We had planned to hike locally on Memorial Day with a friend, but early on she bailed out because it was cold and grey. Not letting the dreary weather stop us, we pulled out our map of the Camden Hills State park to view our options. As we studied the map, we discovered a trail near the operations side of the local winery that headed up towards Cameron Mountain. Here was our adventure for the morning!
We arrived at the winery well before 9:30 and parked not far from a small bridge that crossed over a culvert from the asphalt driveway. Once on the other side, we found a sign with an arrow on it and the words “Cameron Mountain”.
It wasn’t long before the trail slanted in an uphill direction. It was steep enough that we had to stop a number of times to examine the vegetation along the trail. The Eastern Starflowers and Canada Mayflowers were well established now, blanketing large portions of the forest floor. During one of our breaks, we found some starflowers that had two and three flowers on each plant. At another stop we were mesmerized by a Mayflower that looked like it was growing out of the middle of a fern. And then there were the ferns. Cinnamon, Interrupted, and what might have been Hay Scented Fern were everywhere.
Although there had been the typical brown state park sign pointing out this trail and it was marked on the trail map of the area, I found that this route was not as well maintained as others in the park system. It made me wonder if an official trail crew had actually constructed this trail. As the path continued uphill, there was quite a bit of washout forming a gully down the middle of the lane.
Despite the need to rest a few times and the difficulty maneuvering around the uneven terrain caused by the gullies, we soon found a loop with two picnic tables set in the middle. When we reached the midpoint of the loop, we found a set of stairs leading towards a gap in a stone wall. Once we passed through the opening in the wall, we discovered a narrow trail that made its way through a field. We had reached the top of Cameron Mountain! Even with all the stops it had only take about 30 to 40 minutes.
We stayed on the summit for some time, watching the fog drift across the mountains around us and the lake below. A thrush called continuously from the woods below us. In the distance we could hear a woodpecker hammering away at some wooden post. After soaking in the sights and sounds of this sanctuary we retraced our steps back down the mountain. The hike, stops, the long stay at the top, and the return trip down had taken 1.5 hours.