Dog Friendly Adventures in Camden
Camden, Maine is located along the Maine midcoast, and is a dream for outdoor adventurers, foodies and ocean lovers. Our Explore More Ambassador Jasmine Edwards chose to explore this area for its wealth of recreational opportunities, such as hiking, paddling, sailing, great restaurants and breweries, and for its beautiful scenic views.
LOCATIONS VISITED: Camden, Maine which is situated on Penobscot Bay about 80 miles up the coast from Portland along Highway 1. The trip takes about 2 hours in the off-season, but budget longer for traffic in the summer. The whole drive is incredibly scenic, and there are several opportunities to stop in quaint seaside towns along the way (Freeport, Bath, Wiscasset, etc). Belfast is a neighboring town up the coast about 25 minutes from Camden that is lesser known and visited.
TIME OF YEAR VISITED & DURATION OF STAY: Late August, 2 days, 1 night
WHERE TO STAY: This area has a variety of options from camping to glamping to luxury hotels.
- Camping – We stayed in Camden Hills State Park which is a beautiful, well-maintained campground with access to hiking trails literally right off of the campsites. You can access all of Camden Hills State Park with your camping fee. It is also pet friendly. There are a variety of campgrounds in the nearby areas.
- Rentals – cabins, yurts, motels, etc. Special shoutout to the Merrybell Motel where we had stayed last summer and is conveniently located right between Camden and Belfast. The hosts of this pet-friendly motel were so nice and very personable.
THINGS TO DO WHILE VISITING: BELFAST
1. Hiking and Walking
Use the Coastal Mountains Land Trust or Maine Trail Finder websites to scout out some good options!
- Belfast Harborwalk and Rail Trail– A walking trail that starts at Steamboat Landing Park and runs along the harbor in downtown Belfast. This trail is about 2.2 miles long and eventually connects to the Hills to Sea Trail that terminates in Unity, Maine! In downtown Belfast, it passes through the shipyard, local businesses (including Marshall Wharf Brewing Company), and past a beautiful walking bridge called the Armistice Bridge that extends across the Passagassawakeag River. Bonus – I believe this trail is walkable, bikeable, and wheelchair accessible!
- Moose Point State Park – Lovely views for picnicking, walking, and tidal pool viewing.
- Downtown Belfast – So many little shops where you can pick up local products, clothes, Maine souvenirs, or a new book.
- Belfast Farmer’s Market – Fridays 9 am to 1 pm year-round
- United Farmer’s Market of Maine – An indoor farmers and artisans market that runs Saturdays year-round from 9 am to 2 pm. Rivals the Portland farmer’s market, and I have to say that this place is also adorable in the holiday season!
3. Paddling & Swimming
- Wyman Park on Knight Pond – My favorite place on this trip (so much so that I reluctantly share this with you). Such a great place for paddling and swimming. When we visited, a giant bald eagle swooped right over my head when I was out on my paddleboard. It was truly magical and the highlight of our trip.
- Rent a canoe or a kayak and get some intel on the local lakes and ponds.
4. Where to Eat & Drink
- Grab a lobster roll, burger, or an ice cream and head to Heritage or Steamboat Landing Park downtown. Sit on the beach or down by the marina.
- Rollie’s Bar and Grill – loveable local dive with pub food
- Front Street Pub – food and drinks by the water
- Marshall Wharf Brewing Company – Love getting a flight of beer and a snack here, although they don’t have many food options.
THINGS TO DO WHILE VISITING: CAMDEN
1. Hiking and Walking
- Camden Hills State Park – a popular area for hiking in this area. However, if you stray onto the lesser used trails, you are likely to find a more peaceful and secluded trip.
- Bald Rock Trail – amazing views of Penobscot bay!
- Mount Battie Trail – you can hike or drive to the top! The views are gorgeous and accessible to all. If you’re camping in Camden Hills State Park, you are able to go to the top for sunrise, but otherwise the gate doesn’t open til 9 am.
- Ocean Lookout – A very beautiful view. If you choose to go further, it’s only a short distance to the top of Mount Megunticook, the tallest mountain in the park.
- Ocean access at Camden Hills State Park
- Downtown Camden and Harbor Park – A beautiful place to walk around. We grabbed a sandwich at Camden Deli and soaked in the views on a bench by the harbor. My dog loved taking a dip in the harbor and basking in the sun.
2. Where to Eat & Shop
- Camden Deli – A well-equipped deli with delicious food, indoor seating with floor to ceiling windows, and a rooftop deck overlooking the harbor and Megunticook Falls.
- French & Brawn Marketplace – great place to pick up a sandwich for a hike or picnic!
- Sea Dog Brewing Company
- Camden Farmers Market – Saturday 9-12, Mother’s Day Weekend through October
- Camden has a beautiful and picturesque downtown with great shopping opportunities which are too many to name.
TRAVEL TIPS AND WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW BEFORE VISITING:
This area can be quite busy, particularly in the summer. If you’re visiting in the off-season, it can feel much more intimate and like an authentic Maine small town. However, if you’re visiting in the off-season be aware that many restaurants are closed on certain days (in particular, Monday-Wednesday) or may be closed for the season entirely, so have a plan for food and activities before you arrive.
Reclaimed Maine Co. was founded on a deep love for nature with hopes of inspiring others to give back to the environment and explore as often as they can. Whether you've recently reclaimed your love for the outdoors or you've been a nature-lover your whole life, we want to hear about your adventures. We're looking for like-minded people who are looking to explore new places and share their experiences. Learn more here or shop our Explore More Collection.
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