Anyone wanting an expansive eyefull of Maine’s iconic coastline should consider a visit to the summit of Mount Battie in Camden Hills State Park, just a half hour’s drive south of Captain Nickels Inn. The park offers numerous trails and panoramic views of Penobscot Bay that you don’t have to hike to see.
Camden Hills State Park is located just north of Camden, MN on U.S. Route 1a. The 5,710-acre park was developed in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps and includes more than 30 miles of hiking trails.
Camden Hills is known primarily for its stunning views. Both Mount Battie and Mount Megunticook lay within park boundaries and reward summiting visitors with expansive panoramas of the surrounding countryside. The view is particularly arresting in autumn, with all its beautiful colors.
It’s not all about elevation, however. Camden Hills State Park stretches from the top of mountain peaks all the way down to the Atlantic shore. People come to explore, hike, bike, bird-watch, camp, horseback ride, and more.
But let’s be honest – you’re gonna want to see that view.
Take A Peak
Mount Battie Trail is a moderate, half-mile (.8km) hike up the south side of the mountain. The hike includes some scrambling but the view makes it well worth the effort. A stone tower at the summit, erected in 1921 to honor those who fought in World War I, provides an even better vantage point to take in the 360-degree views.
While most will tell you that hiking is the most rewarding way to the top, the Mount Battie Auto Road is another option. The winding road leads to a parking lot near the summit, allowing everyone a chance to enjoy the views. The road is usually closed in the winter because of snow and you will have to pay a small fee to drive to the summit.
Mount Battie isn’t the only scenic view point in Camden Hills State Park, nor is it the highest. Mount Megunticook has that honor, at 1,385 feet (422m) in elevation, it is highest peak on the Atlantic seaboard.
The mile long Megunticook Trail that leads to the mountain’s summit is rated as moderate. It ascends nearly 1,000 vertical feet to some of the finest views in the park.
Hit the Trail(s)
Camden Hills State Park has 20 different hiking trails to explore, varying in length and difficulty. Most lead up and around the mountains, so include a moderate incline.
Some of the more popular park trails include:
Adam’s Lookout Trail
The Ridge Trail
Jack Williams Trail
Summer Bypass Trail
Maiden Cliff Trail
Be sure to acquire a Camden Hills trail map before heading out, however. The trails are well maintained but the trailheads are easy to miss.
Camden Hills State Park
The park is located a few minutes north of Camden at 280 Belfast Rd, Camden, ME 04843. Visit the park website for more information.
Camden is a must-see, quintessential New England town with nice shops, galleries, and restaurants within walking distance of a working harbor. Stop in after exploring the park for a rejuvenating meal, some window shopping, and maybe even a harbor cruise.
After that it’s an easy 30 minute drive up the coast to your guest room at Captain Nickels Inn.