The second way to enter the Marginal Way is from Perkins Cove in Ogunquit. You enter next to the Oarweed Restaurant, which has a lovely patio that overlooks the pathway. However, I wouldn’t recommend eating there. But I’ll save that critique for another time.
How long is the Marginal Way
While I didn’t measure our walk, I later learned that the Marginal Way is 1.25 miles long. So, if you decide to do a roundtrip on it, you’ll walk 2.5 miles.
If that seems like a daunting length, don’t worry. There are park benches overlooking the ocean throughout the Marginal Way. You can always take a seat, take in the scenery and then get up when you’re feeling rested.
We took a leisurely pace during our walk. I think we finished the 1.25 miles in about 30 minutes.
It’s a hilly walk
Also, some people refer to the Marginal Way as a cliff walk. I’d heard that before but never really took note of it until I got on the pathway.
Unlike walking on the High Line in New York City, which is flat, the Marginal Way is hilly. And it does end up in places where you’re practically looking down at the ocean from a cliff.
In fact, about halfway along the walkway, you’ll come upon a steep staircase down to the beach. Like the tides in Wells and the tides in Kennebunk, you’ll only be able to access the beach during low tide.
It’s well worth timing your visit to low tide. Then, you’ll have a lovely beach to yourself albeit a rocky beach. However we did see plenty of tide pools for shallow, wave-free wading.
Finally, the Marginal Way is narrow. Like it’s a sidewalk-wide path. I expected it to be wider.
Thankfully, we went on a Monday and it wasn’t that crowded. However, I couldn’t imagine walking it during the high tourist season or on the weekend. I would think it would be a traffic jam.
Where to park for the Marginal Way in Ogunquit
We didn’t realize there was a Marginal Way entrance on Shore Road. So, we drove into Perkins Cove to park. Unfortunately, the municipal lot was full and we didn’t want to pay $30 to park near the restaurants there.
So, we headed back out onto Shore Road and parked in a gravel lot called the Perkins Parking Lot. We paid $20 in cash and were able to park in the shade. Then, it was a short walk to the entrance.
Since Perkins Cove is a stop on the Ogunquit Trolley, you could avoid parking all together by taking the trolley. Or you could get off near the Marginal Way entrance along Shore Road.
The Sparhawk Resort on Shore Road, one of the Ogunquit Trolley stops, is just north of the Marginal Way entrance on the road.
Marginal Way Ogunquit vs Marginal Way Portland
I’ve created this section of the article so that you don’t get confused about the two Marginal Ways in Southern Maine. The one in Ogunquit is a cliff walk along the ocean.
On the other hand, the Marginal Way in Portland runs parallel to 295 and is a commercial street (though it’s not the Commercial Street). On Marginal Way in Portland, that’s where you find medical offices and the only Trader Joe’s in Maine.