Before the summer rush and waiting out what seems to be a never-ending rain storm was the perfect time to hit up Camden Hills State Park. We essentially got the campground to ourselves and could fall asleep to the sound of the nearby stream rather than the laughter/snoring/screaming that normally comes with large campgrounds. Perfect.
My friend, Sean, and I timed the end of the rainstorm and arrived at Camden Hills as the last drop fell. We didn’t yet know what we’d be doing there…just that it was on my Maine (Bucket) List and that it’s in one of the most beautiful areas in Maine. It was good enough for us.
That night wasn’t too successful. We burned close to all of the (dead and down) birch bark to keep a mini fire going for over an hour but never getting anything actually worthwhile. The forest was sopping wet and absolutely didn’t want to cooperate with us. If anyone knows some fire tips when the surrounding area is still dripping wet, I’d be so, so grateful!
But on the bright side, since our fire making skills absolutely suck, we had plenty of time to map out the next days adventures. Normally I spend quite a bit of time planning trips, but this one was all on a whim. While keeping warm inside my tent, we determined that we’d summit two peaks and hike a cliff. All in a days work, right?
Up bright and early in the morning! Just kidding. Sean was up…I slept in past 8. And then we were off! Our first summit was Mt. Battie. A short, quick .5 mile hike. A jaunt, if you will. A jaunt up a daunting (yet enjoyable) rock scramble. Everyone once in a while I overlook the contour lines on a map. This was one of those times.
The best part is that there’s a 2 second auto road to summit. So imagine the look on the people’s faces when we emerged from the woods sweating, dirty, and out of breath. I overheard a few of them questioning where we came from and why we were so red in the face. I let them be because I like working for my views.
Then instead of heading back down to our car, we traversed between the two summits. Crossing many raging babbling brooks (as much as a babbling brook can rage) and wooden walkways to our next summit, Mt. Megunticook. The summit at Megunticook doesn’t have a view as it’s completely surrounded by tall trees, though it did have an impressive rock cairn so we could still feel accomplished. But just a bit shy of the summit was Ocean Overlook, an absolutely beautiful place to stop and take in the scenery. Also, the turn around point for most hikers as the summit didn’t seem to lure many others. We spent close to an hour taking in the view and fresh air.
Our next stop was a ways away so we actually descended, drove to another trailhead, then hiked a moderate loop that included Maiden Cliff overlooking Megunticook Lake. Another short yet steep hike brought us to yet another beautiful, beautiful location. I sat at the top near the cross while I took in the man SUPing in the distance, the tubers getting some incredible air, and the turkey vultures search for their next meal.
While the cross was a grave reminder, this area is easily now another one of my favorites. I was able to take in the view of the coast as well as a beautiful lake surrounded by mountains and hills. What do you think? Which view is better: coast or lake?