Camden Hills State Park- 5,700 acres with wooded hills, and an 800 foot summit with sweeping views of Penobscot Bay
Camden Hills State Park is a vast 5,700-acre park where visitors are treated to 30 miles of hiking trails, breathtaking views of surrounding hills and lakes, well-maintained and equipped campgrounds, and a large picnic area for family and friends.
The National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps created the park in the 1930s, formerly known as the “Camden Hills Recreation Development Area.” The name was later changed to Camden Hills State Park in 1947 and it has been one of Maine’s most popular attractions.
The view from the summit of Mount Battie is definitely worth the trek. Once at the summit you will get a full panoramic view of surrounding lakes, the beautiful wooded hillsides, and of courseCamden Harbor and Penobscot Bay. By foot, the hike to Mount Battie will normally take up to two hours but you can opt to get to the top by car if you do not feel like the walk up. A fee is charged for the drive up the summit. During the fall season, it is a popular activity for the people to get to see the beautiful fall colors of the surrounding hillsides. Mount Megunticook, the highest peak on the Atlantic seaboard, is another good hiking destination, also with excellent views, although its summit is not as open as Mount Battie.
Camden Hills State Park- over 30 miles of scenic hiking trails
Hikers will definitely enjoy the 30 miles of trails the park is known for. Access to the hiking trails are all accessed from 5 main trail-heads. Arm yourself with a map as the five trailheads within the park are not well marked and you might miss them although the trails themselves are well maintained. The trails mostly go around or up the mountains and are usually up to four miles long each. A very popular hiking trail in the park is Maiden's Cliff Trail which takes the hiker to spectacular views of Megunticook Lake and the surrounding mixed forest.
Compared to other parks in the area, the hiking trails are considered to have an incline closer to hills than mountains. This makes hiking ideal for families with children as well as people who are only interested in a great view. The overall degree of difficulty is low because there are many areas with just moderate inclines and the trails average only 2 or 3 miles in length. However, for serious hikers, the trails have been designed to connect to each other throughout the park, which allows you to make your hikes as long as you want. With the ability to create your own loop, the possibilities are endless. If you have all day, then you can take all day to finish your hike. If you only have a couple of hours, there are trails for that too. July is the best time to go as it is the driest season. The trails get rather muddy during the rainy season.
State park information can be found here:
A trail map can be found here: http://www.maine.gov/doc/parks/parksinfo/camden/camdentrails.pdf