Higgins Beach is a wide sandy beach, approximately 1,000 feet long at the outlet of the Spurwink River. There is a dense neighborhood of about 400 small-to medium-sized homes, many of which are closed up in the winter, abutting the length of the beach.
The beach is a regular nesting area for Piping Plovers with a high of five breeding pairs and ten fledglings in 2003. Least Terns also nest in regular, but relatively small numbers, with a high of 38 pairs nesting in 2003.
The beach is primarily in private ownership. The public may access the beach, but parking limits the number of visitors from outside of the residential area. The beach is heavily used all summer by people and dogs. Restrictions on dogs during the nesting season have helped reduce disturbance to nesting Piping Plovers, but is difficult to enforce. Continued outreach to dog owners in the neighborhood is needed to keep this major disturbance off the beach. In the past, the sensitive nesting areas at the northern end of the beach have been prime sites for gatherings of local teens. Though this activity has decreased in recent years, continued monitoring and education is essential. The town of Scarborough has designated the Piping Plover as its town bird.
The beach is primarily in private ownership though there is public access along several points to the beach. Parking is not allowed on the street and is limited to a small pay lot about ? mile from the beach itself.