Camden Hills State Park– a loop hike from the north parking lot up Bald Rock Mt., Cameron Mt., and Zeke’s Lookout Camden Hills SP
Distance: 9.7 miles total. You could skip Bald Rock Mt to shorten it, but you’d miss the best views.
Location: Camden, Maine. Youngtown Rd right at Stevens Corner.
Parking: Parking for this hike is at the north parking lot. This lot is at Stevens Corner and has enough parking for maybe 15-20 cars, but I’ve seen even more cars parked along the roadside when the lot is overflowing.
Use: Good for hiking, running, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, mountain biking, horseback riding and parts of it for snowmobiling. Truly a multiuse trail system including a rentable ski shelter with a wood stove and bunks.
Wildlife: There were many instances of bear scat on the trails, especially around Cameron Mt which is a huge open blueberry field. I wouldn’t be surprised to see bear, deer and fox anywhere in the park, although the well used ski trails will most likely push wildlife to the less used hiking trails.
Wilderness Experience: There is a fair amount of land encompassed by the state park, but it is surrounded on all four sides by well used roads including downtown Camden which is a heavily traffic location especially in summer. The Ski Trail that goes from north to south gets a ton of traffic from hikers, runners, bikers and skiiers because of its proximity to the well populated town. If you want to feel more remote take the time to travel to Zeke’s Lookout or Frohock Mt to the east. These receive much less traffic and will provide a more wilderness feel. From any viewpoint you you will see houses, roads and towns, but the views are always great as the ocean extends endlessly to the south.
Trail: The Ski Trail is flat, hard, grated dirt road. It’s easy hiking but from the north lot it is a steady uphill grade for at least 1.5 miles. Other trails, including the lower section of Cameron Mt trail is also road bed. Coming down Zeke’s trail covers the remnants of an old road, making it fairly easy hiking although it’s not maintained at a road so it’s rocky and rooty in places. Bald Rock Mt Trail is a rocky, rooty trail as is the upper section of Cameron Mountain and Zeke’s Trail. Some of it is ledgy and pine needles, but none of it is all that steep or difficult.
Summit: Bald Rock Mt summit has excellent 180 views from Searsport to Camden and you can see Cadillac Mt across Penobscot Bay. Cameron Mt has nearly 360 views including Ragged Mt and over the hills and valleys in between. Zeke’s Lookout has a narrow view directly to Bald Rock Mt to the east, but that is it.