QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 5,710 acres
- Trail Mileage: ~25 miles in network
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: moderate
- Sights: ocean views from ledgy, open summits
This is a glorious and popular park that has miles of hiking trails (25 or so?) over small mountains with open rocky ledges and summits that offer sweeping views over the coast and inland. The best way to talk about the park is in thirds, the western section, middle section and eastern section. There are several parking areas around the park so you can start your hike at different locations.
Personally, my favorite hike in the park is to Bald Rock Mountain, accessed from the parking area off Youngtown Road. I think it’s less crowded back here, too. This is a quick and not-too-difficult hike to a “bald rock” with stunning views. (The there-and-back trail to Frohock Mountain that is accessible from this trailhead has appeal because it is quiet, but there is no view from the Frohock summit.)
The western section includes Mt. Battie, which has a road up to its peak and a stone viewing tower. I recommend hiking up to Mt. Battie and then over to Adam’s Lookout and to Ocean Lookout for the best views. Just a quick warning: The path from the Megunticook Street trailhead is steep and crosses open ledge that can be slippery. Plus, the parking at this trailhead is quite limited. The summit of Mt. Megunticook, although the highest point in the park, is wooded and has no views. If you have time, head over to Maiden Cliff for some spectacular vistas. Or start here and walk to Ocean Lookout and back.
The middle part of Camden Hills is less crowded than the western and eastern sections. You can access foot trails from a a wide dirt road (“Multi-use Trail, number 11 on the map). I recommend hiking along this track to trail 6 (Sky Blue trail) or trail 4 (Zeke’s Trail…don’t miss Zeke’s Lookout!), to climb up to the Ridge Trail and over to Mt. Megunticook. From there, head down trail 9 (Slope Trail) and back along the main road. If you have the stamina, Cameron Mountain is also nice! It is basically a bump with blueberry fields.
There is also a beautiful short, flat and wheelchair-accessible shoreline trail on the small bit of the park that spills out across Route 1. You can access it by walking through the parking lot. Bring a picnic!
Check out the Camden-Hills-State-Park-map, with summit elevations.
Directions: From downtown Camden, head north on Route 1 for about two miles to the park’s main entrance on your left. For other parking lots, take Route 52 north and look for two parking areas on the right. The first of the two (Old Carriage Road) has room for about a dozen cars along the road. The second of the two, to Maiden Cliff, has room for about 14 cars, plus there is room for overflow on the street below. The parking area below Mt. Battie, at the end of a narrow lane (Megunticook Street Ext.), is very small, with room for just five cars or so. To access the back of the park, take Route 52 to Youngtown Road, on your right, and drive to the junction of Route 173. You’ll see the lot on your right.