Damariscotta Camping Trip (Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder, Pemaquid Point Lighthouse, Salt Bay and Round Top Farms, and Lake Pemaquid Campground)

My older son and I spent the weekend camping and exploring in the Damariscotta region.  Our primary purpose was to photograph osprey and other wildlife at the Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder during the annual alewife run, but we were able to mix in some hiking, sightseeing and landscape photography as well.

Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder

The Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder has both historical and ecological significance to the area (FMI see its website at damariscottamills.org).   Millions of alewives travel upriver through the fish ladder to spawn each year. 

We spent several hours at the fish ladder on Saturday and Sunday, observing and photographing osprey, gulls, Bald Eagles and cormorants.

Round Top and Salt Bay Farms

Round Top and Salt Bay Farms are two preserves in close proximity to each other managed by the Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust.

Both preserves are similar in that they are primarily grass fields with mowed trails (although Round Top also has a crushed gravel path that is handicap accessible).  Both preserves offer views of the Damariscotta River and opportunities for bird watching and wildlife observation.

Round Top connects to the Whaleback Shell Midden State Historic Site.  We had hoped to explore the shell middens but as we got near a thunderstorm approached so we turned back.

Here is a map of the areas around Salt Bay.

Round Top Farm
Accessible Trail connecting Round Top Farm, Pete Noyes Preserve and Whaleback Shell Midden SHS.
Salt Bay Farm
View of Damariscotta River/Salt Bay from Salt Bay Farm
Salt Bay Farm
Grass trail at Salt Bay Farm
Pond at Salt Bay Farm

Pemaquid Point Lighthouse

We visited the Pemaquid Point Lighthouse on Saturday afternoon and again early Sunday morning for the sunrise.  In addition to the lighthouse itself, the park has a museum, picnic tables, and amazing views of the rugged shoreline.

Lake Pemaquid Campground

We stayed overnight at the Lake Pemaquid Campground at a waterfront campsite.  Our site had electricity and water and the campground itself has many amenities (see lakepemaquid.com for more information).  The campground has over 200 sites and after our backcountry camping trip two weeks ago the number of people present was a bit jarring, although overall our visit was pleasant.


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