Mount Battie: Camden Hills State Park
GOOD FOR: Ages 5-8, Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (AMC Books)
Address:Megunticook Street Extension, Camden
Hours:9 A.M. to sunset unless otherwise posted
Fee: $4.00 adult Maine residents, $6.00 adult nonresidents, $1.00 children ages 5–11; $2.00 non-resident seniors; children under 5 and Maine residents 65 and older are free
Bathrooms: Available at the summit
Water/Snacks: None

This fantastic hike offers spectacular views of Camden Harbor and Penobscot Bay, a stone tower, and multiple interpretive signs pointing out the area’s historical significance.

Exposure increases as you approach Mount Battie’s summit, but there are still plenty of places to seek shelter and take a break from the climb.
Photo by: Jeanne Short

Mount Battie offers one of the most stunning views of the craggy Maine coastline. It’s no wonder that the 0.5-mile trail to the summit has long been a favorite with families, particularly considering the castle-like stone tower that beckons at the top and the views of Camden and Penobscot Bay along the way.

From the northern side of the parking area, blue-blazed Mount Battie Trail heads into forested terrain. The ascent is gentle at first before quickly becoming more challenging as the trail switches back and forth uphill. Ledge outcrops offer natural stepping stones. In 0.2 mile, the trail opens to its first view of the surrounding Camden hills and a large ledge stone offers the perfect resting spot before continuing on the climb. Terrain becomes steeper after this; children may need to use all fours in order to scale the short set of 15-foot cliffs. Beyond the cliffs, the trail emerges from the forest and opens onto more barren, rocky ledges. From here upward, the views get better and better (as do the blueberries, in season). Take time to enjoy them in relative solitude: soon, you’ll be sharing the panorama with the throngs of people who access the summit by car.

Reach the 800-foot summit just 0.5 mile from the trailhead. Multiple interpretive signs orient you to the landscape, highlighting the various islands that rise from the water below. On a clear day, this 360-degree panorama rivals any in the state.

The impressive stone tower perched on top of the summit was erected in 1921 as a World War I memorial. The tower’s foundation utilizes rock from a grand hotel that stood in this exact spot before being damaged by fire in 1918. Can you imagine looking out your hotel window and seeing this view? Scale the tower via a spiral staircase within. Small children will need extra supervision here, as the ascent is steep and the railing was not built to today’s standards. To return to the trailhead, retrace your steps back down the mountain.

Plan B:

If hiking isn’t in your cards but you still want to take in the spectacular views of the summit, you can drive to the top (just don’t tell the kids this if you do plan to hike). From Camden Center, head north on US 1 for approximately 1 mile to Camden Hills State Park on your left. Check in and pay the entrance fee at the gatehouse before proceeding up the paved Mount Battie Auto Road to the parking area at the summit.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Camden is a quintessential Maine coastal town and summer tourist destination, with many attractive dining options, galleries, and museums (including the largest lighthouse museum in the nation). In nearby Rockland, children will delight in the Coastal Children’s Museum.



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