Did you know that 75% (3,500 acres) of Camden Hills State Park is actually in the town of Lincolnville? It’s true! Lincolnville is home to the heart of this park - a place that many outdoor enthusiasts call home. In fact, people from all around the world travel here during all four Maine seasons. From bold foliage, to summer rock climbing, to the National Toboggan Championships in the winter – it’s all right here in this famous Midcoast Maine destination.
Camden Hills State Park has 5,700 acres of wooded hills with an 800-foot summit that treats visitors to sweeping vistas of Penobscot Bay. The National Park Service and the Civilian Conservation Corps created the park in the 1930s. Initially called Camden Hills Recreation Development Area, it was it was renamed Camden Hills State Park in 1947.
As one of the most popular parks in the nation, Camden Hills State Park is known for breathtaking panoramic views of Penobscot Bay, Camden Harbor and water, and stunning fall foliage. Access this breath-taking vantage point from the Mount Battie summit (easily accessible by car) or the Bald Rock Mountain summit [link to Outdoor article]. Once you're up here, you might need to catch your breath at the full panoramic view of surrounding lakes, the beautiful wooded hillsides, Camden Harbor, and the vast Penobscot Bay. Visitors also seek out Mount Megunticook, the highest peak on the Atlantic seaboard, while they’re here.
However, you don't need to be on a summit to enjoy this beautiful park. In fact, your perfect outside adventure begins the moment you step foot into the park entrance!
Camden Hills State Park has over 30 miles of scenic hiking trails - allowing hikers to customize their trek depending on their skill level – or their desire to tackle a new challenge! All the hiking trails are accessed from five main trailheads. Ideal for families with children or novice hikers, the hiking trails have an incline closer to the hills than mountains - keeping the inclines pretty moderate and easy to hike. Overall, the hikes aren't too difficult and the trails average about 2-3 miles in length. However, if you're a more experienced hiker, you can certainly take on the trickier trails, or choose several trails to keep you moving all day long.
This is the view. While Bald Rock Mountain is much smaller than the popular Mount Megunticook, the view does not take second place. The top of the summit opens up into 1,100+-foot ledge with a 200-degree panoramic view right towards Penobscot Bay. You can also soak in the sights of the mountains and the nearby Islands of Penobscot Bay including the Ensign Islands, Islesboro, North Haven, Vinalhaven and Isle Au Haut. For more information on this trail (including difficulty level), please check out our Outdoor Adventures article. [Link to it]
If you’re looking for Zen-like tranquility, this is the place. Fernalds Neck Preserve is a hidden gem with its 328 acres. It's a local secret that tends to be overlooked by hikers - giving you the place to yourself. Here, you can explore the dense softwood forest and check out the shores of one of Maine's best small lakes. While it's open all year long, please note it’s probably best to avoid these trails during Maine’s muddy season unless you are an experienced hiker; it can get pretty slippery.
As part of Camden Hills State Park, the 940-acre Tanglewood forest in Lincolnville (right on the Ducktrap River) is a must-visit spot. Not only are there seven miles of beautiful trails, but guests can also enjoy a swimming area, pond, organic garden, canoeing site, and playing field. There are also 47 rustic buildings on the premises.
The extensive network of trails are incredibly well maintained, and only to be used for foot traffic. These trails are open year-round for hiking or cross-country skiing.
For more information on Tanglewood (and Blueberry Cove), including its environmental mission and educational programs, please check out our in-depth profile! (Link to Tanglewood article)
This trail is right on the Lincolnville side. It's considered a pretty easy 4.5-mile hike - with a total elevation increase of 120-feet. It's also beautiful – hugging the Ducktrap River along the way. There are plenty of intersecting trails for hikers to take on, too.
Another popular hiking trail in the park is Maiden's Cliff Trail which offers spectacular views of Megunticook Lake and the surrounding forest.
If you're more in the mood to climb than hike, Camden Hills State Park is ready to deliver! There are plenty of short, high quality climbs here.
Barrett's Cove: This is a southwest-facing cliff, about 250 ft high, overlooking Lake Megunticook. According to experts, protection can be tricky on some routes, and runouts can be substantial.
Ocean Lookout: This 150 ft tall spot is metamorphic, southwest facing, with a cliff band that offers amazing views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot bay.
The Rampart: Not for beginners, this a good sport climbing area, facing southeast and is about 80 ft high.
The Verticals: This southwest-facing cliff is about 80 ft high and just up and to the left of Barrett's Cove Cliff.
Maine is for people that truly love the outdoors – and the four seasons! In the fall, the locals will tell you to head to Camden Hills State Park if you want to see foliage in its true glory. With a short hike in our crisp fall weather, you will be astounded by the mountains covered in vibrant red, orange, and yellow hues, especially breathtaking against the contrast of the deep blue water. It should not – and cannot – be missed. However, since this is at the top of most travelers’ bucket lists, be sure to book your lodging accommodations well in advance.
Just a few short months later the snow falls and the Maine playground becomes blanketed in white. Some people wait all year for the first snowflakes. During this time, Camden Hills State Park becomes home to snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, where it’s literally a winter wonderland ready for you to explore. With few if any souls in sight, the only sounds you may hear are the snow crunching underfoot or your breath as it makes mini fog clouds into the cold air as you glide your skis upon untouched snow. You may even see a deer along the way and exchange a quick nod as you both make your way through the forest. Ice fishing is incredibly popular during the winter months here as well. If you’re looking for a little more adventure, head to the Camden Snow Bowl.
20 Barnestown Road
Camden, ME 04843
The Camden Snow Bowl is “where the mountains meet the sea.” As a community owned ski and recreation area, the summit of 1300' Ragged Mountain is home to the Snow Bowl's trails. Here, skiers get an unbeatable view of the Atlantic Ocean - unmatched by few other places. What exactly can you do here? Everything your winter heart desires - from alpine skiing, to snowboarding, to snow tubing, to snowshoeing, to cross-country skiing, to ice-skating on Hosmer pond, to a nail-biting 400' toboggan chute! Yes, really, a toboggan chute! Make sure to visit the first weekend in February if you can to experience the National Toboggan Championships first-hand! Exciting challenges, bonfires, food, mechanical bull rides, and winter sporting events, it’s all here at this one-of-a-kind event!
With plenty of lifts, people can fully enjoy the 10 trails and a terrain park. There is also a full-service lodge, ski and snowboard school, full rental shop, an active youth racing program and a fully qualified ski patrol. Even in a less-snowy seasons (very unlikely in these parts), Camden Snow Bowl has a snowmaking system that covers 45% of their area to ensure plenty of skiing and riding. Most trails get groomed daily.
The Camden Snow Bowl is a year-round recreational area - offering hiking, tennis courts, ball fields, mountain biking, youth summer recreational programs, boating, swimming, fishing, and fall foliage pancake breakfasts. If you think this is the perfect spot for your wedding, reunion, or other special event, call the office (207.236.3438) to discuss facility rentals. Talk about a memorable place to have a party!
If your Maine getaway is all about the outdoors, spend the bulk of your vacation at Camden Hills State Park. You can camp here in your motor home or by pitching a tent under the stars. The Camden Hills State Park campground has over a hundred individual sites to choose from, complete with bathrooms and hot water showers. Guests can also enjoy large picnic areas, outdoor grills, and prime rock fishing spots with beautiful views of Penobscot Bay.
If you want to spend the day sea kayaking or sailing, be sure to take advantage of the $45 membership to the Maine Island Trail Association. This grants visitors access to the 325-mile waterway that links the coast with 48 islands. If you don't have a kayak or stand up paddleboard - no problem. Call up Ducktrap Kayak [link to On the Water article] and explore Lake Megunticook the way it was meant to be seen.
While you're here, make sure to take a hike with the family and explore all the beautiful and native plants, birds, and other Maine wildlife that is literally just outside your tent.
Since this camping spot is very popular, you'll need to book your reservations early.
No matter when you decide to visit Maine - spring, summer, fall, or winter (we recognize you brave ones!), you absolutely cannot miss the opportunity to experience one of our best bragging rights – Camden Hills State Park.
280 Belfast Road
Camden, ME 04843