Hiking Maine | Amazing Views at the top of the Maiden Cliff Trail in Camden

I’m just going to put this out there up front. This hike pushed my limits. I struggle when a hike has a lot of elevation to it and this mountain trail rises about 800 feet although the saving grace is that it’s not exceptionally long.

We went to Ireland a few years back and I spent a lot of time in the months leading up to our vacation running up and down the stairs in our house in ten minute intervals in preparation for climbing Skellig Michael. The remote island off the coast of Ireland has the remains of a monastery at the top but you have to climb around 600 steps to reach it. The more current claim to fame for the island is that some of the new Star Wars movies were filmed there. I made it to the top but it was rough. I haven’t improved much with my vertically inclined hikes.

Why do I keep doing them? Because the payoff when you reach the top is always amazing and our hike at the Maiden Cliff Trail in Camden reinforced this point. When you reach the end of the trail it opens up onto gorgeous views of Megunticook Lake down below.


As a testament to how amazing the views were after reaching the top of the Maiden Cliff Trail we continued on a little further along the Scenic Trail which meant more climbing. Overall, the hike was just under 2 miles but it felt longer. The trail is rated moderate on most sites. You have to navigate a lot of rocks, boulders and roots on the climb so be sure to wear appropriate hiking shoes. We hiked up on a warm September day but there was lots of shade on the way up although the top is fairly open to the sun so I recommend a hat.

A few things stand out about this hike. The first is that it’s extremely well marked which came in handy once we got to the top and away from the trees. The granite outcroppings are everywhere and it’s easy to get turned around but the blue trail markers painted onto the rocks kept us on track.

One of the focal points at the top of the trail is an enormous white cross that was erected in memory of a young girl from the late 1800s who died after falling off the cliff. Here is a link to an article that goes into more detail about the history of the trail.

Finally, it’s a busy trail. We passed a lot of other hikers on our way up and again on our way down. It’s an extremely popular trail.  The only tough part, at least for my ego, was seeing so many young kids maneuvering the trail with ease while I had to keep stopping to catch my breath.

After we returned from our trip to Ireland, my husband framed a picture of Skellig Michael for me. I get to look at it every day. Maybe I’ll have to start framing some pictures of my Maine hikes too to remind myself that sometimes the hikes that are the most challenging often lead to the best rewards.


things to know
Place Maiden Cliff Trail
Address Camden, Maine
Website Maiden Cliff Trail | AllTrails
Favorite ♥ Stunning Views

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Hiking Maine | Great Salt Bay Preserve Heritage Trail in Newcastle

With summer winding down, we were looking to take advantage of some of the last of the warm weather so we headed up the coast for a hike on the Great Salt Bay Preserve Heritage Trail in Newcastle. It was an interesting hike with varied trails and some fun vistas.

Key Points

Vistas. While the initial path was on the edge of the marsh and marked by planks to keep you above any mud and water, the trail quickly turned into a more wooded area without direct views of the bay. Fortunately, there were plenty of side trails leading to viewing areas throughout the hike. These side paths bring you to the water’s edge and open up views from all angles. Some of the vistas included Grandfather Point, Picnic Point, and Lookout Point. Continue reading

Spending the Morning Strawberry Picking at Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth

One of the many joys of summer is that it is berry filled. The end of June is the kick-off to strawberry season here in Maine. There is nothing better than enjoying them freshly picked, but you have to be quick. At only 3 to 4 weeks long, the strawberry season is short, like most things in Maine.

The strawberry season generally runs from the end of June to the end of July. This year was a bit of a late start because of our cool spring but they’re ripening now and I’m looking forward to a visit to the farm soon.

Last year on July 4th weekend, my youngest daughter and I ventured out to Maxwell’s Farm in Cape Elizabeth and picked a heaping flat of strawberries. Fresh strawberries are amazing, but you need to enjoy them as soon as possible after picking. The shelf life is short-lived which is generally not a problem at my house because they are devoured rapidly especially around the Fourth when we usually have a full house. Continue reading

Looking for free stuff? Here’s a list of free monthly activities to do in Maine for 2017.

Last September, my family and I did the Living Well Spending Zero challenge from Ruth Soukup. As part of the challenge, we spent minimal money for the entire month. No groceries, no entertainment, no take-out. We allowed ourselves a small amount of cash at the start of the month for minor necessities, and activities that had already been planned, but that was it. We ate through the food in our refrigerator and pantry, learned to ration our seltzer, and went to some free events like the Fork Food Lab grand opening.

Overall, we did a great job, or at least until the last day of the month when our cat came down with a UTI, and we had to do an emergency visit to the vet complete with x-rays, anesthesia, and multiple antibiotics, all of which negated most of our savings from our zero spend month. Still it was a fun, creative experiment and one we would definitely try again. More importantly, our cat, other than one minor setback, is doing great now. Continue reading

Hiking Maine | An Especially Lovely Hike on the Presumpscot River Trail

Slow, lazy Sunday mornings that gradually lead into more active adventure later in the day are the routine in my house. So on a past Sunday morning, still in pajamas and streaming episodes of the Gilmore Girls, I was content knowing I’d get more active later in the day. But, when the living room suddenly darkened as thunder showers passed through, it made the hike we had planned for later that day more tentative, and the chances of me staying rooted to the recliner more likely.

Fortunately for my health, the storm, while intense, was brief and followed by brighter skies signaling the return of our outdoor plans. Once things cleared, we headed out to the Presumpscot River Trail, which is part of the Portland Trails network. Continue reading