I have been planning to write about my fall season excursions for a long time , so this one is long over due. I have been in New England for more than 5 years now, but never got the chance to enjoy fall foliage. This year has been just beautiful and I was able to get glimpse of good fall colors in New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maine. Yes , you read it right. I finally did it and i did it all. I think key was to keep following New England fall foliage forecast map (http://www.yankeefoliage.com/peak-foliage-forecast-map/) and hence i was able to enjoy peak colors at White Mountains(NH), Bethel( ME), Stowe (VT) and Camden (ME). Of all the places I think I enjoyed the most in Camden, Maine.
Camden is great place to have coastal leaf peeping. One can enjoy the scenic views of bay and widespread fall colors all at the same time. Camden is known as ‘Jewel of the Coast’ as this is land where mountains meet the sea. With the combination of elms, sugar maples, oaks and pines the view of the Camden Hills or of the surrounding country from the Mt. Battie or Mt. Megunticook are simply spectacular. For people who like outdoor enjoyment, Camden has something in store for all.
Camden is almost 4 hrs drive from Boston but you will not realise the time since the drive is very scenic. It definitely took me long since i stopped several times and took little detour on route 201 via Augusta.There are so many little towns on the way and they have vintage feel to them. Its so peaceful and colorful at the same time. My first stop was at Portland where I had my lunch in downtown Olive Cafe. Hands down , it was best Mediterranean food I ever had. The drive from Warren to Union, across Appleton Ridge and into Camden the back way is one of my favorite fall foliage scenic drives. I have given kind of map to follow for this drive to enjoy Scenic Views.
I stayed in Point Lookout Resort which is in outskirts of Camden and by far the best resort I have ever been to. The resort in itself has so much to offer that you will not want to leave it and go anywhere. I liked the rustic style of wooden cabins for everyone as it gave the sense of camping in woods. They have several trails to the top of mountain where they have their main restaurant ( The restaurant is used as venue for many weddings and i cannot imagine how beautiful will that be.). The view from the restaurant with great outdoor space is just majestic.
One of the best things about Camden was that Mount Battie (the main lookout point) was car accessible. So if you are on relaxed vacation where you don’t want to hike much yet want to have spectacular view, this is your place. For great views with kids you can hike through gradual semi-paved multi-use trails in Camden Hills which leads to great views on the top of mountain. There are more strenuous trails all around in Camden State park for more experienced hikers too. Once you are on top you can see Penobscot Bay and beyond to Mount Desert Island on one side and Camden Hills and Megunticook lake on the other side. I climbed up to the old tower and was able to get great panoramic pictures.
I had read a lot about Curtis Island (the legend and stories) but to my dismay it was accessible by private boat only. Even the lookout points for a closer view of light house are hidden and not worth spending time.
Small drive from Camden downtown , south of Rockport is the most popular and beautiful light house called Rockland Breakwater Lighthouse. Crossing the massive granite stones to get there is as close as most people will come to walking on water. I read somewhere that it took 768,774 tons of stone to complete the breakwater. With sun drenched waters of Penobscot Bay, this place is perfect place to enjoy sunset. The walkway to lighthouse is a bit difficult so my suggestion will be to wear comfortable shoes.
Overall my trip to Camden was very memorable. I enjoyed every aspect from drive to place where we stayed, from food to beauty of fall colors. Camden is a beautiful affluent tourist town with many specialty shops and restaurants. Tourists from all over the world come here by land and sea. There are plenty of tour boats and schooners, and windjammer cruises that will take you to neighboring islands.My advise will be to make bookings at least a month before because its very tough to get reservations in peak fall season. Since it was just a weekend getaway I couldn’t explore nearby islands. I plan to return to this peaceful place in next fall for a longer stay.