Bald Rock Mountain is one of the highest mountain tops in Camden Hills State Park at 1200 feet. The climb to the top is easy to moderate. One is rewarded at the end of the climb with a majestic view of west Penobscot Bay including Camden, Rockport and Rockland harbors.
Camden Hills State Park has over 30 miles of trails. The park encompasses several mountain tops including Bald Rock Mountain. Ted and I have done several of the trails and are working our way through as many of them as we can. A breezy spring day in April, we decided to give Bald Rock Mountain Trail a try. The closest access to the Bald Rock Trail is the car park on Youngtown Road, a short 10 minutes drive from the Hawthorn Inn. A multi-use trail (Ski Shelter trail on the park map) starts from the car park. The Ski Shelter/multi-use trail is a year-round graveled trail that can be used for hiking, bicycling, horseback riding, and snowmobiling or snowshoeing in the winter. Several other folks were enjoying the trail as well, including joggers and dog walkers. Dogs must be on a leash at all times. Although this is the “easy” part of the whole hike, there is a steady incline and I think the jogger was quite ambitious.
The Bald Rock Trail turnoff from the Ski Shelter Trail is about 1.2 miles from the car park and is well signed. The Bald Rock trail is a narrower trail through the woods with a natural surface of rock and tree roots which requires a little slower a pace. There is also an interesting granite staircase. After turning onto the Bald Rock Trail, you’ll hike uphill for 0.6 miles to reach the peak with its tremendous views of Penobscot bay and islands. When we were there, the sky was very clear and we could see Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park.
Even on a relatively cool day, we were quite warm once we reached the summit. I would imagine on a warm summer day, after this hike, it might be nice to stop at Megunticook Lake on the way back for a swim to cool off. One could also make a stop at Cellardoor Winery for a tasting or a snack. Better yet, one could stop and pick up some cheese and crackers at the Cellardoor gift shop for a snack to bring along to have when you reach the top of Bald Rock Mountain.
At the summit, we enjoyed the view as we watched the Margaret Chase Smith ferry cross the bay from Lincolnville, ME to Islesboro.
In total, our ascent, enjoying the view from the top and descent took about 2 hours. As this was very early spring, the trees at the base of the mountain bare. As we ascended, there was an increasing number pine trees. I imagine this trail would take on a very different feel at different times of the year. Can’t wait to try it again in a different season. This would not be a trail that I would want to do after a rain, as I think that it would be quite slippery as well as muddy.