SCARBOROUGH — For people interested in what they can do outside while social distancing measures continue, the town of Scarborough has provided some updates.

Scarborough will be easing open outdoor facilities, like beaches and parks, said Town Manager Tom Hall on May 20. Parking will expand for both Ferry and Higgins Beach as they become more available to the public.

Playgrounds will remain closed, as the town doesn’t have the ability to keep them sanitized at an appropriate level, and basketball courts will also stay closed, he said. Tennis courts and pickle ball courts will open in a limited form, with a ban on doubles games.

As of May 22, the Prouts Neck Cliff Walk is open, Hall said.

“They’re proposing to do it one way, clockwise, as they describe it, and that makes some sense for anyone who’s been on the Cliff Walk,” he said. “There are very tight sections. It would be very difficult to pass folks. So I think that seems like a reasonable suggestion until things ease up further.”

As a way to clarify what is open or closed, the town now has an interactive facilities map, which also gives the status of their trash services, restrooms, and public parking at each location.

The link to the map can be found in the news sections in the community services tab of the town of Scarborough’s website.

“We continue to think and believe strongly that getting people outdoors and getting some exercise is really essential for our mental and physical health, so we’re going to do everything we can to maintain that,” Hall said.

Public walking trails remain open, according to the Scarborough Land Trust’s website. Rich Bard, president of the land trust, offered advice on how to properly social distance while visiting a trail.

“We are thrilled that people have complied with recommendations for safe use of our preserves, allowing all of our properties to remain open to the public,” he said. “To avoid crowded parking lots and maximize social distancing, we recommend that people consider hiking early or late in the day and take the opportunity to explore trails they may not have hiked before. We also hope that everyone will comply with signs temporarily closing trails or requiring dogs to be on leash.”

Hiking trails in Scarborough can be found at, he said. Trails in the town’s vicinity are listed at

Regarding the state, Hall told the public that the state is planning to open coastal state parks and beaches on June 1, but at a reduced parking rate and no sedimentary activity allowed, just walking.

“I can predict that’s going to be a challenge for us going forward as the weather warms and more people want to get to the beach,” he said. “I maintain the position that I think there’s ways to ease those standards in the coming days, and I think our hands will be forced.”

Hall said that he is working with colleagues in Old Orchard Beach — the sandy shore of OOB connects with Scarborough’s Pine Point — to ensure safety is always considered when keeping spaces open.

“We’re working as hard as we possibly can to keep these places open to do it in as safe a manner as possible,” he said.

Comments are not available on this story.

filed under: