Camden Travel Guide

Camden, Maine, is a town of some 5,000 people in Knox County on Maine’s central Atlantic coast. For its renown natural beauty, both on land and offshore, it is a major summer resort and tourist destination for many in the northeastern United States. In fact, its summertime population is about three times the usual number.


The Abenaki Indians once lived in the area and gave it the name Megunticook, meaning “swelling sea waves,” in reference to the rolling Camden Hills. The Megunticook River still carries on the terminology. The region was settled late, not seeing its first non-Indian inhabitants until 1771, and Camden became a city only in 1791. To scare away the British during the War of 1812, an two-gun fort was built on nearby Mount Battie, and even though no one in town knew how to operate the guns, the ruse worked. In the early 1800’s, Camden grew quickly, and it became a center of mills, shipyards, and various manufacturing enterprises. From the 1880’s, it began to develop into the tourist and resort town it is today.

Things to see and do in Camden

Go on a scenic cruise of Penobscot Bay and view the coastline and the beautiful Camden Hills in the background. You can take the tour on one of three famous old schooners, if you like. There is the Mercantile, built in 1916, the Stephen Taber, built in 1871, and the Lewis R. French, also built in 1871. The ships can take you on tours as long as a week.

Curtis Island – Camden, Maine

A sailboat and lighthouse near Camden, Maine.

Ferry out to Curtis Island and see the lighthouse and caretaker quarters there. Also take a walking tour along the island’s shore or through its grassy interior. You may also want to ferry to Franklin Island, where a lighthouse built in 1808 and eiders, gulls, and others sea bird colonies can be seen. And at Seal Island, there are over 100 species of sea birds during the summer months.

Go fishing on the numerous lakes and rivers in the area or offshore. You can also fish off of Rockland Breakwater, a mile-long, granite-built pier with a lighthouse at the end of it. The pier is a great place to walk and sight-see as well, so long as the waves are not rough and washing over it.

Hike or bike around town, along the harbor, or around Megunticook Lake. And consider hiking up Mount Battie for a stunning look over Camden or through the wooded terrain of Camden Hills State Park.

Megunticook – Camden, Maine

Summer greens color the shore of Megunticook Lake in Maine.

Climate conditions

Camden has mild summers, with average highs in the 70’s but fairly cool winters, with average highs in the 30’s. It also sees a good deal of precipitation, with 47 inches of rain and 56 inches of snow annually.