At the beginning of the Quarantine Summer of 2020, Lindsay and I camped for the weekend at Mount Blue state park and hiked the classic Tumbledown Mountain. The plan was to make a loop of all of the Tumbledown peaks and Little Jackson, starting and ending at Brook Trail. Our plans were foiled when a thunderstorm rolled in as we got to the most remote and true peak of Tumbledown, the north peak. We bailed and bushwhacked down to Tumbledown Pond, skirted around it and went back down Brook Trail. Of course, the sun was back out as we returned to Tumbledown Pond.
Parked at Brook Trail parking on Weld To Byron Road in Weld, ME
Hiked Brook Trail to intersection with Loop Trail at Tumbledown Pond
Left on Loop Trail to Tumbledown East Peak and Tumbledown Southwest Peak and back to intersection with Tumbledown North Peak bushwhack
Left on Tumbledown North Peak bushwhack to Tumbledown North Peak and col between Tumbledown Mountain and Little Jackson Mountain
Right on bushwhack around Tumbledown Pond back to intersection with Brook Trail
Left on Brook Trail back to parking
Date: 06 June 2020 Distance: 6.8 miles Moving Time: 03:44:38 Pace: 32:53/mile Elevation Gain: 2065′
I got up early on a Monday morning to get in a mountain run before picking up my kids for a vacation day. I try to stick to the rule of running or hiking at least as long as the total drive time. Sometimes the pull to the mountains is greater than arbitrary rules. On the summit I met a guy who spent the previous couple days hiking and camping in the Caribou/Speckled Mountains, and that morning made the long drive home. When he got there he realized he had lost his false front teeth. Amazingly, he made the drive back up to the mountains, hiked back up Speckled Mountain to where he had camped over night, and found his teeth on the ground!
Parked near Evergreen Link Trail on Mountain Road in Stoneham, ME
Ran up Evergreen Link Trail to Cold Brook Trail
Left on Cold Brook Trail to summit of Speckled Mountain
Back same route to parking
Date: 25 May 2020 Distance: 6.9 miles Moving Time: 01:58:55 Pace: 17:18/mile Elevation Gain: 2246′
As part of our 50k training, Lindsay and I had a 14-mile long run to complete and decided to visit Camden Hills State Park to get in a combination of trail running and hiking. We’d been stuck in Portland for the previous two months due to Covid-19, and this was our first day-trip to get away and forgot things for a few hours.
Parked at Camden Hills State Park off Route 1 in Camden, ME
Ran Ski Shelter Trail to Bald Rock Trail
Turned right and hiked Bald Rock Trail to summit of Bald Rock Mountain and down to Frohock Mountain Trail
Turned left on Forhock Mountain Trail and connected back to Ski Shelter trail
Turned left and ran Ski Shelter Trail and ran back to Cameron Mountain Trail
Turned right on Cameron Mountain Trail and ran to Cameron Mountain and retraced back to Ski Shelter Trail
Turned right on Ski Shelter Trail and ran back toward parking
Ran up and down Megunticook Trail for extra miles before returning to parking lot
Date: 16 May 2020 Distance: 14.1 miles Moving Time: 03:08:24 Pace: 13:23/mile Elevation Gain: 2264′
I have been trail running for a year or so but on mostly flat trails near my house. After a few excursions to small mountains in my area, I decided I wanted to try out a long run with more serious climb. I picked out an area on my White Mountain National Forest maps that looked good (I had heard Blueberry Mountain was nice) and headed out.
After having some trouble finding the trail head (pro-tip: the road is called Stone House Road, Google Maps says Shell Pond Road) I parked in the lot by the Stone House gate and started my run.
In early November 2016 a friend and I camped out near Grafton Notch in western Maine. The next morning we hiked the two peaks of Baldpate Mountain. Baldpate was supposed to be a great hike above treeline, so we had to check it out.
We parked at the Old Speck parking lot and crossed the street to follow the Appalachian Trail north. We took the side trail to Table Rock and rejoined the Appalachian Trail to both peaks of Baldpate Mountain. We returned along the Appalachian Trail with a short side trip to see Baldpate lean-to. The hike was just short of 8 miles with 3800 feet of elevation gain and took us a little less than 6 hours.
Map of hike
At around 9:30 am we pulled into the parking lot along the Appalachian Trail on Maine Route 26 at the Old Speck Trail head. It was mostly cloudy, 30 degrees and there was only one other car in the lot.
I had been running on trails most of the year as I found them more enjoyable than road running, and easier on my legs. I typically stuck to flat trails around my house, but on a whim I decided to run up a mountain. If a very small mountain.
From the small parking lot on Webbs Mills Road I followed the Bri-Mar Trail to the summit of Rattlesnake Mountain and part way down the far side. The trails branched out in several places and crossed what were likely old roads, so some guesswork was needed. The run was just under 3 miles with 700′ elevation gain and took me less than 40 minutes to complete.
We began and finished from the Marston Trail parking area off Park Tote Road in Baxter State Park, about 13 miles north of the park’s south entrance. We hiked Marston Trail to the junction with Mount Coe Trail. We headed north on Marston Trail around Teardrop Pond to the junction with North Brother Trail. We followed North Brother Trail to the summit of North Brother and returned the way we came.
The hike totaled 9 miles with 3000 feet of elevation gain and took us just under 5 and a half hours to complete.
We started this hike from our campsite at Nesowadnehunk Field Campground, which is about 16 miles north of the Baxter State Park south entrance. We took Doubletop Trail to the summit of the north peak and then returned to our campsite.
This hike was around 6.25 miles with 2400′ of elevation gain. It took us just about 5 hours to hike to the northern summit of Doubletop Mountain and back.
With all that was separating me from the mountains was a few hours of state highways, I had no excuse not to leave for a hike when I would normally be getting ready for bed. Knowing that Crocker Cirque Campsite was just a short hike in the woods, it was a non-decision to pack up and head out for a hike in the middle of the night. Normal people would call this behavior crazy, but that’s okay, I’ve never pretended to be normal.
I arrived at the hiker’s parking lot on the Caribou Pond Road just after 12:00 am. With it being a clear and cool Friday night I was not surprised to see three other cars in the lot. I threw my gear on and headed up the road on foot to where it crossed the Appalachian Trail. I headed north on the AT and after about an hour of hiking by headlamp I started to keep an eye out for the side trail to the Crocker Cirque Campsite.
At work I was part of a hiking group and although I ‘d planned several hikes I hadn’t actually attended one. So in June I put together a hike of Tumbledown Mountain and lead the hike. We met at work shortly before 7:00 am and took a couple of cars up to Weld, Maine. There were five of us from work as well as a couple of our kids, including both of mine.
We arrived at the parking lot for Loop Trail on Byron Road at 9:30 am. There were plenty of cars at both lots, but neither were full yet. We dropped everyone off and returned to the parking lot at Brook Trail in order to plant a vehicle at the end of our hike. Once it was secured we returned to the others waiting at the Loop Trail.