Maiden Cliff Trail

MODERATE 71 reviews
#1 of 10 trails in

Maiden Cliff Trail is a 2 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
2.0 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
734 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 2.5 mile out and back (or loop) 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.

7 days ago

Easy! Kid friendly

15 days ago

hiking
16 days ago

hiking
18 days ago

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!

30 days ago

1 month ago

hiking
1 month ago

3 months ago

hiking
5 months ago

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
6 months ago

Amazing views! Foliage was fabulous! Coop enjoyed it!

hiking
6 months ago

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

hiking
6 months ago

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
7 months ago

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

7 months ago

8 months ago

9 months ago

9 months ago

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

hiking
9 months ago

Great trail.

hiking
10 months ago

hiking
10 months ago

Wanted to take my 5mo old puppy for a hike and this was short and easy enough for him (maybe too short). Quick hike with beautiful views, some steep parts but nothing crazy. Fun little hike.