There are over 30 miles of trails in Camden Hills State Park and we have barely dented the trails… We have however, hiked up to the top of Mount Megunticook and hiked up to Maiden’s Cliffs. These two hikes along with the hike to Mount Battie are the top three hikes in the immediate area of Camden.
Mount Megunticook Hike - At 1,380 feet, Mount Megunticook is the highest mountain in the park and the second highest coastal mountain along the Atlantic. The tallest coastal peak in Maine can be found in Acadia National Park. This hike was about 2.5 miles and covered over 1200 of elevation.
Our hike up Mount Megunticook started from our camp site as the trailhead is about a quarter mile from it inside Camden Hills State Park. This trail is rated by the state of Maine as a 2 on a scale of 1-3. I have hiked a lot of trails and would have to say this trial was fairly difficult. Not only was it pretty steep since we were hiking up nearly 1200 feet of elevation in the first mile the trial itself is mostly rocky with the rocks nearly all rounded and not angular making placing your footing all the more critical.
After taking about an hour on a relentless climb winding our way up through woodlands one mile to the summit of Mount Megunticook the trail becomes a series of plateaus until we reached the Ocean View Lookout at 1300'. The Ocean View Lookout at Mount Megunticook is a really beautiful panoramic view of Penobscot Bay including Camden's picturesque harbor filled with all the windjammers and lobster boats. It made this ragged 2.5 mile worth the trip.
Maiden's Cliff Hike – To get to the Maiden's Cliff Hike we had to drive towards Camden, Maine and turn right onto Mountian Road until we reached a small trailhead just before we got to Megunticook Lake. This trail was similar to the trail to Mount Megunticook as it was rated a 2 and the quality (or lack there of) was a bit poorer than the trial up Mount Megunticook.
The trail was not only steep and rocky but additional encounters with fallen trees as a result of Hurricane Irene and several sports of boulder scrambling to reach the summit made this trail more difficult than the hike to Mount Megunticook. The 2.3 mile hike to Maiden Cliffs took just as long as the 2.5 mile hike to Mount Megunticook.
The trail towards the top of the cliffs is about a mile long and the first part made us think this trail would be an easier hike until we hit the steep rocky climb to the top. The hike to the cliff took us about an hour to complete and once you summit you are treated to another fantastic panoramic view..
Megunticook Lake can be seen from above on Maiden's Cliff. The cliffs are a rock outcropping formation that juts out about 800 feet above Megunticook Lake and overlooks Ragged Mountain to the west. The panoramic views of the lake and the mountains below also made this hike well worth it. There is a huge white cross on top of Maiden's Cliff that serves as a memorial to Elenora French who was an 11-year old girl who fell off the cliff on May 7, 1864.
We did these two hikes on two different days and it allowed us time in beteween to recover from the steep scrambling climbs we endured ion each day. There is an alternative to hiking these hikes as the road up to the top of Mount Battie a has similar view to the one we say at Mount Megunticook. All and all we are glad we took these two hikes….