Jewels of Mid-Coast, ME: Camden

Rolling, curving roads cut between the Atlantic coastline and the hills that rise out of the ocean on my daily drive. I still can’t help sneaking peeks at the islands that dot the oceanscape and protect us all from the wild winds that fly over the cold water. If I continue heading south past my home I will soon arrive in Camden, one of those perfect New England towns that will make you want to stay and write odes to it. It has all of the things to charm and distract a weary soul.

Camden from Mt Battie

You begin with the public library, a welcoming building with a pretty lawn and outside amphitheater, which hosts outdoor parties and music in the summer and ice sculptures in the winter. Cross the tiny, one way road to a picturesque view of the pretty harbor from the green expanse above; benches are provided for those who wish to contemplate the ocean or life in general. In the snow, you might sled down the hill, although I warn it is a steep climb back up in heavy boots. In any other weather, you can simply walk toward the water, filled with ducks and boats that have not yet migrated.

Camden Library and Waterfall

 Taking a sharp right turn, you will find an oddly placed waterfall, constant in all seasons, swooshing below the shops on the main street above. And there you shall head, sneaking through flora and trees back onto the sunny main streets. Shops that have mostly kept an old world feel to them compete for your attention as you stroll down the hill toward the heart of the town, intersecting roads like arteries, keeping the flow moving. Go left and you are back on the other side of the harbor, where for a fee, you can take a ride on one of the legendary Windjammers or have a meal, or simply envision life on one of those boats.

Camden Harbor

Go right, and you will travel back uphill toward more shops and restaurants before abruptly you are no longer in downtown. You will know you have left because suddenly, there are plazas with plastic signs and no magic. The glow you carried for the time you were there is lessened, until it is time to drive back through, taking in the same sights from a different angle. Perhaps this time you will notice also the glamorous old mansions that sometimes serve as bed and breakfasts as you head back into the woods for a drive.

Top of the Falls

You can leave, knowing you will be back. The magic will call you.

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