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View from Maiden's Cliff

Maiden's Cliff trail

Maiden's Cliff Trailhead

Maiden's Cliff cross

Maiden's Cliff

Maiden's Cliff Video

Camden Hills State Park video

Click the image to play the video.

Maiden's Cliff is a very popular hiking destination for tourists and is easily recognizable by the white cross standing on the top of the 800-foot cliff. The hike to the cliff will normally take around forty-five minutes to an hour to complete.

Maiden's Cliff Photos

Maiden’s Cliff is a rock outcropping formation that juts out 800 feet above Megunticook Lake and overlooks Ragged Mountain and the surrounding countryside to the west.

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Find Maiden's Cliff

Click map image to open a Google Interactive Map for Maiden's Cliff in Camden Hills State Park, Camden Maine.

Google Map for Maiden's Cliff


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Maiden's Cliff - a beautiful and intriguing 800-foot rock formation overlooking Megunticook Lake

Maiden's Cliff - Camden Hills State ParkPart of Camden Hills State Park, Maiden's Cliff has stunning views of Megunticook Lake and its surrounding woods and countryside. It is first recognizable by the white cross standing boldly on top of the 800-foot cliff. Extremely popular for tourists and locals alike, the trail towards the top is a mile long, with the first half as a steep climb and transitioning into a more level-ground trail in the latter part of the hike. Typically, it takes close to an hour to hike this trail and reach the cliff.

For many people, the white cross atop of Maiden's Cliff will stick out in the minds of hikers. What is this? It is actually a memorial to Elenora French, an 11-year old girl who fell off the cliff on May 7, 1864. The story says that Elenora climbed the cliff along with her older sister, friends, and teacher when a sudden gust of wind blew her hat off her head. As her older sister later recounted the event, Elenora successfully caught the hat and sat on a rock near the edge of the cliff to put it back on. Sadly, it was another gust of wind that pushed her off the edge, causing her to fall 300 feet down the cliff. When her family climbed down to get her they found Elenora still alive without any broken bones. Unfortunately, due to internal injuries, the little girl died the next day.

Maiden's Cliff Cross - in remembrance of Elenora French

Maiden's Cliff in Camden Hills State ParkTo remember and honor Elenora French and her tragic end on this beautiful cliff, Joseph B. Steams memorialized the site of the tragedy with a simple white cross. However, the basic materials of this cross could not sustain the years of exposure to the weather and other harsh elements and needed replacement. On January 17, 1980, the 1947 cross was blown down and replaced by a 600-pound sturdy cross (12 by 24 feet) with the help of Air National Guard helicopters. .

Years later, on September 15, 1986, Roy Brown and Sam Dyer climbed the trail to install a monument donated by Coastal Monuments and Laite Funeral Home. Using their tools and supplies, the memorial (inscribed with the words “In memory of Elenora French”) was drilled into the rock and installed at the base of the cross.

Just a short time from this memorial placement, vandals toppled the cross and destroyed the hard work of these two men in May 1988. To fix the damage and restore the beauty of Elenora’s Memorial Cross, many people chose to help. With the assistance from the Camden Fire Department Rescue team, volunteers and members of the Camden Parks and Recreation Department, two helicopters from the 240th Engineer Group of the Maine National Guard, and donated secured cables from Wayfarer Marine Corporation, the cross was restored to its original state.

When its south arm broke, the cross required one more repair. On Memorial Day 1992, a steel cross that was donated by Frank O’Hara Jr. was installed. To further withstand the harsh Maine elements, this cross was reinforced with epoxy paint and secured by Wayfarer Marine Corporation-donated cables. Today, the cross still stands boldly and brightly on top of Maiden’s Cliff.

Maiden's Cliff Trail is one of many spectacular hiking trails in Camden Hills State Park

View from Maiden's CliffIt is understandable that Maiden’s Cliff is one of the most popular and intriguing trails within Camden Hills State Park. This hike is largely composed of a gravel path that begins through a stunning forest, brings you to a well-recognized massive boulder, then over a bridge, then back into the woods for a short distance, and then finally over some rocky terrain that brings you to the final stretch of this hike and to the top of Maiden's Cliff. In just thirty minutes, it is possible to reach the top of this 800-foot cliff with its straight-down drop. Even if you have reached the Maiden’s Cliff summit before, it is impossible not to be amazed at the unique panoramic view of Lake Megunticook, the Atlantic Ocean, and the entire countryside.

Your adventures do not have to end with Maiden’s Cliff. In fact, you can easily determine your length of hike through picking and choosing other hiking trails in Camden Hills State Park. An extremely popular route is to first visit the Maiden's Cliff Trail and then connect with the Scenic Trail, transition onto the Ridge Trail, and finish the loop when you return back to the Maiden's Cliff Trail. Of course, you can customize your own exploration using the Camden Hills State Park hiking maps.


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