Trip report

Camden Hills Camping Weekend

Camping DATE: 06/27/2014 - 06/29/2014

Trip/Event Location: Camden, ME

Trip Leader(s): shep5

Max # People: 10

Trip Guiding / Event Fee: No, I will not be asking participants for money

Difficulty Level: Moderate

Join me for a relaxing weekend in the historic town of Camden, Maine.  Camden is a picturesque town on midcoastal Maine, nestled at the foot of Camden Hills on Penobscot Bay. Its slogan is "

Driving directions to the location and spot to meet at:

At the Rt 95/295 split in Portland, turn onto Rt 295.  In 28.2 miles, take Exit 28 and merge onto Rt 1 S (Coastal Route/Brunswick).  At Mill Street, turn left onto Rt 1 N and follow Rt 1 for 42.8 miles.  Turn left onto Rt 90 E.  After 10.8 miles this will re-join Rt 1.  In 3.6 miles the Camden Hills State Park will be reached.

For GPS Users:  44.230185, -69.047284 (Belfast Rd / Route 1; Camden, ME 04843).

Trip Report/Photos
Featured Photo

On Friday, June 28th, ten of us (Jimmy, Dan, Jim, Shawn, David, Kerek, Karl, George, John and myself...and 3 dogs) met up at the Camden State Park just north of town.  It was alittle after 5PM when I arrived.  John had already set up, but was not around yet.  Over the next couple of hours everyone started to arrive...despite a difficult drive (Rt 295 had had an accident north of Freeport and it was painfully slow through that area, with much of the traffic being diverted to Route 1).  After setting up our sites and having our dinners, we settled in meeting everyone and relaxing by a campfire.  Everyone turned in for the night by midnight.

In the morning, we took our time waking up and getting ready for the day.  We all congregated  (along with 3 dogs) by about 9:30AM for our hike up across the Camden Hills (John kayaked, while we hiked).  The trail began close to our camp sites, so it was very convenient.  By 10:15 we had reached Adam's Lookout with nice views over Penobscot Bay.  Just a little further up the trail, we came to Ocean Lookout with its very open ledges and beautiful views over Camden Harbor and the bay...and Mount Battie below.  We met up with a family who graciously took our photo and then we proceded further up the open ledges before the Megunticook Trail finally turned back into the woods for the climb to the summit (1385').  The summit was totally in the woods with only a large cairn in a wooded clearing to mark its location.  After taking a break here, we continued down the other side continuing on to Maiden Cliff.  This was mainly a woods walk with a mostly modest grade.  By about 12:30 there were again views, but by this time the views were over Lake Megunticook.  As we started to climb closer to Maiden Cliff, the views again opened up...back across the ridge and over the lake below.  We made it to Maiden Cliff by just before 1PM and enjoyed a relaxing lunch here in the sun.

After a half hour break, we started back.  At first we re-traced our steps back to the trail junction with the Jack Williams Trail.  This trail paralleled the Ridge Trail, but at the base of the cliffs.  It was a very pleasant walk, but the ledges above were only partly visible unless you bushwhacked a short distance to the base of a boulder field.  By 3PM we reached the junction with the Tablelands Trail and took this back to the Megunticook Trail.  We proceeded back along Adam's Lookout and back down the trail to the campground.  We made it back by about 3:30PM after hiking about 7.5 miles.

Back at the camp, we relaxed and cleaned up before dinner...with a few of us walking down to the shore...Derek and Karl went in search of a spot along the very rocky shoreline to take a dip.  That evening about half the group ate at the campground and half went into Camden for dinner (Karl had other plans for the rest of the weekend and took off).  Afterwards we all met up around a campfire again.  It was a pretty full day and pretty much everyone had turned in for the night by 11PM.

On Sunday morning, I had arranged for a half-day kayak trip around Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay.  John had his own kayak, but David, Derek and myself rented from Ducktrap Kayak in neighboring Lincolnville (an excellent outfitter and one of the few that didn't require a guided tour).  Those of us that were kayaking had to break camp and meet up with the outfitter by 8:30AM.  Most of the rest of the guys were up by that point and we were able to say our goodbyes.

After meeting up with the outfitter, he drove the equipment to the Sea Street put-in in Camden and we followed.  After some brief instruction and adjustment of the kayaks we were on the water by 9AM.  It was again a beautiful day and the water was like glass...hardly a ripple on it.  We kayaked through the moored boats out to Penobscot Bay and followed the shore northward for awhile...seeing a number of osprey nests along the way...with a nested pair just north of the bay.  We headed a little further north before turning around and heading down the bay towards Curtis Island and its lighthouse.  After passing the island on the bay side we circled around for a landing from the harbor side.  We got out and enjoyed a break exploring the lighthouse and having a snack on the island.  It was 10:30AM and we ended up staying there for about an hour before heading back out to sea.  The tide had come in significantly and one of our boats had started to drift and apparently had to be rescued by another group of landing kayakers while we were at the lighthouse.  After getting back into the kayaks, we headed south along the shore for a bit.  It wasn't long before the waves started to kick up and it was getting a little harder to paddle against.  We turned around and headed for the harbor and checking that out before returning and taking out by 1PM.  Afterwards, we headed into town for a quick lunch at Cappy's Chowder House before calling it a weekend.

Everything about the weekend was just simply fantastic...wonderful group of guys, a beautiful hike across the Camden Hills and capping it all off with a picturesque kayak through the bay and harbor.  A big thanks to everyone for making it such an enjoyable weekend!

Members That Participated


Outdoor Fitness Level: Very Strenuous

Jaffrey, NH

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

s. portland, ME

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate

Parsonsfield, ME

United States


Outdoor Fitness Level: Moderate to Strenuous

Plymouth, MA

United States

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