The Geology of the Two Lights and Crescent Beach State Parks Area, Cape Elizabeth, Maine


Two Lights and Crescent Beach State Parks are located within a mile (2 km) of each other in the township of Cape Elizabeth in Cumberland County, Maine (Figure 1). The parks are easily accessible by automobile from State Highway 77. Two Lights State Park encompasses 41 acres of rocky headlands and associated uplands. The park's name is derived from the two lighthouses located nearby. Crescent Beach State Park consists of 255 acres which include a small pond, some forested land and a mile of sandy beach. The parks offer opportunities for picnicking, swimming, and enjoying the ocean view.

The purpose of this booklet is to give the visitor some idea of the geologic history of the area. Special emphasis has been placed on the geologic ideas and theories that help to explain the origin of the rocks and sediments seen in the parks. The report is written in a semi-popular style and is intended to be of use to anyone who desires to increase their knowledge of the geology of southwestern Maine.


Field work upon which this discussion is based was sponsored by the Maine Geological Survey, and I want to thank Walter Anderson, State Geologist, for his continuing interest and support of my work in southern Maine. I thank John Poisson for the cover illustrations and Bennett Wilson for the diagrams contained in the text. I thank Gary Boone, Irwin Novak, Robert Tucker, Carolyn Lepage, John Rand, Donald Newberg, Samuel Butcher, James Moulton, and Lendall Knight for their critical reading of the manuscript. Their helpful suggestions have greatly improved the presentation. I accept all responsibility for any shortcomings.

Preface   Introduction   Rocks   Geologic History   Glaciation   Conclusion   Glossary

Last updated on January 16, 2008