Sitting on Penobscot Bay, Camden has been a vacation town since the late 1850s. With rivers, lakes, mountains, and a harbor, it’s one of the prettiest spots in MidCoast Maine. Best of all, you can experience everything that the landscape has to offer throughout the year at the Camden Snow Bowl. In fact, the ski resort hosts a few popular and unique events.
About the Camden Snow Bowl
As a community-owned recreation area and ski resort, the Snow Bowl is the only ski area with a view of the ocean. Operated by the Town of Camden, it offers fun for the entire family. Aside from the more than 20 expanded runs, there are hiking trails, tennis courts, ponds, and more.
Spring, Summer, and Fall Activities at the Snow Bowl
Although it’s called the Snow Bowl, there are many spring, summer, and fall activities to enjoy there.
The Ragged Mountain Recreation Area offers several miles of hiking trails.
The two main trails are accessible at the base of the Snow Bowl. One is on the right side of the A-frame lodge, and the other is at the main parking lot. Kuller Trail is about 2 miles, and the combined Hosmer Brook Trail, Georges Highland Path, and Red Diamond Trail is about 3 miles.
Note: While most of the trails are multipurpose, Hosmer Brook Trail is only for hiking.
Kiosks with maps and information are available near the Hosmer Pond boat launch and main parking lot.
Mountain Biking Trails
In addition to hiking, most of the trails at Ragged Mountain Recreation Area are open for mountain biking.
The Midcoast Maine Chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association (McNEMBA) primarily maintains these trails. The Snow Bowl serves as the trailhead for its own biking trail network and the Goose River biking trail network.
You can ride bikes of all kinds, including Class 1 eBikes and fat bikes. You can purchase a trail map in the A-frame lodge for just $2.
Boating and Fishing
If you’re in the mood for canoeing, kayaking or stand-up paddleboarding, Hosmer Pond is the place to go. It stretches 55 acres and has a multipurpose site for boat launching, dog dipping, and swimming.
You can even go fishing from several points on the shoreline, enjoy lunch at one of the picnic tables and watch the area wildlife.
Tennis Courts and Multipurpose Fields
For some traditional sporting activities, you can visit the tennis courts at the Snow Bowl. They’re open to all skill levels at certain times.
The playing fields at the base of the recreation area are multi-use for softball and more, so you will need to schedule ahead if you would like to use these facilities.
Winter Snow Bowl Activities
When winter arrives, the Town of Camden gets the Snow Bowl ready for skiing. There’s snow-making on over 80% of the mountain, and even night skiing is available when the Camden snow sets.
After riding the 4,000-foot triple lift, it’s hard to miss the view of Penobscot Bay at the mountaintop.
Skiing and Snowshoeing
The Town of Camden works with the McNEMBA and Coastal Mountains Land Trust to maintain the skiing and snowshoeing trails.
The Kuller Loop is a classic track with a skate lane, and it’s shared with snowshoeing and fat bikes. Also, it’s one-way and connects with the Five Brooks and Ragged Mountain Preserve Trails. The Kuller Loop is classified as the most difficult trail, so it’s not for beginners.
The Ragged Mountain Preserve Trail is moderate and ungroomed but open for snowshoeing. You can also go snowshoeing on Hosmer Brook Trail.
“Awesome ski resort with a view of the Sea. Don’t drive thru Camden without taking time to visit the Snow Bowl.” – Christopher B. on Facebook
Jack Williams Toboggan Chute
Originally built in 1936, the 400-foot-long toboggan run is a handmade wooden chute that’s flooded with ice and dumps onto Hosmer Pond. The town ensures that the ice conditions are safe before it opens the chute, so calling ahead is recommended.
Typically, it’s open Saturdays, Sundays, February school vacation week, and holidays, however, the toboggan run closes for the U.S. National Toboggan Championships.
Events at the Snow Bowl
While there are plenty of year-round activities to enjoy at the Snow Bowl, the town also hosts some special events at the recreation center. These events draw visitors from across the country.
Snow Bowl Trail Fest
Since 2015, Camden has hosted the Snow Bowl Trail Fest in early October. Athletes who want to challenge their skills can sign up for trail running, mountain biking or both. The McNEMBA and Trail Runners of Midcoast Maine design the course for intermediate and expert athletes.
Along with the races, there is a live band and several food vendors on site.
Pancakes and Chairlift Rides
Every Sunday in October, Ragged Mountain Ski Club invites locals and visitors to the Snow Bowl for the Pancakes and Chairlift Rides event.
“Such a beautiful chair lift ride. It has become a fall tradition for us!” – Nancy N. on Facebook
Donations are appreciated for the pancake breakfast, and the chairlift rides are $5 for kids who are younger than 13 and $10 for adults. Boxed lunches are available as well. All of the event proceeds go to educational programs.
U.S. National Toboggan Championships
Since 1991, the Snow Bowl has hosted the U.S. National Toboggan Championships, which is the only organized race for wooden toboggans in the country.
The race is held the second weekend of February, and about 425 teams of two, three, and four people gather to compete every year. Some of them get enough speed to cross Hosmer Pond.
The competition includes the fastest time, furthest distance, best-crafted toboggan, best costumes, and more.
Eating at the Snow Bowl
Located in the A-frame lodge, The Big T Snack Shack offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The Camden Bagel Cafe runs the joint, which is mainly open during lift hours.
You can take a look at the extensive menu on its Facebook page.
Pet-Friendly Recreation Area
You can even bring your pet with you to the Camden Snow Bowl. It’s one of the best pet-friendly places in Camden.
From April through November, your dog doesn’t have to be on a leash, but you do need to pick up after it. While you can’t take your dog on the skiing terrain, it’s welcome on Hosmer Brook Trail, Hosmer Pond, the playing fields, and in parking lots.
In the winter months, your dog can enjoy the snow, but you must keep it on a leash from December through March.
Where to Stay to Enjoy Everything the Camden Snow Bowl Offers
When you make Camden your next vacation destination, there are numerous summer and winter things to do. You can enjoy all of these activities and events while staying at The Country Inn.
With spacious guest rooms, our inn provides all of the comforts of home to make you feel comfortable. There are even fireplaces and jetted tubs in some of our rooms.
Our country-style breakfast, pool and hot tub, and other amenities make us the best hotel for your Camden stay.