From hiking and mountain biking, to camping on an island and sailing on Penobscot Bay’s ocean waters, Lincolnville is a bona fide paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. You could spend every day of your entire vacation outdoors and never repeat the same activity. The following selections can help you narrow the choices down to a few of the most popular activities.
Camden Hills State Park – Lincolnville, Maine
Almost every Maine resident has done this hike, even if they didn’t know the name at the time. It’s always the picture of the stunning summit that reminds them – YES, this was the most beautiful hike I ever took! Bald Rock Mountain is actually one of the tallest mountains in Camden Hills State Park and it dominates the western horizon above Lincolnville Beach. Don’t let that deter you, though; it’s a fairly easy/moderate hike that becomes a favorite of most Mainers and tourists alike.
At the top, the view is jaw dropping, but more on that later. You’ll need to start the hike first. The entrance is at the Route-173 Youngtown Road intersection, about 2-2½ miles west from Route 1, and you’ll see a huge wooden sign on the left-hand side. This is where the trail begins. It starts out very easy and gradual – with wide, smooth trails with a gentle upward slope. It’s 0.5 miles to the summit, and it’s 3.5 miles roundtrip on the Bald Rock Mountain Trail.
As you approach the woodland trail, things will get a little steeper and trickier – forcing you to navigate some roots and rocks. The good news is that you're almost there. At about 1,100 feet, the open summit gifts you with a breathtaking 200-degree panoramic view of Penobscot Bay. From the gray granite ledges, you’ll see the nearby Islands of Penobscot Bay including the Ensign Islands, Islesboro, North Haven, Vinalhaven and Isle Au Haut as well as neighboring mountains. Take some time to sit here (bring a small picnic if you can) and enjoy this one-of-a-kind vantage point.
While this hike is very popular during the summer and the fall (the foliage views are borderline-shocking!), it’s accessible year-round - even in the winter. Leashed dogs are allowed. Remember to bring cash for the small park fee ($3 for Maine residents, 12 and older; $4 for non-residents, 12 and older; and $1.50 for children younger than 12 and people 65 and older –but please note that prices may change from year-to-year) to be paid at the entrance.
From the summit, you can descend the Bald Rock Mountain Trail or extend your trek with a longer trail that crosses Derry Mountain and Frohock Mountain. Both trails will bring you back to the parking lot.
This bike trail is for moderate to advanced bikers. The terrain can get a little tricky since it has some steep climbs and descents and challenging natural surface terrain (rocks and roots). The trail winds through oak and spruce forests and over mountains. Please note that the trail can get even more nail biting if the rocks are wet, so as with any mountain bike trail – heed caution and only choose routes that are aligned with your skill level.
Hikers are also on this trail – taking the 5.8-mile trail over Derry Mountain (777 feet in elevation), and back up the Frohock Mountain summit (454 feet in elevation) and down the whole route again. The incline is pretty gradual, and it’s 2.1 miles to the summit of Frohock Mountain.
Before you tackle the trails, be sure to pay the admittance fee at the entrance.
This ride is technically for all skill levels, but there are some parts (like the summer bypass) that are meant for more intermediate and advanced riders.
This route begins on the lower end of the Megunticook Trail and travels around the eastern base of Mt. Megunticook, passing the old ski shelter site to the Youngtown Road trailhead along the way. When you hit the summer bypass – hold onto your handles. This cuts out to several low, wet areas of the trail and requires some skilled handling. However, the terrain gets smooth again (perfect for beginners) once you’re back on the main road.
Again, please be sure to pay your park fees before you hop onto your bike!
Reservations: Northern Region headquarters office: 207.941.4014
For the ultimate rustic camping experience, head to this spot on Islesboro island. This spruce-covered island in Penobscot Bay is only accessible by boat – so you’ll need to take the Lincolnville Ferry to Islesboro and bring your own boat (we’ve got some recommendations for rentals in a bit) to get here.
This park is open Memorial Day to mid-September, offering guests a 55-acre prime camping spot. There are three primary large campsites (tent camping only) and two Adirondack shelters. Each individual site can accommodate 16 people, and the combined capacity of this camping space is 50 campers.
In addition to docking and mooring facilities, there is fresh drinking water, fire pits, picnic tables, and adjacent outhouses to each camping site.
And, as of June 2014, Maine Windjammer Cruises just added Sally to its fleet, a 27-foot classic wooden lobster boat that will carry guests to Warren Island State Park. If this, or any other cruise is of interest, check out our soup-to-nuts article here! [Link to Windjamming article].
You can stock up on provisions at the Islesboro grocery store - especially if you want to stay another night. If you want to explore more of Islesboro, check out our in-depth profile of it here! [Link to it]
Reserve your campsite by calling the Northern Region headquarters office Monday through Friday (9:00am-4:00pm) at 207.941.4014.
If you need a boat or a water shuttle, Maine has you covered. Here are a couple places to call for your trip to Islesboro or another Maine Midcoast destination:
2175 Atlantic Hwy
Lincolnville, ME, 04849
Ducktrap Kayak rents recreational kayaks (single and double), sea kayak rentals (single and double), and kids kayaks. They also provide educational tours, accessories, lessons, and delivery. Call them directly for more information and reservations.
Quicksilver provides water shuttle service to Penobscot Bay, including Islesboro and other islands. They also offer transportation to the surrounding area, as well as charter and sightseeing cruises and picnics. For more information, give them a call.