The Georges Highland Path is a real gem of a trail system that offers many miles of hiking through a variety of landscapes in the region between Montville and Thomaston. From craggy mountain peaks to leafy woodlands to interesting bogs, the 50-mile network of the GHP has some of the most scenic hiking to be found on the Midcoast.
The Georges River Land Trust has been conserving land in the 225-square mile St. George River watershed since 1987. The group began building trails in 1996 and was instrumental in establishing the magnificent GHP. Other land trusts active in the watershed include the Coastal Mountains Land Trust and the Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance.
One day in the not too distant future perhaps, these dedicated and visionary organizations will connect the various segments of the trail into a continuous walking route. Meantime, however, you can enjoy a number of wonderful day hikes on any one of some eleven sections.
My favorite part of the GHP is the Bald-Ragged Section, an area I try to get to every couple of years. This 11-mile stretch in Camden and Rockport connects four good-size mountain peaks: Bald, Ragged and Spruce mountains plus Mount Pleasant. Along the way you’ll enjoy fine ridge walking, extensive open ledges with grand views, abundant wildlife, alpine plants and very soon, mega wild blueberries.
The best of this section in my opinion is the five miles over the long ridgeline of 1,300-foot Ragged Mountain, starting at the Thorndike Brook trailhead and ending on Route 17. It’s a 1.5-mile road walk back to the car via Route 17 and Hope Street when you’re done, for a total hike of 6.5 miles. Spot cars to avoid the road walk, or stash a mountain bike at the end like I did in order to take just one vehicle.
For more info and trail maps for this and many other hiking possibilities in this beautiful part of the Midcoast, check out: Georges River Land Trust, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Sheepscot Wellspring Land Alliance, and of course, Camden Hills State Park.
Post-hike, belly up to the bar at Cappy’s Chowder House—my favorite watering hole in Camden—for a couple of cold ones and some good chow. On the way out of town, make your next stop at Maine Sport Outfitters in Rockport for some big time gear browsing. Then top off your fun day up the coast with a cup o’ Joe and a scrumptious piece of pie at—where else—Moody’s Diner in Waldoboro.