You may notice that this blog has been following a linear track up Route 1. First Portland, then Freeport and Brunswick, and we have now arrived at our next destination on our whistle-stop tour of Maine’s coast: Camden. I describe many towns in Maine as quaint, and Camden is no exception. Main Street is teeming with shops and small restaurants (and an active harbor), but I would like to take a quick look at shop selling frozen treats. Throughout my travels in Maine, I have had the opportunity to sample many different ice cream shacks. On this blog, you will hear about many of them. Camden has its own clear winner on the ice cream front – River Ducks Ice Cream. It’s a simple shop in a quaint town – just the way people like it.
River Ducks Ice Cream in Camden.
All that aside, I would like this post’s focus to be on Camden Hills State Park. Located slightly outside of the Main(e) thoroughfare (I know…too many puns), the Park (as its name suggests) is on a hill. One of the camp’s primary features is a pristine campsite, suitable for both tents and RVs. However, the signature place to be in the park is atop Mt. Battie, with a 26-foot tall stone structure. This was originally constructed in 1921, and designed by Camden summer resident, Parker Morse Hooper. A plague in front of the tower reads: “In grateful recognition of the services of the men and women of Camden in the World War, 1914-1918.” One can still climb this tower, and after reaching the top of the spiral staircase, the views are incredible. To quote the old Broadway musical:
“On a clear day, you can see forever.”
This quote is certainly true from Camden Hills, as the views are endless. Camden, Penobscot Bay, Isle au Haut, even Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park – you name it, it can be seen from Mount Battie.
This little gem on Route 1 (basically Maine’s equivalent to Route 66) is definitely worth the detour (Off the Maine Road…get it?) on your trip up to the ultimate pilgrimage site: Acadia National Park. But more on that later.
Structure atop Mount Battie, which visitors can climb.
Penobscot Bay from the top of Mount Battie.
The town of Camden from on top of Mount Battie, with its working harbor.