Maiden Cliff Trail

MODERATE 138 reviews
#1 of 17 trails in

Maiden Cliff Trail is a 1.7 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Camden, Maine that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail offers a number of activity options and is best used from March until October. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

DISTANCE
1.7 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
731 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Loop

dogs on leash

kid friendly

birding

hiking

nature trips

trail running

walking

forest

lake

views

wild flowers

wildlife

rocky

scramble

Maiden Cliff Trail is a moderate to steep trail located near Camden, Maine that climbs several hundred feet through forest to exposed cliffs (800' elevation) and great mountain and lake (Lake Megunticook) views. Starting from the trailhead at the parking lot, climb near and cross over a stream bed through the forest and sometimes slippery rocks to a junction with a boulder marking the trail. From the boulder the trail can be an out and back (left fork) or a loop (left or right fork). For the loop, take the right fork going up - "Scenic/Ridge Trail" and at the top of the ridge take a left along the Scenic Trail to the Maiden Cliff and the Elenora French cross. Or take the left fork to go straight up (either way is about the same distance). Recommend the loop. The hike to the cliff will normally take around forty-five minutes to an hour to complete. Hiking poles may help navigate the several steep areas that don't have adequate handholds (other than trees and roots and rocks). Also be careful in wet conditions as the rocks can be very slippery. The views at the top are worth the effort. History of the cross: The white cross on top of Maiden's Cliff is a memorial to Elenora French, an 11-year old girl who fell from the cliff on May 7, 1864. She climbed the cliff along with her older sister, friends, and teacher when a sudden gust of wind blew her hat off. According to her older sisters account, Elenora successfully caught her hat and sat on a rock near the edge of the cliff but while she was putting it back on, another gust of wind pushed her off the edge, falling 300 feet. Elenora was still alive when they climbed down to her and she did not even sustain any broken bones. Unfortunately, she suffered internal injuries and died the next day. To remember Elenora French and her tragic end on this beautiful but dangerous cliff, Joseph B. Steams had a cross erected on the site at the top of the cliff. The simple white cross after years of exposure to weather and elements gave way and had to be replaced more than once. The cross put up in 1947 was blown down on January 17, 1980 and replaced with a new cross that weighed 600 pounds and measured 12 feet by 24 feet. Helicopters of the Air National Guard installed this fourth replacement of Elenoras Memorial Cross. On September 15, 1986, Roy Brown and Sam Dyer, together with their tools and supplies, climbed the trail to install a monument donated by Coastal Monuments and Laite Funeral Home. It was inscribed with the words, In memory of Elenora French Brown and Dyer installed the memorial at the base of the cross, drilling into the rock. In May of 1988, vandals toppled the cross and destroyed the hard work the two men had given to the memorial two years earlier. The Camden Fire Department Rescue team and Camden Parks and Recreation Department volunteers and members labored for long hours to put the cross right again. Two helicopters from the 240th Engineer Group of the Maine National Guard also helped in putting the cross upright once again, secured with cables from a donation from the Wayfarer Marine Corporation. When the cross south arm broke off, it was replaced with a steel cross donated by Frank OHara Jr. On Memorial Day 1992, the steel cross was installed, reinforced with epoxy paint to withstand natures elements and secured with cables donated by the Wayfarer Marine Corporation once again. This cross still stands today.

4 days ago

Went up with 3 adults and 5 kids. It was a great hike with a rewarding view at the top. Some steep areas,but if you take your time is no big deal. Plenty of rocks and roots so make sure to wear appropriate shoes. We will definitely be going here again!

21 days ago

This trail was harder than I had expected. It’s pretty steep with lots of rocks and roots on the trail. On my way down (after having to literally jump off boulders) I saw a family wearing flip flops, sneakers or hiking shoes are definitely required here! Besides it being a challenge, this trail is really fun. I went after a few days of rain so there were a variety of mushrooms around. There were also wild blueberries at the top so I enjoyed some of those. It was rainy that morning so the rocks at the top were wet, it was hard to navigate so we took our time.

hiking
22 days ago

Great hike, took 4 kids and they rocked it. Uphill right from the start but the view is one of the best!

30 days ago

Plenty of parking. Short trail with a great view. Make sure to find the monument for the child who died in the 1800's. The view is spectacular.

hiking
1 month ago

This hike offers the most stunning views I've seencin Camden so far. It's a but intense, make sure you bring water.
Signs for it are a bit lacking while hiking though.

1 month ago

Stunning view and in memory of the girl who lost her life there R.I.P

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike. Relatively easy, takes about a couple of hours or less. Beautiful views !

hiking
2 months ago

Stunning view at the top! A fun, easy hike that can be completed in a short period or one the whole family can enjoy. Lots of space at the top to just hang out and take in the scenery. Have done this hike a few dozen times now whether it just be at a leisurely pace or for trail running and can say it's great for both!

this hike has stunning views and is great for all levels. we went in the fall and boy was it gorgeous! a perfect hike for a picnic up top overlooking the water.

hiking
2 months ago

A great spot to learn some history too! The hike is definitely a little bit harder than easy but is still a great trail for kids, dogs, etc.

hiking
3 months ago

Absolutely stunning views! Great hike break if you're heading up to Acadia.

hiking
9 months ago

Last hiked it on August 31, 1997. What can I saw that has not already been said by many visitors about this spectacular hike?

10 months ago

My wife and I loved it. Beautiful hiking! Rated moderate but wasn't all that difficult. Rated a little higher than easy would be better to say. The views were absolutely fantastic. The cross and story associated with it was very sad but good.

10 months ago

I want to let people know that aren't athletes or experienced hikers. This is very doable. It is not easy by any means, but it is very much worth it!!!! Remember lots of water and bug spray. And do not forget your camera!

hiking
11 months ago

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Great, short hike.
Amazing views from numerous ledges.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

New hikers, fun challenge, kid friendly (14 and 12yo), fabulous views!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

great trail. easy enough for a 3 year old.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Nice hike relatively quickly and easy. The story and history you get along with the view was pretty neat.

hiking
Sunday, July 30, 2017

A really great trail to take the family. Relatively easy if you are a hiker but doable if you're not. Some really nice views at the top and worth the trip! And super easy to get to (only a few minutes) from downtown Camden.

hiking
Monday, July 03, 2017

Beautiful views from the top and along the ridge part of the trail.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Easy! Kid friendly

hiking
Saturday, June 10, 2017

I had a couple of hours to kill on a bright sunny Saturday and picked this trail to tackle. It was a mile out and a mile back, steep enough to get the blood pumping, rocky enough to feel like hiking and not just a walk in the woods. The round trip took about 90 minutes and that's with a sit down on the rock cliff up top. What a gorgeous view!!! Worth the trip indeed!

hiking
Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Easy morning hike with great views. Able to easily hike today without cleats. Great hike if you want to get out in fresh air and still have time to tour Camden/Rockland area.

hiking
Friday, December 23, 2016

Amazing views! Foliage was fabulous! Coop enjoyed it!

hiking
Friday, December 23, 2016

Hiked it at 5 p.m. with Coop To see the full moon rising! awesome views!

hiking
Thursday, December 15, 2016

My all time favorite local hike!!!!! This is is my go-to hike... An hour up and down if you don't do the loop. The loop is fantastic! Love that the trail is moderate the first half, then has a steep section, then peters out on a somewhat-ridge walk in the woods til you get to the summit. Again, I've hiked this soooooooo many times with my dog, and still love it!!!! I'm finally branching out to do other trails, but this is my favorite!

hiking
Saturday, November 26, 2016

Nice trail. A bit slippery today after the rainfall snd the fall leaves. Beautiful view!

Sunday, September 04, 2016

Very nice trail with great view at the end. Kids friendly trail.

hiking
Thursday, September 01, 2016

Great trail.

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