Yes, it’s cold. Yes it’s icy. Yes the trail blazes are covered in snow. Yes you still should get out and hike! Mid Coast Maine has many hiking trails, but most of them are not recommended in the winter because of their slope, ice and snow conditions. The following trails were selected by a mid coast Maine Innkeeper for guests that insisted that while they were traveling the coast in the winter they wanted to enjoy the great outdoors. Innkeeper Kristi Bifulco of the Camden Windward House Bed and Breakfast suggests that hikers should always bring a cellphone, dress warm, wear wool socks, good hiking boots, baliclava, good gloves, carry a G.P.S. & keep extra granola bars in their pockets.
Winter Hiking in Camden and Rockport
Mt. Battie Camden Hills – Camden Maine
You can visit the Camden Hills Trail Map at the following link: http://www.maine.gov/
Bald Mountain – start #11 on map, this is a multi use road that has trail heads. The road is wide and gradual. Take Trail #8 Bald Rock. The hike on Bald rock is a gradual hike. Not too steep. The overlook at the top is the ocean. There is a neat old lean- to at the top, if you can find it. If it is too icey, just stay on the multi use trail until you get to the Camden Hills hut.
Maiden’s Cliff Trail #1 on map.
Gradual slope. The entrance for this trail is not marked well. When you see the start of Lake Megunticook on Rt52, there will be parking on the right hand side. You will most likely see other cars parked there. This trail usually has walking sticks at the beginning that other hikers have left for each other. The overlook is of Lake Megunticook, in the winter it is neat to see the snow mobiles and ice houses (you can actually walk on the ice to the little islands in the lake). There is a big wooden cross at the top to commemorate a young girl that fell over the side, the Maiden that fell over the cliff.
MerrySpring Park, Camden: Located at 30 Conway Road, this field is very popular with cross country skiiers, but also with winter hikers. This is a flat hike. This is a favorite of locals, a hidden gem. To see the trails at MerrySpring:
Gradual and easy hike.
From Camden, make a left on Union Street, drive to the end, make left on Russell Avenue, make 1st right on Mechanic Street, drive to end and park. You will see signs for the trail. This trail is an old dirt road. It is wide and has views of Rockport Harbor. I usually walk for a while sit on some rocks overlooking the harbor and then walk back. Very casual and easy walk. This trail is not plowed during the winter and is off limits to cars. The snow can get deep, if many do not tread it. Good to cross country ski.
From Camden, take RT 1 to Beech Hill Road. Make a right on Beech Hill Road, Prism Gallery restaurant is the landmark on RT 1 to turn right. There is a sign on Beech Hill Road for parking. The hiking hill is a big blueberry field, so there are very little trees. Beech Hill has big open fields with views of the ocean. At the top of the hill there is a beautiful old stone tea house. The tea house is only open select times in spring, summer, and fall, but is wonderful to look at and look in the windows.
This hike is very gradual and easy.