Maine : Safety by City
- Bar Harbor
- Carrabassett Valley
- Presque Isle/Caribou
- South Portland
Camden, Maine, is an outdoor lover’s paradise without being too far away from amenities.
A four-season destination, this Mid-Coast city is full of charm and adventures in all directions.
Truth be told, this is also a boating paradise, with the Camden Windjammer Festival being very popular and charters available to the nearby islands.
Acadia National Park is just 90 minutes by car and also open all four seasons.
One thing to know about Maine is that a season is jokingly referred to as “Mud Season.”
This is March through mid-April, which is why you’ll find great hotel rooms or rental deals.
This is not just a little bit of mud – roads can be impassible, cars can get stuck, and you could lose your shoes deep in the mud while hiking.
Camden is also a working fishing town with a charming downtown area right along the water.
The city scoops around the Megunticook River before giving way to Camden Bay and then the Atlantic Ocean.
Camden Hills State Park is full of hiking and wildlife viewing, with remnants of historical buildings along the way.
You can’t beat the views from the highest point in this park.
Warnings & Dangers in Camden
OVERALL RISK: LOW
Camden has seen one violent crime since 2018, giving it a low-risk destination in an already low-risk state. The bigger risk here is preparing for the weather and "roughing it" in the wild.
TRANSPORT & TAXIS RISK: LOW
You'll need your own car here because public buses aren't available and taxis will be hard to come by. Amtrak goes as far as Brunswick in Maine, which is still an hour south. Be sure to get a four-wheel drive vehicle if you visit anytime but summer.
PICKPOCKETS RISK: LOW
The city hasn't seen more than 20 thefts in a year since 2018, and pickpockets didn't account for any of them. Car burglaries are one of the main risks, but you can prevent that by locking your car doors and keeping personal items out of sight.
NATURAL DISASTERS RISK: MEDIUM
Maine gets many weather risks, but none come without warning. Hurricane Season runs from June through November. Nor'easters are most common between September and April (look up the Patriots' Day 2007 storm to see how destructive these can be). Flooding and storm surges are also risks. Winters can bring heavy snow, whiteout conditions, and more flooding risks.
MUGGING RISK: LOW
According to official 2021 crime data, Camden hasn't had a robbery since 2014, and only two were reported that year. This is a very low risk. Low risk doesn't mean you can ever let your guard down. There was a bank robbery in 2022, and I've noticed that's one of the more prominent robbery crimes in Maine.
TERRORISM RISK: LOW
This is another very low-risk category. Rural areas and other small towns surround this small fishing town. You should still report any type of suspicious activity.
SCAMS RISK: LOW
Rental scams and fake rental listings are the biggest concern here. Let's say you're searching for a weekly rental and most of them are around $3000. If you find one for $500, it's likely a scam. Verify every rental listing you find, and don't use websites like Craigslist. Never wire money to secure a reservation.
WOMEN TRAVELERS RISK: LOW
As long as women enjoy the outdoors and know safety precautions for traveling in groups or alone, there's a very low risk. While this isn't a big tourist city with the spas and extravagance of places like Kennebunkport, you still have a very relaxing destination with smaller crowd sizes.
TAP WATER RISK: LOW
Tap water comes from wells, and homeowners and businesses must test their own water. You should check with your landlord or hotel/inn owner to get the latest water quality reports. The Water Quality section on the Camden city website can explain how water quality processes work here in more detail.
Safest Places to Visit in Camden
VisitMaine.com has a Mid-Coast section that covers Camden and nearby cities.
This is the only official website you’ll find for the city, but there is some information on the city’s website too.
When searching for individual locations, make sure the website has an “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP” for the best cyber safety searches.
Main Street and Bay View Street are the two larger roads in the city that go through the central business district.
The north and west sides of the city surrounding the water are the top locations to find charters and tours.
The east side alone Sea Street is more residential.
Tour boat options include the following:
- Schooner Appledore II
- Schooner Mary Day
- Camden Harbor Cruises
- Maine Island Charters
Laite Memorial Beach is the only beach in Camden, and it’s not as sandy as the Southern Maine beaches.
You’ll find waterfront areas in Camden Hills State Park, but that’s a very rocky shoreline and should be approached with caution.
10 minutes up the road is Lincolnville, with its own beach and more small shops and restaurants to explore in the historic downtown.
While Camden’s Curtis Island Lighthouse is too far offshore to see well and isn’t open to the public, you can take a ferry from Lincolnville to Grindle’s Point Sailor’s Museum and Lighthouse.
This is on the island of Islesboro, with attractions and beaches on all sides.
Snow Bowl is the closest skiing area to Camden, with ski runs for all experience levels, a snow tubing hill, and an ice skating rink.
Megunticook Lake is nearby with seasonal activities, including a beach, hiking trails, and fishing spots.
Check out our article, “How Safe Is Rockland for Travel?” to learn about the closest city to the south, as there are several museums there to explore.
Read our Bar Harbor article to learn more about Acadia National Park.
Places to Avoid in Camden
No dangerous neighborhoods or parts of town exist here, so travel freely throughout the region without worry.
As long as you know about the weather risks in each season and can handle driving in snow or following common sense during severe weather, you should have a safe trip.
If you’re just perusing different Maine cities looking for options, you should know the Mid-Maine coastal cities are where the mountains meet the sea, so you won’t get those sandy stretches of beach.
You’ll find dark, rocky shorelines with waters not really suited for swimming or surfing.
Most of those beaches are near Portland and south of Portland.
Our articles on South Portland and Ogunquit cover that area well.
Safety Tips for Traveling to Camden
- Camden is a small town of fewer than 3,700 people, but it does have its own police department. The main line is (207)236-3353, and you can follow them on Facebook too by searching “Camden Maine Police Department.” The local sheriff’s Facebook page is @KnoxCountyMaine.
- Parking lots and street parking are monitored daily by the police, and parking violations start at $20. You can visit the police department’s website to learn the seasonal parking rules.
- You can visit the town’s YouTube Channel @TownofCamdenMaine. While most of the videos are local meetings, you will see some community conversations about safety, seasonal activities, and new attractions coming.
- Follow @KnoxCountyMaineEMA to get updated information about impending weather or other alerts and safety advice. To follow the National Weather Service, you’re looking for the Gray, Maine office (Not “Grey”).
- New England 511 is the website and app you should use to check road conditions during your visit. Live cameras are available, and all traffic, construction, and accident information is updated in real-time.
- For those visiting during “Mud Season,” you need to know the road to get to a location and if the road is paved or dirt. Dirt roads can turn into mud pits, and you could get stuck outside of mobile phone range.
- Before you go to any natural area, check the website for the location. You need to see what alerts there are, if any trails are closed, and if inclement weather is causing any closures. For seaside trips, check the water temperature and water quality through “Check Beach Status” on Maine.gov.
- Most of the park won’t have trash cans along the way, and you are expected to take out all trash you accumulate during your visit. Pack a sturdy trash bag, and don’t leave anything behind. Outdoor adventurers strongly follow the “Leave No Trace” mission.
- Ticks and mosquitoes are well-known annoyances of outdoor adventures, and there are plenty of them in Maine. However, there are two more serious insects to know about in Maine. The Browntail moth reached unprecedented leaves in 2022. The moths start as caterpillars with poisonous hairs. While you should avoid touching them, you can still be impacted by blowing hairs. The prime season for Browntail Moths is April through August. Black flies are found along the shoreline and aren’t your typical annoying housefly – these suckers bite. They are usually found around clean water and can appear in groups from late spring through the first frost in fall. Maine.gov has safety sections where you can learn more about these insects, how to avoid getting impacted, and what to do if you are.
- The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife controls the fishing licenses here. You should carefully review all the categories before making a purchase. You’ll need a license even if you are going on a fishing charter.
So... How Safe Is Camden Really?
The only two crimes I could find in the past six months were a bank robbery and a group of people who shot pellet guns at pedestrians in Camden.
Maine, in general, has seen an increase in juvenile crime, so don’t assume a young person is nice.
There’s an affordable housing crisis in Maine as well, where people who normally wouldn’t be homeless have been forced to live on the streets or in government housing (usually hotels) because of the high rental rates.
Some cities have seen an increase in crime around these hotels, but as of this publication, the issue hasn’t seemed to reach Camden.
The farther north you go in Maine, the more rural and rugged the region will be.
Mobile phone service can be spotty.
Roads can become more treacherous.
You’re more likely to come face-to-face with a moose.
The best things you can do for safety are to review the Maine and Knox County emergency management plans, review safety risks on the Maine.gov wildlife section, and follow the appropriate law enforcement agencies on social media.
How Does Camden Compare?
|Siem Reap (Cambodia)
|Phnom Penh (Cambodia)
|Niagara Falls (Canada)
|Buenos Aires (Argentina)
A Visa or Visa Waiver from the U.S. State Department is required for all international travelers. If you are crossing the border from Canada, review the Customs and Border Patrol requirements specific to your country.
You can only use the U.S. Dollar, and it's wise to bring a couple of hundred dollars in cash for non-cash businesses. Keep the cash stored safely and only bring what you need each day.
Winters are the real season to not skimp on packing. Temperatures can get dangerously cold here, with high winds and blowing snow. You'll want clothing to cover as much skin as possible. Bring hiking boots and/or snow boots, but also carry sneakers with you as some attractions will ask you to change shoes once inside. Summers will be warm, but you'll still need long sleeves and long pants or jeans. Bring a mix of lengths and styles to acclimate to the changing temperatures. A waterproof outer layer is smart for any season.
You can get to the Portland International Jetport in less than two hours. Bangor's international airport is just 90 minutes away. Remember, driving to Bangor from Camden in the winter could mean some rough roads.
Travel insurance to such a remote area often impacted by weather is just smart. You also want rental car insurance for accidents or roadside assistance. If you think you might need medical care here, you'll need supplemental insurance or risk paying a lot of out of pocket.
Camden Weather Averages (Temperatures)
Average High/Low Temperature
|Temperature / Month
Maine - Safety by City