May 29, 2024


Travel ideas

Hiking in Maine: Take an enchanting hike on Coburn Mountain


Mountain peaks as significantly as the eye can see rule the rugged terrain of the Upper Kennebec River and Moose River valleys concerning Moosehead Lake and the Canadian border. Business forestlands dominate this distant location, but it is also sprinkled liberally with public and private conservation lands and conservation easements.

Situated in Somerset County and growing to a lofty elevation of 3,717 toes, Coburn Mountain reigns supreme about this veritable sea of inexperienced summits. The mountain’s rounded dome, recognizable from quite a few compass factors about this component of northwestern Maine, can be arrived at by a shorter but steep climb – 1,300 feet in just 1.2 miles – about its jap flank.

Coburn Mountain is the website of the extended defunct Enchanted Mountain Ski Spot, which operated briefly from 1966 to 1973. Billed as the “Switzerland of Maine,” skiers ended up encouraged to “come to Enchanted Mountain … exactly where the snowboarding is entertaining and enjoyable, for novice and expert.” Today, hikers can comply with one particular of the outdated ski trails on the way to the leading.

The Coburn Mountain trailhead is just north of the former ski spot foundation. It is a 2 1/2-mile generate in on Enchanted Mountain Highway, which utilised to be in tough form but is now quite passable. The highway is off U.S. Route 201, 11 miles north of the bridge around the Kennebec River in The Forks and 15 miles south of the junction of U.S. Route 201 and Maine Routes 6 and 15 in Jackman.

What was the primary ski trail and lift line on the mountain is continue to noticeable as you solution the 2,424-foot base of the mountain. The initial mile of the hike sales opportunities alongside a snowmobile path that was at the time Enchanted’s northernmost ski trail. No ATVs are authorized on the trail, which is taken care of by the Coburn Summit Riders snowmobile club, so it’s in seriously very good shape.

Just past the radio repeater tower atop the previous double chairlift line, a narrow path enters the thick conifers and climbs quite substantially straight up the southeast confront of Coburn. On prime, there is yet another radio repeater tower, a Quonset hut and a photo voltaic array. The path carries on a number of yards to the aged 1938 hearth tower, the taxi of which was changed with an observation deck.

According to the AMC Maine Mountain Manual, “Coburn Mountain is the greatest peak in the location, with magnificent views rivaling the greatest in Maine.” You can just take the veracity of that assertion to the bank. Make the hike, scamper up the tower techniques and acquire a long appear all around at the 360-diploma panorama of nothing but amazing wildness it’s genuinely awesome.

To the west are Selection Five and Kibby mountains to the north, Sally and Boundary Bald mountains to the south, the Bigelow Assortment to the east, Huge Moose and Minor Moose mountains. These are just a several in the astounding jumble of mountains in see, by no means head people across the border in Canada. Tap the Peak Finder application on your telephone and see for you.

The cab of the 1938 fireplace tower atop Coburn Mountain has been replaced with an observation deck that makes it possible for for 360-degree views. Carey Kish picture

When it’s time to head down, skip the steep upper trail segment and amble back via the higher part of the snowmobile trail, which helps make a moderate descent alongside the southwest ridge in advance of looping all-around to rejoin the reduced snowmobile trail to the bottom. The overall lollipop circuit is just 3.1 miles, but you will have definitely gained them.

The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands owns 200 acres on Coburn Mountain, like the summit and southeastern slopes. It is superior to know that the prime is in great hands and that the regional snowmobile group is trying to keep up the path route. This is a unique position really worth shielding, that’s for certain. And many thanks to Weyerhaeuser Timberlands for enabling community access.

Coburn Mountain is named after Philander and Abner Coburn, two brothers who when owned the mountain and experienced substantially of the land in the region logged in the mid-1800s. Abner Coburn was a well known Skowhegan businessman and served as the 30th governor of Maine from 1863-64. Coburn died in 1865 and remaining 12 acres in Skowhegan for use as a community park.

When you are up browsing Coburn Mountain, you might want to check out out other mountains nearby with climbing trails, like Variety 5, Sally, Burnt Jacket, Boundary Bald and Williams.

Carey Kish of Mount Desert Island is a veteran hiker and freelance writer. His newest book, “Beer Climbing New England,” will be obtainable later on this yr. Observe more of Carey’s adventures on Fb and Instagram @careykish

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