Lake Megunticook from Maiden Cliff.
Photo by Ryan Linn
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Miniature Wilderness in Camden Hills

The day after some fresh snow falls in Maine, Ryan and Tom head to Camden Hills to get a quick dose of wilderness.

Ryan Linn       Trip Report       02/15/2019
Ryan Linn
Trip Report
02/15/2019

Our guides may be best known on long-distance trails, but my favorite use for them is to plan hikes in the spaghetti-pile trail networks of Maine and New Hampshire. The hundreds of miles of trails in the White Mountains, Acadia, and Baxter make for endless opportunities. On a smaller level, Camden Hills State Park in Maine has much to offer in a very small area. I grew up not far from Camden, so the Hills hold a special place in my heart. My good friend, Tom, lives just a few miles from the park, so I like to combine a visit with a good walk through the park.

A hiker climbing a steep snowy gully in Camden Hills State Park
Tom crunching through fresh snow up a steep gully.
Photo by Ryan Linn

The trails in the park don’t get you more than five miles from the nearest village, but that hardly matters. Within a few minutes of breaking through the fresh snow below Maiden Cliff, all traces of civilization were gone. There were occasional distant sounds of snowmobiles, but once into the deeper woods, we felt as secluded as ever. Some of the trails that go deeper into the Camden Hills, like Zeke’s Lookout Trail or the Sky Blue Trail, can give you the feeling of a much deeper wilderness than you would think from just looking at the space on a map.

Tom and I started the hike with the hardest part, climbing up and over the ledges above Maiden Cliff. We then turned to the middle of the Camden Hills on Zeke’s Lookout Trail and Cameron Mountain Trail. After the initial climbs to Maiden Cliff and Mount Megunticook’s ridge, things became much easier. The trails stayed high in the rolling hills, and the snow was dense enough to make walking relatively easy. Once we joined a backcountry ski track, and then a snowmobile trail, the hardest work was behind us.

View of the ocean from Camden Hills State Park in winter
From the top of Millerite Ledges, looking out to the ocean.
Photo by Ryan Linn

The Camden Hills are one of those rare hiking destinations that have a little bit of everything for everyone. There are short trails to beautiful lookouts, which is why I brought my niece here for her first hike. There are longer, wilder trails through diverse forest habitats. You can string together several trails to reach five or six small summits. You can spend the night in a renovated Civilian Conservation Corps cabin and relax by the wood stove. And, best of all, the views look over lakes, ocean, inland farms, and mountains as far away as New Hampshire. On a good day in winter here, there are few places more peaceful and secluded.

This trip wasn’t all fun and games, though. Here at Atlas Guides, we love to hike, and we’re always happy to field test our apps. I’ve been working on more updates to the iOS Guthook Guides for the past few months, and they’re pretty close to finished. Tom and I both know the trail systems of Camden Hills State Park well enough that we almost never need to look at the maps, so I had to remind myself to check out the new features in the app while I was out there. I’m happy to report that they look good, but that I’ll need to do a little more field testing real soon!

Screen shot of map in Guthook Guides app for Camden Hills Maine
Testing a few new visual elements in the iPhone app.
Custom routes in Guthook Guides let you make your own elevation profile.

A snowy forest in Camden Hills State Park in Maine
Fresh snow in a deep forest is the best terrain for hiking.
Photo by Ryan Linn
Hiker on a snowy hill pointing to the village in the distance
Tom can almost see his house from Cameron Mountain.
Photo by Ryan Linn

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Ancient mountain ranges, deep forests, and thousands of miles of hiking trails await you when you hike in New England. Our hiking guides include Maine’s Baxter State Park, Public Reserved Lands, and Acadia National Park. Mighty peaks in Maine, such as Katahdin and the Bigelows, offer up dramatic views atop rugged climbs, while the coastal hills can be just as wild and beautiful. In our White Mountain National Forest hiking guides, you will find New Hampshire’s 48 Four-Thousand Footers, over a thousand miles of hiking trails, and endless possibilities for hiking adventures. The variety of New England trails in many more scenic destinations are perfect for thru-hiking, section-hiking, day-hiking, or backpacking.

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Baxter State Park, Maine.
Photo by Ryan Linn
A view from a mountain ridge overlooks orange, red, yellow, and green trees and a blue lake in Baxter State Park in Maine.
Baxter State Park, Maine.
Photo by Ryan Linn
Get our hiking guide for this area!

Walk lush forest paths, rocky coastlines, and towering peaks on New England’s trails.

Ancient mountain ranges, deep forests, and thousands of miles of hiking trails await you when you hike in New England. Our hiking guides include Maine’s Baxter State Park, Public Reserved Lands, and Acadia National Park. Mighty peaks in Maine, such as Katahdin and the Bigelows, offer up dramatic views atop rugged climbs, while the coastal hills can be just as wild and beautiful. In our White Mountain National Forest hiking guides, you will find New Hampshire’s 48 Four-Thousand Footers, over a thousand miles of hiking trails, and endless possibilities for hiking adventures. The variety of New England trails in many more scenic destinations are perfect for thru-hiking, section-hiking, day-hiking, or backpacking.

Many Trail Guides
$0.00 to $9.99
Camden Hills and many more
Explore the Trails in New England
About the Author
A man wearing a backpack and carrying trekking poles stands on top of a rock cliff with a view behind him.

Ryan Linn

Ryan is also known as “Guthook”, which is where our apps get their name. Already an avid hiker, he hiked the Appalachian Trail, New England Trail, and Pacific Crest Trail before joining forces with Paul to create the Guthook Guides apps. Ryan handles iOS development for our apps from his office in Maine, and usually runs away to the forests and mountains throughout New England. He also volunteers with the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Baxter State Park in Maine is his happy place.