WOW. Another great spot an hour from my home. I have hiked Ragged Mountain twice now, using two different trail systems and both times, found my way over to Rock Harbor Brewery for great food and beers post hike.
The George Highland System is actually a network of over 70 miles of trails in the midcoast region. The trail systems are actually part of land parcels that land owners have given permission to the public for access to the land. These trails are very well maintained and a great addition to the Camden-Rockport area.
Trip One: Thorndike Brook Trail
This trail was my favorite out of the two that I have hiked so far up to Ragged Mountain. You park at the trailhead off of Hope Street. There are two parking lots, one is fairly large and we parked at the second, smaller option.
I loved the length and elevation gain of this trail as well as the scenery. You get to experience closed in wooded areas, you drop down to an area with water just before you start to climb and get to the views! You walk along what seem like cliff edges that wrap you around to see the tower at the top of the mountain. Once you are done on the cliff ledges, you have a small rocky scramble with distinct cairns that lead the way to the tower. The unobstructed views during this part of the hike are amazing.
Once you are at the tower, the downloaded map will lead you a little farther on the trail for the summit sign. This is fairly anti-climatic and there are actually multiple summit signs around the top of the mountain. We did not go searching for the summit sign during this trip.
The only issue I found with this trail is that you do have to pay attention when you come back down because the obvious cairns lead you to the other trail that puts you in the treeline far to early. As long as you recognize the Y in the trail, you will be fine! Overall, this out and back trail was about 6.33 miles long and 1,293ft of elevation gain. We spent about 3 hours and 15 minutes actually hiking and around 20 minutes at the summit. There was only one other person at the summit while we were there and it was great.
Trip Two: Ragged Mountain Path
Unfortunately this trip the trails were a lot busier. We used the Ragged Mountain Path. The trailhead is directly off of Route 17 in Rockport. This trailhead is also signed and part of the George Highland trail system.
It’s flat in the beginning and the last mile has a good amount of elevation gain. (Still prefer the Thorndike Brook trail over this one) I think it is mostly because of the unobstructed views that you get for a good portion of the hike once you are closer to the top of the mountain.
Overall, the lenth was 5.26 miles and an out and back trail system. The trail gives you an eleveation gain of just about 1,115 feet and took us about two and a half hours of hiking and we spent about 20 minutes total between a few breaks and relaxing at the summit and taking in all of the views.
This is a great trail to help you start getting in shape for the season! PS we found the summit sign this time.. not exciting 😂
Rock Harbor Pub & Brewery
Located right on Main Street, (Route 1), is Rock Harbor Pub and Brewery that features a large variety of their own craft beers as well as a few others from other local breweries. There is a nice parking lot on the backside of where the restaurant sits, that I access from School Street. If you bring your pup with you, you can also walk into the back door of Loyal Biscuit from this parking lot!
The restaurant has a great menu, the bartenders are very helpful and the atmosphere is very casual and laid back. Both times I have gotten a meal there, the service was quick, the food was high quality and the prices were reasonable. I look forward to going back to this restaurant while I am in the area!
-Amanda & Brock