Hey! It’s DD. As you know I am working on hiking 35 mountains this year, and I am getting there, slowly. I had heard about Tunk Mountain for a while, and my friend Lindsey (who you probably remember from Borestone Mountain!) was totally down for the adventure. We decided to find the trailhead via Google Maps – bad plan. It took us to the ATV trails, which you can convince yourself is a trailhead – it is not. Keep driving until you see the blue sign for Tunk Mountain – there’s a parking lot. From Maine Trail Finder:
Take ME Route 182 (Blackwoods Scenic Byway) from Franklin (if coming from the west) or Cherryfield (if coming from the east). The trailhead access is located between Fox Pond to the west and Tunk Lake to the east; both are visible to the south of the road. The trailhead is a little under 1 mile from Fox Pond and just over 2 miles from the Tunk Lake boat launch. The new trailhead is available directly on ME Route 182 (north side). Look for a blue yard-arm sign identifying the trailhead.
Our initial plan was to summit Tunk Mountain, and then do the Hidden Ponds Trail Loop, but the trail up Tunk Mountain was a bit longer than the trail map, so we were done hiking by the time we got back to the loop. We did get some nice views of the pond on the way to start climbing.
DD loves playing with erratics. (Don’t know what that is? Check it out here!) One you climb for a bit, you reach a nice overlook that rewards you with views. Make sure to take a moment to enjoy it!
After we took a break and picked some blueberries, we headed up to find the summit!
DD loves her Cotopaxi backpack, which she got with her Cairn Subscription, which we HIGHLY recommend. Oh man, we couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s a rockin value and we use the stuff ALL. OF. THE. TIME. FMI on that – use this ad to subscribe!
For DD’s backpack –
The views are well worth it after a bit of climbing on ladders, and you think you’re there but you’re not! The true summit has views of windmills, which IMHO is totally worth it to keep going. The trailhead is not very clearly marked at the summit, so we were a bit confused. We did the same loop once or twice looking for more markers – so don’t be confused if you have the same experience. We found a GREAT viewpoint and as you can see we enjoyed it immensely. Be careful if you decide to climb on the rocks, as the walk out there is a bit scary, and there’s a drop off in between the rocks.
After we left the rock, we figured out our ridiculous loop mistake, and found the blazes to the summit. We shimmied on up to the edge that I suppose could be considered the “True Summit” Lindsey had packed some wine spritzers for our summit celebration! They were delightful, and if you’re a wine drinker, (like me) I recommend them for your pack! You can stock up here…they are also great for summer drinking!
We chatted with some fellow hikers on the trail and took thier photo. They were some of the only people we saw out there that day! It was a nice remote-ish hike. We booked it back down, and made it back in way less time than it took us to summit, but we were done, and ready to get lunch, so we vetoed the pond loop to save it for another day! You can swim here, so if you like a good swimming hole, this one should definitely be on your list!
All in all, it was a great hike, difficult at times, and felt way longer than the trail claims it was, but it was a nice workout and we really enjoyed our day. We hit the trailhead around 11 and we were down by 2, and we’re both moderate level hikers.
We capped the day off with some drinks at Mason’s Brewing in Brewer which is one of our favorite hangouts!
Hope you liked my summary of Tunk Mountain! Have you done this? Let us know your experience in the comments below!
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