Friday, August 31, 2012

Burnt Meadow Mountain (1575 ft.) 8/31/12

After yesterdays hike to the Goose Eye peaks, I felt awesome. That feeling persisted until I got home and cleaned up, as fatigue and soreness outmatched my feeling of awesomeness. I slept a good long while last night, and had a very leisurely start to the day. My friend wanted to go for a hike today, but he managed to get himself pretty hammered last night, and wasn't feeling up to much. Burnt Meadow seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Breakfast had, coffee in hand, we set off to Brownfield. I had first climbed Burnt Meadow in the run-up to my starting the 4000 footer list(s), and it had been more than two years since I had returned. Since then, a couple new trails have been added in the area (the Stone Mountain Trail, and the Twin Brook Trail), and signage has been added at the trailhead. Awesome news, considering it lies all on private land, and the Maine Chapter of the AMC has taken over maintenance.

We set foot on the Burnt Meadow Trail, and right from the trailhead, it starts its relentless march to the top, gaining 1200 feet in 1.2 miles. I remember it feeling a lot longer than that, but two years and some crazy experiences later seem to have tempered my perspective. It was quick, and steep, with some nice ledge scrambling near the summit.

Descent was by Twin Brook Trail, new since I was last on the mountain. The trail is unsigned from the summit, but if you head to the opposite side of the summit clearing from where you entered, there's a large cairn there, turn left following a path and you'll see yellow blazes a few yards in. The top part of this trail is great, with soft footing and easy grades, as you drop down and then climb up the knob to the south of the peak. The trail then becomes more rocky as it descends steeply to the col with Stone Mountain. The trail turns more easterly, heading down out of the col, with some minor uphill sections until it rejoins the Burnt Meadow Trail. With the dry weather, Twin Brook Trail should be renamed No Brook Trail, as there was one stream that was barely trickling.

Started at 1:30, ended at 4:10. Plenty of time spent looking at cool lichens, fungi, and bugs. A nice, short, but strenuous hike... I have to get here more often.

Mosses

South view from ledges on the way up

Steeps on Burnt Meadow Trail

Off trail, they were there, I had to climb up them

Burnt Meadow Pond down below

Lichens

Pleasant Mountain from Burnt Meadow


Twin Brook Trail

Fungus

Water in a hole in a tree

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