Camden Hills State Park, Camden

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. Many people begin in the park at what the rangers call the “hiker’s parking lot.”

But personally, my most 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 the most beautiful 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. I recommend hiking up to Mt. Battie and then over to Adam’s Lookout and to Ocean Lookout for the best views. 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. Basically, you can access foot trails from a main track, 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 looking for three parking areas on your right, the first two within a couple of miles and the third, for Maiden Cliff Trail, a few more miles down the road. 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.