|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Tumbledown Mountain (T5 R6), ME|
|Date of Hike:
||Friday, June 11, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Any car can get to the parking area |
||Dry Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Just a few small muddy areas on the skidder trail |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||Bushwhack. Flag lines (especially the pink one) are getting hard to follow due to faded flagging and fallen flagging |
||Not too bad |
|Lost and Found:
||Fire Tower Trip Day 1: Tumbledown Mountain|
Friday's objective was the only standing fire tower in the Western Maine Mountains without a trail to it. Tumbledown Mountain in T5 R6 BKP WKR is a tall and remote peak with a 24' tall tower which was built in 1914. The tower is now missing its cab, but the ladder remains intact. There is a road on the mountain's north slope which branches off the Spencer Road and will get you about a mile away from the summit. From the end of the road, it's a bushwhack all the way to the top.
If you are standing at the very end of the road and looking uphill, an overgrown skidder trail will be directly in front of you. This can be followed straight uphill through the overgrown clear-cut. This section does have some pieces of orange flagging tape marking the way, but they are difficult to see and are far apart. The objective for this section is to make it to the back edge of the clear-cut (bonus points if you can follow the flagging the whole way). From the back edge of the cut, head into the woods and you will soon come across an old woods road running parallel to the edge of the clear-cut. You then need to find the spot where the flag line (orange and pink flagging) crosses this old road. Follow it uphill, and you will soon be faced with a choice. The pink flag line heads left, while the orange flag line angles right. I followed the pink flag line on the way up and descended along the orange flag line. Both run parallel to one another and traverse similar terrain. Both are difficult to follow at times and you may need to search for the next flag. However, the pink flag line is much older, so the orange flag line is easier to follow because of the brighter flags. I have GPS tracks of both routes, in case anyone is interested in doing this hike.
There is a small clearing at the summit where the tower stands. It seems to be a trend for mountains in the region, but the views from the tower are truly spectacular in all directions. Rugged mountains, lakes, and forest stretch out in all directions. Based on entries in the log book, it seems that only a handful of people (less than 10) visit this peak each year. I was surprised to see that someone has been up there the day before I was.
After descending, I made a side trip to Skinner. This remote outpost on the Maine, Montreal, and Atlantic Railroad used to be the point where the fire watchmen got off the train to get to the towers on Kibby and Tumbledown Mountains. Only a few buildings remain today, and it can only be accessed by ATV, snowmobile, or on foot.
My campsite was the Appleton Corner Campsite near the bank of the Moose River.
||Sam Shirley |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.