Okay, we’ll admit it. “Epic” might be a bit of an overstatement considering this mountain doesn’t require camping gear and dehydrated food. But, that doesn’t make a trip to western Maine’s
Tumbledown Mountain any less of a thrill. If you enjoy the outdoors, but aren’t looking to adventure through Maine’s “100-mile-wilderness,” this just might be the perfect mountain for you to explore.
Tumbledown Mountain is located in the western region of Maine, North of Weld. It is often associated with Little Jackson Mountain, with which it shares its trail network.
It's not the tallest mountain in Maine, but exploring the area will provide some incredible views, beautiful plants and even a near-summit pond. The area is best for moderate to advanced hikers, but as will any hike, caution should be exercised to hike safely.
The network includes 6 formal trails with two distinct trailheads - The Brook Trailhead and The Loop Trailhead. To find them, make your way to Byron Road in Weld.
If you're coming from the East, this will mean following ME Route 142 heading north for about 2.3 miles after it intersects with ME Route 156. In about 4 miles, you'll come to the Brook Trailhead on the right. The Loop Trailhead is less than a mile beyond that.
From the West, make your way to Route 17 in Byron. Take Dingle Hill Road over Coos Canyon and the Swift River. Eventually, you will reach the Brook Trailhead, followed by the Loop Trailhead.
Those who are looking for the more moderate route should stick to the
The Brook Trail follows a road previously used for logging. This section continues for about a mile. Eventually the road will cross the Tumbledown Brook. From here, head right to continue following the brook.
As you near the summit, you'll have the opportunity to cross over to the Parker Ridge Trail. This, approximately 4-mile detour, is significantly more steep, but ends with a bare summit that will give you views in all directions. This is considered a very advanced trail. Unless you're up for the challenge, stick to the (already moderately challenging) Brook Trail.
Views along the way are beautiful, but be sure to have appropriate protection from the sun as some areas are fairly bare and exposed.
The trail ends at Tumbledown Pond, an alpine tern just below the summit.
Just a mere 2,872 feet above sea level!
Leaving the alpine pond, you'll come to the Tumbledown Ridge Trail. This bit connects Brook and Parker Ridge Trails with the end of the Loop Trail and, eventually, the West Peak of Tumbledown. Following this connector means joining a more difficult trail, so take it with caution.
If you see this sign, think carefully about what to do next! Loop Trail is the most challenging of the trails at Tumbledown and should only be attempted if you're prepared for a rock scramble that includes iron rungs in areas. This trail also features a crag in the rock called "Fat Man's Misery," which is a narrow area that requires a very steep climb to ascend.
There are opportunities for blueberry picking, so be sure to bring a small container.
Whichever trail you choose, you'll be treated to incredible views and the feeling of accomplishment that only comes with hiking one of Maine's most epic mountains.
For more information on alternate trails, check out the Maine Trail Finder site