Where in Maine?

Tumbledown Mountain in the Fall

Can you identify this Maine mountain?

Photograph by Benjamin Williamson

The ominous name of this many-peaked western Maine mountain hasn’t stopped sure-footed hikers from reaching its summit, where a pristine alpine pond rewards those who have navigated one of the six challenging paths to the top. Parts of the trail have even earned clever nicknames, including two notoriously narrow passageways aptly dubbed “Fat Man’s Misery” and “The Chimney.” But geological features aren’t the only unique facet of this mountain’s makeup. Thanks to a handful of rare and endangered flora and fauna, the Maine Natural Area Program has classified these peaks as a focus area – one of them is home to breeding pairs of peregrine falcons, stream-dwelling spring salamanders, and one of the state’s three documented populations of the aquatic plant Acadian quillwort. Just be careful where you step as you explore. The Maine Geological Survey’s report on the mountain indicates scarring caused by immense rockslides along many of the peak’s bald cliffs–evidence, they suggest, that may point to the origin of the mountain’s name.


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