Camden Hills State Park– a figure eight hike over Maiden Cliff and Mt. Megunticook
Distance: 7 miles total. There are many options for adding mileage including Mt. Battie.
Location: Camden, Maine. SP located in a triangle hemmed in by routes 1 & 52 and Youngtown Rd.
Parking: There is good parking at the less used north end at Stevens Corner on Youngtown Rd. Parking also available at the main entrance on rt 1 at Mt. Battie autoroad. We parked on rt 52 at the head of Lake Megunticook, maybe room for 15 cars or more.
Use: Good for hiking, running, snowshoeing, biking and used extensively for x-country skiing on the Ski Shelter trail.
Wildlife: You might see some squirrels and such, especially birds soaring around the Megunticook overlook, but since this park is so close to Camden there’s little chance of much else.
Wilderness Experience: Camden and the park in general is a busy place. There is easy access to the trails from all sides and many easy trails so there will always be a lot of people about. The trails up to Megunticook from the campground are particularly busy and the Ski Shelter Trail is easy walking from north to south so it is heavily traveled year round. The Mt Battie autoroad is well used and creates even more congestion. If you want the best possible wilderness experience try the Jack Williams Trail. This is the best bet for remoteness.
Trail: We parked at the Maiden Cliff Trail parking. Going up Maiden Cliff is steep but not difficult. Roots and rocks abound, but the trail is stable with solid footing. Following the Ridge Trail then down to the Jack Williams Trail the trail is mostly forest floor and fairly easy footing. As you head up to Ocean Outlook the trail is very steep and you will climb some rocks, but this section is only 0.2 miles. The Ridge Trail back to Maiden Cliff is in tree cover with minor ups and downs.
Summit: Maiden Cliff has a massive cross as a monument to a maiden who fell to her death many years ago thus giving the cliff its name. The view from the cliff is excellent to the west over Lake Megunticook. The actual summit of Mt. Megunticook has no view, but the Ocean Overlook below the summit is always full of people enjoying the view over Camden and the ocean beyond.