|Cross overlooking Megunticook Lake at Maiden Cliff
To drop the first vehicle off take Route 52 off of Route 1 in
To get to the starting trailhead for
The trail starts at the back of the parking area. There is a sign warning that the trail is closed from sundown to 6:00 AM. The ½ mile trail breaks into three sections of about the same length, with the bottom and top sections having gradual rises and the middle section having a very steep rise. You will need both hands free to make it up over the middle section safely. I would have said wear proper footgear and don't bring dogs, but I would have been wrong. I passed a man hiking up this section in boat shoes and I met a couple coming down with two dogs. The owners had to coax them down over the steeper sections, but the dogs made it.
Once you get over the steep section you will come to a ridge with great views of
|Camden harbor from the Mt. Battie Trail
|Some of the many cairns on the Mt. Battie Trail
|Camden Harbor from Mt. Battie
(Note – see my original post here for more pictures from
.) Mt. Battie
When you are done here, cross over the parking lot to the trailhead for the Tablelands Trail. The blue blazes continue and there are far fewer
This trail drops for .5 miles until it meets the Mount Battie Auto Road. Cross over the road and the trail continues to the left of a parking area. It is one mile further on this trail to Ocean Lookout. The trail continues to drop for another .3 miles until you reach a stream. At this point the Nature Trail branches off to the right. Stay on the Tablelands Trail.
You will now ascend the rest of the way on this trail. While not as steep as the
At Ocean Lookout you have fantastic views of
|Hazy view of Camden Harbor from Ocean Lookout
(Note – see my original post here for clearer pictures from Ocean Lookout.)
The first time I was here I wanted to traverse Megunticook to Maiden Cliff, but could not. This time my nephew had joined me and we did just that. Leave Ocean Lookout on the opposite side of where you came up. This is the Ridge Trail. It runs 2.5 miles to Maiden Cliff. There are a series of small ups and downs to get to the true summit of Megunticook about .5 miles in. After this you will pass Slope Trail coming in from the right, Zeke’s Trail coming in from the right, and finally
|View of Megunticook Lake from Ridge Trail heading towards Maiden Cliff
At about 2 miles in you will come to the junction with Scenic Trail. Heading left will take you down to a junction with
. Both Maiden Cliff and Scenic Trail head to the same end point, so take Scenic Trail. The path will rise a couple hundred feet to an expansive view of Maiden Cliff Trail . Megunticook Lake
|Looking back at Megunticook from Ridge Trail/Scenic Trail junction. Note the bird riding the thermals.
After this the trail goes back into the trees and descends towards Maiden Cliff. When you come to the junction with
you will see several worn paths leading to openings. Explore all of these as each gives a somewhat different view. Maiden Cliff Trail
Maiden Cliff is so named because a 12 year old girl lost her life in 1864 when she fell from it. There is a large cross and a stone marker there to remember her.
|The cross for Elenora French at Maiden Cliff. Megunticook Lake is in the background.
|Looking at the northern end of Megunticook Lake and the hills and ponds beyond.
|An island in Megunticook Lake
|Photo 1 of 4 showing a panoramic view from another scenic overlook at Maiden Cliff.
|Photo 2 of 4 showing a panoramic view from another scenic overlook at Maiden Cliff.
|Photo 3 of 4 showing a panoramic view from another scenic overlook at Maiden Cliff.
|Photo 4 of 4 showing a panoramic view from another scenic overlook at Maiden Cliff.
If you want to hike only Maiden Cliff:
Follow the directions above for parking the first vehicle. Take the trail off the far end of the parking area. This is
When you are done, return to the trail junction. You can retrace your steps, but if you want to make this a loop hike, take Scenic Trail (the left one). This will rise moderately for a short distance before rising more gently. It will come to an expansive, open view of
You will come to a trail junction with the Ridge Trail heading both left and right. Take Ridge Trail right and you will descend .3 miles back to
Cumulative distance: 5.6 miles
Cumulative elevation gain: 2,400 feet (including the smaller rises on the trails)
Cumulative duration: 5.5 hours (including stops to enjoy the views and eat lunch)
Maiden Cliff loop hike (using both Maiden Cliff and Scenic Trails):
Cumulative distance: 1.8 miles
Cumulative elevation gain: 700 feet
Cumulative duration: 1.75 hours (including time to enjoy the views)
Maiden Cliff up and back hike (using only
Cumulative distance: 1.6 miles
Cumulative elevation gain: 550 feet
Cumulative duration: 1.5 hours (including time to enjoy the views)
Maine Mountain Guide
Maine Mountain Guide