Mount Battie Camden Reviews
Three Long Mountains... Feb 08, 2008
You don’t need to be daft to do this hike…just a little Battie. Mount Battie is clearly the best known and most accessible jewel within Camden Hills State Park. Once you drive through the gate into the park, the only choices are driving into a parking area, driving to your camp site or taking the road to the top of Mount Battie, explaining why this is the most heavily visited spot in the park.
Of course the motivation for building a road up Mount Battie is the great views the small peak affords and whether you drive or hike, getting up there is a must. Your options by foot include simply walking up the roadway, a little under one mile and probably 45 minutes with an elevation gain of 800 feet. This paved route follows an old carriage path and although steep in a few places is no strain. Please mind the cars as there aren’t great shoulders, but nobody is moving too fast and because of the parks seclusion your ears will alert you of any approaching traffic.
A more scenic path is to start up the road to the first pull-off where you can duck out and pick up the Nature Trail. An easy trail (excellent choice if you have children along), the Nature Trail skirts the Battie roadway in the woods and although there a few rocks and wet spots it is worth the slight peril to ascend along forested slopes rather than twisting asphalt. The Nature Trail plugs into the Tablelands Trail near the top…hang a left onto this trail and you will arrive at the top in just a few minutes.
My favorite way to score Battie is by scaling Megunticook (see separate review) up to the Ocean Overlook and then taking Tablelands its full length. When you pick up Tablelands from Ocean Overlook it begins with a steep plummet that is quite rocky. Nothing approaching technical, but might be a bit intense for youngsters (although I passed three groups taking the trail with their dog my last time, so you know no equipment is required). After about twenty minutes of rapid descent though, Tablelands plateaus into a gradual decline and is quite lovely. You start back up as you near the carriage road, and after crossing the asphalt you are but a few minutes away from your destination.
The crest of Mt. Battie is spectacular, offering wonderful views of Camden Harbor, Penobscot Bay and the surrounding coastal mountains. The opening lines of Renascence appear on a plate embedded in a boulder here, and you can recapture the magic of this poem by tracing three long mountains and three islands in a bay for yourself!
To enhance the views there are several stations detailing the islands in the panorama before you, and even a small tower to scramble up. There is plenty of parking available if you opt to drive and convenient bathroom facilities.
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