09 June 2009

Camden Hill State Park, ME

After a wonderful night of camping we woke up bright and early to do some hiking around Camden Hills State Park. Our first stop was a quick drive up to Mount Battie. This was the view from the top. Down below is the sleepy bay town of Camden. All the little towns along the Maine coast were filled with cute shops and great restaurants.

For our day hike we chose the Megunticook Trail which took us to the top of the 1385' mountain. Along the way we paused for all sorts of herps including the snake above and some toads. Near the last one third of the hike we took a nice stop by some waterfalls. After a little exploration we found some salamanders and even posed for a photo together.

The weather was perfect for hiking. We only had one base layer on and it felt perfect. Of course when we made it to the rock face at the top we did have to put our jackets on but otherwise, this really was the right time of year for trekking up the trail. The trail wasn't very steep and really the only difficult part was the last section that you see in the photo below where the trail became more of a rock hike.

All of our efforts paid off at the summit where we found an even better view of Penobscot Bay.

We settled in on the rocks and enjoyed the view for probably close to half an hour or more. A Peregrine Falcon gave us a great aerial show. It's not very often that you get the chance to see a bird like that from above. It whipped through the valley and occasionally came over to perch in a nearby tree.

After soaking in Mount Megunticook and the view we trekked back down the trail. The Maine woods really are beautiful and much wetter than I imagined. On parts of our hike we had to cross boards so we didn't sink into the muddy trail.

Before leaving Camden Hills State Park we took a quick side trip to their shoreline. Rupp enjoyed exploring the tidal pools while I enjoyed just watching the waves come in and hit the rocks. We don't have many rocky coasts in the Southeast so I was very content to sit and enjoy my surroundings. It's not very often that we really take the time to just be somewhere without doing something. I even put my binoculars down for awhile and enjoyed my last moments at the park.

After a great morning we had really worked up an appetite so off we went back south to find food and head towards our Puffin trip. Even without the Puffins this was an amazing day of exploration and good times with one of my best friends but the boat trip at the end would make it perfect. More on that soon!

No comments: