Last week we took an extended weekend trip to the Camden Rockport area in Maine to take care of some business and to try to fit in a hike or two. During our summer of 2012 trip, our innkeeper recommended that we hike up the back side of Maiden Cliff, stating it would be an easier trail for me prior to my surgery than hiking the Maiden Cliff Trail on Route 52. We took her advice, but somehow we never made it to the cross at the top of the cliff. The trail seemed to dead end and we could not find the continuation to the top.
This year we were determined to locate the summit. The trail is located on a side street (Maiden Cliff Road) off Youngtown Road in Lincolnville. We walked up the gravel packed road towards the trail head and found a Wooly Bear Caterpillar along the way. At the end of Maiden Cliff Road a trail veers off into the woods to the left. We meandered along this wood road for a short time before it ended at a field in front of us and the trail head to our left.
The gradual incline of the trail made our ascent somewhat easier but the loose gravel and erosion tracks all the way up added some difficulty to our climb. The fallen leaves covering these obstacles also complicated things a bit. After this short struggle we reached a field and were rewarded with views of brilliant colored sumac throughout the field and Megunticook Lake below.
This field was were things got interesting. A year ago, when we could not find our way to the cross at the top of Maiden Cliff, we mentioned our failed attempt to reach the summit to a few people. Everyone was surprised and all said the same thing; “you will come to a field and you’ll see a big rock with an oak tree. Head towards the tree and follow the trail to the top”. Now a year ago we never found said trail and we really searched for it. This year, we stood in the field and all of a sudden we had that “DUH!” moment. There to our left was a granite boulder with…? You guessed it. The hard to find oak tree. To give us some credit, the trail we were on did continue straight to another field so we probably hunted for this landmark in the wrong field.
We took this trail which skirted the boulder and entered the woods once more. In a manner of minutes we reached the cross at the summit of Maiden Cliff. We sat for a while admiring views of the lake and Camden Harbor, pleased that we had achieved our goal.