Hiking in Maine: The Penobscot Bay Region
Outside of Acadia National Park, some of the best coastal hiking in Maine is located in the Penobscot Bay Region. There are hikes that offer breathtaking views of the rugged coast of Maine, its islands and wildlife. Mountain hikes, rock cliffs, marsh hikes and trails through forests and fields can all be found in this area. There is hiking to enjoy year round, the winter offers the starkness of the bare trees and snow pack; the cool breezes and smells of nature awakening in the spring; the birds, flowers and warmth of the sun in the summer; and the extraordinary vibrant colors of fall. So on your next visit to our Rockland B&B, lace up your boots and go take a hike!
Some of the best hiking in Maine is found in the 25 miles of hiking trails in Camden Hills State Park. Many of the hikes offer stunning views of Penobscot Bay, Lake Megunticook and the summits of the other mountains. The fall colors and vistas from the summits which contrast the vibrant colors of the trees against the deep blue of Penobscot Bay with spots of colors from the islands is not to be missed. The trail map for the Camden Hills State Park understates the level of difficulty for the trails near the summit. A recreational hiker will be fine but you need to have proper footwear not crocs or sandals and you will work hard toward the end to be rewarded with the spectacular view.
Within the preserves of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust there is conservation land to enjoy that feature some
great Maine hiking trails. Bald Mountain Preserve encompasses 600 acres with unique geologic features and rock formations, unusual flora and forests filled with birds, deer, coyote and black bear. It offers a strenuous 2 mile trail to the summit with spectacular views of Penobscot Bay. Fernald’s Neck Preserve offers fairly flat hiking trails through softwood forests with views of the shores of Megunticook Lake. Beech Hill Preserve has about a 2 mile trail through grassland, organic blueberry fields and woodlands and is a prime birding location. The historic harvest hut at the summit is a great viewing location for Penobscot Bay, the Camden Hills and Chickawaukie Pond.
Ragged Mountain Recreation Area offers several trails of hiking that begin at the base of Ragged Mountain. The two primary trail heads are at the opposite ends of the parking lots. There are kiosks with maps and information on the trail near the boat launch area. The bulk of the land is owned by the town of Camden and other parts are conservation lands held in trust. The hikes offer hills, mountains, winding streams and rock to enjoy.
Georges River Landtrust is another group working to protect Maine’s natural resources and conserve land for the public’s use. They have built and maintain over 40 miles of trails that encompass areas from South Thomaston, Rockland, Rockport, Camden, Appleton, Searsmont and Montville. The Ragged Mountain section offers 9 miles (round trip) of strenuous hiking with difficult trails that rise 850 feet and offers westerly views of Mt.Washington and the White Mountains of New Hampshire and easterly views of Penobscot Bay. Thorndike Brook is a moderate 3 mile trail with some gentle terrain that gradually increases to meet the Ragged Mountain trail. Spruce Mountain off of Route 17, is a short climb for great views of the bay and Ragged Mountain area. The trail is about 8 miles and is moderate in difficulty. For less strenuous hikes, the Oyster River Bog is 13 miles of easy flat trails that cross Oyster River, brooks and woodlands or the Thomaston Village Trail is about 9.5 miles of easy hiking through woods. It does include “Split Rock” which is huge glacial boulder that is in two halves along the trail.
Trail maps and information for Georges River Land Trust, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Ragged Mountain Recreation Area and Camden Hills State Park are available at the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce offices or at our Rockland bed and breakfast for our guests. Happy Trails!