Date Visited: April 23, 2016
Location: 480 York Street, York, Maine
Hours: Always Open
Parking: 2 hour off street parking is available, but limited. There are also a few parking areas near the beach.
A common destination for weddings, dog walkers and beach goers, the Hartley Mason Reservation is a small park with benches, memorials and other works of art. Perhaps the most popular attraction to this site is the rock with the tiny figures, titled, “Pleasure Ground”. The sculpture was made by Sumner Winebaum, a York resident, in 2011. He titled it “Pleasure Ground” because Mason had described the reserve as a “pleasure ground”. The sculpture is built on a rock nearly 8 feet long, 4 feet wide, and weighs three tons,. The bronze figures range in height from 10 to 12 inches tall. Winebaum said his goal was to show people enjoying the park such as the two boys wrestling, the person reading and the two women debating (which he has described as his favorite part of the sculpture).
Tiny people doing all the things regular people do. I wonder what book that tiny figure on the edge of the rock is reading. Perhaps, “Little Women”.
An easy, clearly marked path leads down to the beach.
Along the trail, there are also benches dedicated to people who have passed.
There is also a memorial dedicated to those lost at sea. The York Fisherman’s Memorial is
The inscription on the front reads: O HEAR US WHEN WE CRY TO THEE FOR THOSE IN PERIL ON THE SEA.
On the back of the monument, there is an inscription that states: Dedicated to those who lost their lives at sea & for those who work and love the ocean…
The memorial is dedicated to Captain Daniel A. Donnell who died at sea hauling traps. He was 78 at the time of his death.
The trail is also a great place to take photos of the beach from afar.
From the moment I pulled up to the parking in front of the Hartley Mason Reservation, the view of the water struck me, especially with the weather conditions as they were. A misty cloud covering filled the afternoon sky reaching all the way to the water making it hard to discern where the water ended and the sky began. For most people, this is hardly ideal beach weather. But, I, and my sensitive Irish screen, have always preferred this weather to the scorching unabated sunlight.
The trail eventually leads to the beach (there are also side trails, or if you’re feeling spry you can just walk down the rocky or grassy areas off the trail). Due to time constraints, we just stopped at the beach head and took photos from there. There were some modest waves and some pretty views. The beach does have a lot of rocky areas that wouldn’t be very comfortable to walk around in on sandals. Wear comfortable footwear.
Although the beach area is much larger and may have more accommodations (I will visit again later to capture the beach in its entirety), the section I visited had very little room for lying out. There really was just rock and a concrete slab to stand, sit or lie on. The parking is also pretty sparse at this section of the beach. There are only a few parking spots and some are designated for certain people. There is also an outdoor pool near the beach.
The beach was very busy with not only human visitors but cute furry ones as well (I suppose some of the human visitors were furry as well but that is neither here nor there).
Kipper is a 9 year old German Shepherd. He got to play in the water and he loves to play catch. And his mom’s boots were pretty cool.
Gracie is a 7 and a half year old Boxer with a very broad smile.
Below is a video of the waves at York Beach Saturday.
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