Camden Hills State Park is just north of Camden, overlooking Penobscot Bay. You can climb or drive up the 780-foot Mt. Battie for views that make this park a draw for visitors.
This Maine state park abounds with outdoor adventures to enjoy throughout the year. You can camp, hike, hunt, and ski or snowmobile, depending on the season.
Mount Megunticook is the site of some of these adventures, as the park is a perfect day-trip getaway for many Maine residents who can arrive here in under two hours.
Activities at Camden Hills State Park
The park is open for year round visits during the height of summer, Maine’s foliage season, the quiet winter months, and when spring awakens. This list of activities reveals how much is available for visitors. Some are multi-purpose where you’ll share the trail with those engaging in various activities.
Although Camden Hills State Park is listed as having 2 of 5 stars for accessibility, access to views from the top of Mt. Battie, parking, lower campground, restrooms, and group shelter uses are rated high.
Camden Hills State Park Trails
The park has numerous intersecting trails, many of which are multi-use. Some of the trails are town-owned, adding to this rich trail system.
The following offers trail overviews based on use. One is open for all! The multi-use Trail and Ski Shelter is a moderate 5-mile trail that’s graveled and graded for hiking, biking, horseback riding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.
Everyone who uses the trail can make their way around Mt. Megunticook with its varied views.
Hiking & Snowshoeing at Camden Hills State Park
The Trails designated for hiking and snowshoeing include:
- Adams Lookout: a short, easy trail connecting Megunticook and Tablelands Trails while offering views of the bay
- Bald Rock Trail: a ½-mile easy to moderate trail for hiking and snowshoeing. Entry is at Multi-use Trail junction
- Carriage Trail: a moderate ½-mile climb through wooded areas
- Carriage Road Trail: a moderate 0.8-mile trail
- Jack Williams Trail: a 1.6-mile route with woods, water, and cliff views that intersects with Maiden Trail
- Maiden Trail: a 1-mile moderate climb to cliff-tops overlooking Megunticook Lake
- Megunticook Trail: takes an hour for the 1-mile climb of 1,000-foot vertical gain with super views.
- Nature Trail: an easy 1.2-mile walk good for viewing plant and wildlife
- Ridge Trail: a moderately difficult 2.5-mile climb that traverses Mt. Megunticook
- Scenic Trail: a 0.8-mile, moderate climb, rising quickly to views from Miller ledges
- Sky Blue Trail: a leisurely 1 ½-mile trail through woods and fields
- Slope Trail: that once was a ski slope and is best for descending rather than climbing
- Tablelands Trail: a moderate1 ½-mile hike of varied terrain
- Zeke’s Trail: a 1.3-mile moderate climb to another lookout
Biking at Camden Hills State Park
These trails are for biking, along with hiking and snowshoeing:
- Frohock Trail: a gnarly 1.9-mile ride around rocks and roots, or a moderate hike
- Summer Bypass: an easy 0.8-mile trail originally constructed to skirt wet areas
Horseback Riding at Camden Hills State Park
These trails are for horseback riding plus biking, hiking, and snowshoeing:
- Cameron Mountain Trail: a 1.9-mile moderate rise through old farmland
- Mount Battie Trail: a ½-mile moderate trail with some steep sections to check out before riding
Cross-country Skiing at Camden Hills State Park
Shoreline: a 0.3-mile trail that’s as good for cross-country skiing as it is for hiking and snowshoeing.
Snowmobiling at Camden Hills State Park
Snowmobilers can use the Cameron Mountain Trail and the Multi-use Trail for scenic riding where you’re bound to meet folks skiing or snowshoeing.
Birding at Camden Hills State Park
The park offers multiple birding options due to variations in terrain and elevation. Watch for wood thrush, woodcocks, flickers, wild turkeys, and possibly a pheasant, in wooded and farmland areas.
Seasonal migrations are rich for birding as much of Maine’s open spaces are inviting to long-distance fliers.
During nesting season, be on the lookout for scarlet tanagers, indigo buntings, and various grosbeaks, plus heron, Canada geese, osprey, and cormorants. Another benefit of birding here is that you’ll see both ocean and freshwater species.
Winter birding means sightings of wintering gulls or red-throated loons. Bald eagles are still here. A rare Stellar’s Eagle was seen on the Maine coast during the 2022 winter.
Nature & Wildlife at Camden Hills State Park
Wildlife here includes those on land and at sea. There are deer, moose, fox, bears, mink, and bobcats, where it’s less busy. Bears hibernate much of the winter.
Various whales, including humpbacks and pilot, inhabit Maine ocean waters from mid-Spring to mid-Fall. These and the dolphins who are year-round are most likely seen when cruising offshore.
Flora is abundant throughout the year with many found in open and/or boggy areas. Spring is viewing season for lady slippers, bluets, violets, and viburnum. Early summer brings blue flag iris, trillium, wild azalea, daylilies, among others. Then watch for common milkweed that attracts monarch butterflies.
Hunting at Camden Hills State Park
Hunting is allowed at the park though not between June 1 and Labor Day. Hunters are responsible for following licensing and campground rules.
Pets at Camden Hills State Park
Leashed pets are permitted throughout the park as long as they are never left unattended, and their waste is properly disposed of.
Camping at Camden Hills State Park
The park has small and large group campsites for everything from tents to large RVs. That includes 108 family campsites that accommodate tents, popups, and RVs and campers, including those over 35 feet. There are a couple of wheelchair accessible sites.
Campsites are both reservable and non-reservable, some with electric and water hookups. Each campsite has a table and fireplace. Firewood must be purchased onsite. Family sites are for up to 6 people with fees that vary based on hookups, reservations, and your state of residence.
There are 5 group camping sites for groups of 7 or more. The group sites are on the ocean side of the park, with each site accommodating up to 35 campers. There are new bathrooms with hot showers. Each site has a per night fee with an additional per person fee for groups of more than 10.
Boating, Swimming, & Fishing in the Camden Area
Although these activities aren’t available at Camden Hills State Park, you’ll find options quite nearby. Camden has numerous parks to explore. Barrett’s Cove on Megunticook Lake is one that offers all three.
- There’s a beach, picnic area, and boat launch.
- You’ll find a designated swim area, though no lifeguards are on duty.
- The picturesque lake is over 1300 acres and good for fishing brown trout and both large and smallmouth bass.
Swimming in the Camden Area
There are a couple of modest beach areas nearby. Neither has a lifeguard.
- Lincolnville Beach is a sandy spot four miles north of the park on Route 1. It’s on the Atlantic Ocean overlooking Penobscot Bay and Islesboro.
- Laite Memorial Park is a sand and rock ocean beach two miles south of the park. There are picnic tables and grills at this pet-friendly spot.
Boating in the Camden Area
Steamboat Landing is a public boat launch for putting in personal as well as motor craft. There are also boat rentals and charters for fresh water or ocean excursions.
Fishing in the Camden Area
The park has nearby freshwater and ocean fishing spots. Be sure to plan ahead for proper licensing and gear.
- The Rockland Breakwater is a saltwater fishing spot 10 miles south.
- The Maine Angler’s Guide is a source for fishing along the coast info, including licenses.
Camden Hills State Park
280 Belfast Rd,
Camden, ME 04843
Here is a short YouTube video showcasing several attractions at Camden Hills State Park: