Camden Maine Hiking Ocean Lookout Trail with Fall Foliage

Looking for Camden Maine hiking trails I found Camden Hills State Park and picked a beautiful autumn day to hike the Megunticook Ocean Lookout Trail. Camden Maine is a beauty of a town along mid-coast Maine and I was fortunate to stay in nearby Northport for a few weeks from late September to mid-October. For many years I wanted to visit New England during the peak fall foliage season and I finally made it happen!

 

First glimpse of the ocean lookout on Megunticook trail

First glimpse of the ocean lookout on Megunticook trail

 

My nomad life allows me to spend summers in Calgary to visit family and friends (and hike the Rockies!) and drive south before winter weather starts, which can be anywhere between September and November! Making a plan to be on the Atlantic coast for late summer and early fall I left Calgary on August 15th and took 6 days to drive the 3,000 miles (5,000 km) across Canada. Then I  enjoyed a glorious month exploring “Canada’s Ocean Playground” which is the slogan on Nova Scotia license plates.

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From my home base in Bridgewater Nova Scotia I spent  8 hours driving to Northport Maine where I rented a room from a local artist via Airbnb. Northport turned out to be the perfect location for exploring mid-coast Maine and my Airbnb host gave me insider info on where to hike around the area, from blueberry fields to Knights Pond and of course, Camden Hills State Park.

 

Hiking through the woods of Megunticook trail at Camden State Park

Hiking through the woods of Megunticook trail at Camden State Park

 

About Camden Hills State Park

Camden Hills State Park  is located 2 miles (3.2 km) north of Camden Maine along the shores of Penobscot Bay in the Mid-Coast region of the state. The park includes over 30 miles (48 km) of hiking trails within the 5,700 acres of land which includes both mountains and shoreline. The park includes  a campground and picnic areas as well as historic landmarks.

 

Blue marks the hiking trails in Maine

Blue marks the hiking trails in Maine

 

There is a parking lot to the left of the entrance gate and there is another “hiker’s parking” lot a little further up the road after you enter the park. I parked at the lot by the entrance and walked past the campgrounds to get to the trailhead. If you park at the hiker’s parking lot you will be at the trailhead.

Hours

Camden Hills State Park is open year-round from 9 am to sunset, unless otherwise posted.

 

RV and trailer campground at Camden Hills State Park in Maine

RV and trailer campground at Camden Hills State Park in Maine

 

Entrance Fees Camden Hills State Park

Entrance rates for Camden Hills State Park vary depending on whether or not you are a resident of Maine.

Maine residents

  • $4 Adults and teens (12 and older)
  • $1 Children (5 – 11)
  • Free Children under 5
  • Free Seniors (over 65)

Non-residents

  • $6 Adults and teens (12 and older)
  • $1 Children (5-11)
  • Free Children under 5
  • $2 Seniors (over 65)

 

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Red maple leaf on the trail at Camden Hills State Park in mid-coast Maine

Red maple leaf on the trail at Camden Hills State Park in mid-coast Maine

 

Getting to Camden Hills State Park

Address

280 Belfast Road, Camden Maine 04843

Camden Hills State Park is on US Hwy 1 which is also known as Belfast Road for this stretch of pavement. It will take you about 3 to 5 minutes to drive from Camden to the park. Head north on Hwy 1 and watch for the sign on the right-hand side of the road, indicating a LEFT turn to get into Camden Hills State Park.

 

Camden Hills State Park Camping

The campground at Camden Hills State Park is open from May 15th to October 15th

Visit the Maine Parks website for information about reserving a campsite.

 

Megunticook trailhead at Camden Hills State Park, mid-coast Maine

Megunticook trailhead at Camden Hills State Park

 

Megunticook Ocean Lookout Trail info

Distance – 2 miles (3.2 km) round trip

Type of hike – out and back

Elevation gain – 1,000 ft (305 m)

Difficulty – moderate

Best time to hike – April through October (always check weather conditions)

Dogs allowed on trail – Yes, dogs must be kept on leash at all times

 

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Road to Megunticook trail from campground at Camden Hills State Park

Road to Megunticook trail from campground at Camden Hills State Park

 

You can reach the trailhead to Megunticook hike either from the “hiker’s parking” or from the main parking lot to the left of the entrance station. I parked in the main lot and walked past the campground to get to the trail. It’s probably best to park n the hiker’s parking lot so you are at the trailhead.

Megunticook trail winds through the woods and includes quite a lot of rocky path as well as plenty of tree roots to watch out for but it’s a fairly easy trail. There are a couple of sections with stone stairs and all areas of the trail will be slippery in wet conditions. Pace yourself and enjoy the hike. Take time to observe nature and enjoy the forest, creek, birds, etc.

 

Creek at Megunticook trail in Camden Maine

Creek at Megunticook trail in Camden Maine

 

Recent rain brought a lot of mushrooms out along the trail. I’ve only just started learning about foraging mushrooms so I only take pictures now. The weekend following my visit to Camden State Park I did go on a mushroom walk and talk lead by Nicolas Repenning, Maine Mycological Association member and mushroom enthusiast.

I learned that I have a LOT to learn about mushroom foraging. I find it all fascinating and look forward to the day when I can pick my own mushrooms for an omelet, as one of my Airbnb roommates did while staying at the house. Delicious! I trusted her mushroom foraging skills because she has years of experience. The main rule with mushrooms is that if you are not sure it’s edible DON’T eat it. Pretty simple :)

 

Stone stairs at Megunticook hike in Camden Maine

Stone stairs at Megunticook hike in Camden Maine

 

Ocean Overlook at Megunticook Trail

Megunticook Trail is wonderful for a morning or afternoon hike. It will take about 2 – 3 hours depending on how much time you spend at the ocean overlook. There is a set of stone stairs shortly before the ocean overlook and then, spectacular views of Camden town and harbor, Camden Hills State Park and the surrounding countryside.

 

Hikers relax and enjoy the ocean view at Camden Hills State Park in mid-coast Maine

Hikers relax and enjoy the ocean view at Camden Hills State Park

 

You will plenty of large rock surfaces to plant your butt and enjoy a picnic lunch or sprawl out and daydream while staring up at the sky.

 

Close-up of Camden Harbor from Ocean Lookout on Megunticook trail at Camden Hills State Park

Close-up of Camden Harbor from Ocean Lookout on Megunticook trail

 

I will definitely do the Megunticook Ocean view trail again when road trip to Maine again.

 

View of Camden Harbor from the ocean lookout on Megunticook trail in Camden Hills State Park

View of Camden Harbor from the ocean lookout on Megunticook trail

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About the Author

Susan Moore's first solo travel experience was traveling around SE Asia for 7 months in 1993. It was life changing and extraordinary. Currently Susan is living a nomadic life, working and roadtripping around the USA and Canada. Read all about Susan » You can reach Susan Moore at Facebook or Twitter or Instagram

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