Cape Elizabeth is one of the most beautiful places in Maine and it is home to one of the coolest coastal hikes in the entire state.
While there are a ton of incredible sights to behold during the hike, ultimately the best sight is the massive mansion built in 1858 that is found nestled in the Cape Elizabeth woods!
Fort Williams Park is where you will find this gorgeous cliff side hike!
The hike isn’t too bad on the feet as you are mostly walking over crushed stone!
You will hike past the remnants of Fort Williams.
You will also pass right by the Portland Head Lighthouse as it is just off the hiking trail!
The cliff walk begins above from the Fort Williams Park beach near the entrance of the park.
The path leads to the other side of the park, passing old batteries and the lighthouse while also providing an opportunity to see across Casco Bay.
Despite all of the great sights, there is a lesser-known sight that is tucked away in the Maine woods.
The mansion can be found at the end of the cliff walk, by continuing past the Ship Cove beach area after the Battery Hobart.
The castle mansion was built for John Goddard, a local businessman who was also a volunteer army colonel in the Civil War for a short time in 1861.
About 50 years later, the castle came into the ownership of the army in 1900. It was used as living quarters for non-commissioned officers and later became a club for these officers and sergeants
Over the years, the castle began to fall apart and a controlled burn in 1980 gutted the castle.
The castle is fenced so you sadly will not be able to go inside…unless you are a rebel of course.
This is definitely a part of American History and a great day hike that the entire family can enjoy!
Fort Williams Park is free to visit and is open all year from sunrise to sunset. You can bring dogs, but they’re required to be on a leash except in specific “off-leash” sanctioned areas. For directions, click here and enter your own starting point. You can reach the Community Services office for the park by calling: 207-700-2868.