Tips on How to Best Enjoy Camden Hills State Park
Camden Maine is all about enjoying the outdoors. What better way to enjoy Midcoast Maine than with a nice hike. The Camden Hills State Park is a fantastic find. While the easy access Auto Road is one of the most frequented tourist attractions in Maine, surprisingly the other less accessible hiking trails compared to Acadia, can feel downright tranquil in terms of traffic.
30 Miles of Trails
The great thing about Camden Hills, if you enjoy hiking, are the 30 miles of trails. That’s right, thirty miles. I came across a couple who had left their bikes at one end of the park, at the end of the Multi Use trail, and driven back to the trail head at the opposite end of the park. They hiked the entire park, and then biked back to their cars.
Camden Hills is a great place to forage for mushrooms. Micologist Greg Marley frequently comes to Camden to speak about the benefits of mushrooms as well as lead foraging expeditions.
Rock climbers love the cliffs over on Route 52, but also, there are many unofficial trails that lead to climber’s spots within the park.
One of My Favorite Rides
I particularly enjoy cycling up Route 52 from Camden, taking Youngtown Road, passed the Cellar Door Winery, to the trailhead of the Multi-Use trail, then biking the Multi Use trail to where it links up with the Mt. Battie Auto Road. I take the road back to Route 1, and then South to the corner where I started. This is a fantastic combo road-trail ride. This ride affords views of the cliff, Lake Megunticook, Penobscot Bay, streams and more.
More About Camden Hills
With miles of hiking trails and wonderful scenic vistas, Camden Hills State Park is a must visit attraction in Camden Maine. Camden Hills State Park has 30 miles of hiking trails with access from five major trail heads; the Mt. Battie trail begins/ends at the top of Megunticook Street, which is the street that backs the Camden Windward House Bed & Breakfast, about a 1/10th of a mile walk up to the trail. Camden Hills State Park is a low set of mountains in the towns of Camden, Rockport and Lincolnville. There are incredible views of Penobscot Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Parts of the trail are very steep. Skiing and snowmobiling trails also exist in the park. The view is fantastic and we think it rivals any Acadia National Park view. There is a trail for everyone, easy, difficult or moderate. You can even rock climb if you wish. We have rock climbing guides in the area. The Innkeepers at Windward House can guide you to any of the trails. Trail maps are always available at the Inn. There is a fantastic stone look out tower at the top of Mt. Battie. A rock with Edna St. Vincent Millay’s poetry can also be found on the top of the mountain. The portion of Edna St. Vincent’s Renascence poem is etched on a rock:
All I could see from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood; I turned and looked another way, And saw three islands in a bay. So with my eyes I traced the line Of the horizon, thin and fine, Straight around till I was come Back to where I’d started from; And all I saw from where I stood Was three long mountains and a wood.
Difficulty of Camden Hills State Park Trails
There are 20 trails in Camden Hills State Park, each with varying difficulty:
- Maiden Cliff Trail: Distance: 1 Mile Time: 1hr. Moderate difficulty
- Scenic Trail: Distance: .8 Mile, Time: 45min. Moderate difficulty
- Ridge Trail: Distance: 2.5 Mile, Time: 2.5hrs. Moderate difficulty
- Zekes Trail: Distance: 1.3 Mile, Time: 1hr. Moderate difficulty
- Cameron Mtn.: Trail: Distance: 1.9 Mile, Time: 1.5 hr. Easy difficulty
- Sky Blue Trail: Distance: 1.5 Mile, Time: 1.5 hrs. Easy – Moderate difficulty
- Frohock Mtn. : Distance: 1.9 Mile, Time: 2hrs. Moderate – strenous difficulty – Mt. Bike Trail
- Bald Rock: Distance: .5 Mile, Time: 30min. Easy – Moderate difficulty
- Slope: Distance: 1.5 Mile, Time: 1.5. Moderate – strenous difficulty
- Megunticook Trail: Distance: 1 Mile, Time: 1 hr. Moderate difficulty
- Multi Use Trail: Distance: 5 Miles, Time: 3hrs. Easy difficulty – takes you from Camden to Lincolnville.
- Carriage Trail: Distance: .5 Mile, Time: 30minutes 45min. Easy – Moderate difficulty
- Carriage Road Trail: Distance: .8 Mile, Time: 45min. Moderate difficulty
- Tablelands: Distance: 1.5 Mile, Time: 1.5 hr. Moderate – strenous difficulty
- Mt. Battie Trail: Distance: .5 Mile, Time: 45min. Moderate – strenous difficulty
- Nature Trail: Distance: 1.2 Mile, Time: 1hr. Easy difficulty
- Jack Williams Trail: Distance: 1.6 Mile, Time: 1.5 hr Easy – Moderate difficulty
- Adam’s Look Tail: Distance: .3 Mile, Time: 10min. Easy difficulty
- Shoreline Trail: Distance: .8 Mile, Time: 15min. Easy difficulty
- Summer Bypass trail: Distance: .4 Mile, Time: 30min. Easy difficulty
This is my favorite poem about Camden Hills State Park:
I will be the gladdest thing
Under the sun! I will touch a hundred flowers
And not pick one.
I will look at cliffs and clouds
With quiet eyes, Watch the wind bow down the grass,
And the grass rise.
And when lights begin to show
Up from the town, I will mark which must be mine,
And then start down!
Edna St. Vincent Millay