Vision

Conserving land and maintaining access for traditional recreational uses including hiking, fishing, snowmobiling, and hunting.

Promoting forest management to provide local jobs.

Protecting wildlife habitat and the Webb Lake Watershed.

View from Tumbledown

The Mt. Blue Tumbledown Project

26,000 ACRES PROTECTED.

3,200 acres have been added to Mt. Blue State Park.

10,600 acres, including most of the Tumbledown Mountain range and its trails, have been added to Maine’s Public Lands system.

7,800 acres of working forest north of Tumbledown Mountain and 4,200 acres next to the park have been protected with conservation easements.

As part of our pledge to help manage these new public lands we have financially supported stewardship positions and trail work.

We must also be ready to protect other significant recreation areas and vistas as they become available!

Support and Volunteer Opportunities

As we watch changes in our landscape, with large forested parcels still being split into smaller and smaller lots, we continue to be grateful that we were able to conserve as much as we have. But there are still other important parcels in this area that we hope to protect when the opportunity arises. When we started TCA to help raise money to protect the mountains we also pledged to be there for the long run. Over the years TCA has contributed nearly $100,000 specifically to support at least 11 stewards, as well as trail work over 7 seasons. Our newsletters have featured reports from some of these stewards. Your contributions have made this possible and will help us continue this important support for stewardship on the mountains.

Private funding donors are not only important, but essential for future land protection and for growing the endowment. Although the State and federal governments have been impressed by the many generous contributions of private individuals to the Mt. Blue -Tumbledown Mountain Project, and such donations are crucial in any quest for public conservation funding, public funds are now very limited and will be harder to get. We cannot expect to receive the level of public funding we have had in the past, so a base of private donors is more important now than ever.

The Mt. Blue -Tumbledown Mountain region has touched the hearts of many people, who have made donations in honor of weddings, birthdays and other life events, and in memory of loved ones who enjoyed the area. School children have initiated fund-raising projects.

Please contribute to help in the management of what we, the citizens of Maine, now own and to protect more of the scenic beauty, natural wonders, and recreation opportunities we value so highly. Your continued support is important.

We also invite you to consider becoming actively involved with the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance, working for the future of conservation in this region.

Tumbledown Pond Autumn
Tumbledown Mountain from Center Hill

Do you have a special place in your heart for Tumbledown? If so, why not consider volunteering to help maintain the trails and general area, or help with other tasks that would help create a safe, sustainable and educational experience for everyone who enjoys Tumbledown Public Lands?

TCA recognizes the necessity to work with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and Mt. Blue State Park to help all of us achieve our common goal of protecting the Tumbledown Public Reserve Lands.

Opportunities exist in many forms, including, but not limited to:

Snow on Tumbledown Autumn
  • Trail maintenance. Necessary all season but especially in the Spring and following high wind/rain events.
  • Regular trail inspection of all trails and parking areas.
  • General inspection and cleanup of parking lots and surrounding areas.
  • Sign creation, painting, and maintenance.
  • Special projects like tree and plant identification.
  • Volunteer guiding opportunities.

Resources

View From Park

Mt. Blue State Park 

At over 8,200 acres, second only to Baxter State Park in size, this park is the heart of the region and provides an important base of protected public land and wildlife habitat. Mt. Blue has much to offer: camping, hiking, nature trails, spectacular views, boating, hunting and fishing, and a wonderful beach. Over 60,000 people each year visit and enjoy Mt. Blue State Park. Outdoor magazine in 1999 called it one of the ten best family vacation destinations in the country. For Winter Ski and Snowshoe Trail conditions, Text BLUE to 888-514-7527.

View From Webb Lake

Webb Lake

Nestled within these majestic mountains sits the Town of Weld and Webb Lake, one of the most attractive lakes in Maine for boating, canoeing, kayaking, or just visiting. The lake is 4.5 miles long by 1.5 miles wide, providing plenty of space for everyone. Eagles nest on its shores, and ospreys and loons are regularly present. Webb Lake is at the center of nearly every view from the surrounding mountains. Weld is a quaint town with fun summer events including Lake and Heritage Days, lakeside dining, and seasonal shops. 

2023 Steward Summary Tumbledown

2023 Tumbledown Steward Summary

2023 Tumbledown Mountain Environmental Steward Summary By Jared Briar.

From the breathtaking views to the interesting plants and animals found along the trail, the area has no shortage of material for exploration. The trail system expands not only to Tumbledown Mountain but also Little Jackson and Big Jackson Mountains as well. This allows hikers to keep coming back multiple times and experience something different with each trip.

Tumbledown Mountain

Tumbledown Management Plan

The Bureau’s overall management focus for the Tumbledown/Mt. Blue Region is built upon the following management principles and objectives:

Lichen

Habitat Focus Area

Focus area includes multiple peaks over 2700 ft, ridgelines, high elevation ponds, and the largest Alpine Ecosystem that has been documented in the State.

Winter View of Tumbledown from Lake

Mt. Blue and Tumbledown Map

Mount Blue State Park and Tumbledown Public Lands map including Hiking, and Winter Trails. Detailed directions and descriptions.

Webb Lake from the top

Hiking Etiquette

Following are a few rules and commonly observed practices from the American Hiking Society that will help make your hike more enjoyable. 

Tumbledown Loop Trail

Tumbledown Loop Map

Tumbledown Mountain is the most visited mountain in Maine. It is popular because of the appeal. The mountain has a rich history and natural habitat.

Hiking the ridge on Tumbledown

Hiking Safety Guidelines

Hiking in Maine is fun with spectacular scenery and wildlife. There are many important considerations to make your hike safe and help preserve the area.

Lidar Mt. Blue State Park

Geology of Mt. Blue State Park

Geology of Mount Blue State Park by Lindsay J Spigel MGS Circular 22-14 2022 This was a geological field trip guide and has a couple of interesting aerial lidar images of Center Hill.

Geology of Mt. Blue State Park

The Geology of Mt. Blue State Park

Originally published in 1965 by the Maine Department of Economic Development and authored by Kost Pankiwskyj. This survey contains many interesting facts and illustrations.

Afternoon on Bald Mountain

Afternoon on Bald Mountain

A self guided field trip by Douglas N. Reusch of UMaine Farmington. Located between Wilton and Weld, Bald Mountain is a geological treasure chest with something for everyone.

A Brief Geological Review of Coos Canyon Byron Maine

Geology of Coos Canyon

A Brief Geological Review of Coos Canyon, Byron, Maine, by Robert G. Marvinney

A Geological Tour of Tumbledown Mountain Maine

Geology of Tumbledown

A Geological Tour of Tumbledown Mountain, Maine, by Robert G. Marvinney

Bald Mountain Washington Plantation Maine

Geology of Bald Mountain

Geology of Bald Mountain, Washington Plantation, Maine, by Robert G. Marvinney

Mountain Climbing in Maine

This pamphlet was published around 1940 by the Maine Development Commission. It prominently features several views of what is now Mt Blue State Park and the work recently completed there. Opposite page 1 we see the new road up to the Center Hill overlook, with Tumbledown in the distance. Extensive open fields are visible along Center Hill Road below. On page 36 (bottom photo) we see the new shelter and parking lot, again set against the Tumbledown range. Look at those new cars! The photo on page 6 shows the new overlook across Center Hill Road from park headquarters and the field so popular with blueberryers today. Also of interest is the view of Tumbledown from the west, somewhere along the Byron Notch Road (page 9), an open view impossible today.

We thought it might be interesting for you to read the old trail descriptions too. Note the mentions of landmarks now missing, as well as now grown up fields, and the evolution of the name of Parker Ridge. But don’t use these for trail directions – use a current guide.

Green Bowl
“The impression…is of being in a huge green bowl. The bowl is formed by Kinney’s Head, Gleason Mountain, Wilder Hill, Bald Mountain, Saddleback, Houghton Ledge, Mount Blue, and Tumbledown and Jackson, the mountains that form the major watershed for the Androscoggin and Kennebec Rivers. Solid unbroken forest is all around me, stretching far beyond my vision, for hundreds of miles.”

Ecological Aspects of The Mt. Blue/Tumbledown Project by Pamela Prodan

History

When the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance was organized in 2000, only the Mt. Blue and Center Hill trails were on public land or protected. Nonetheless, many people thought that Tumbledown Mountain was part of Mt Blue State Park. Now, virtually all the Tumbledown range trails have been protected, and Mt Blue State Park has been significantly expanded. Here’s how it happened.

In late 1999 more than 90,000 acres in the region had been put on the market. Nearly half of the land in Mexico, Dixfield, Carthage and Weld suddenly was for sale and several thousand acres of it were right next to Mt Blue State Park. 

Just prior to this, another 4,000 acres south of Tumbledown had been heavily cut and plans filed to split it into 40 acre lots. Many people became concerned about what would happen to so much of the land in the area. Some of the 90,000 acres had already been sold and were being heavily cut and resold in smaller parcels for houselots.

Some of the park’s hiking and ski trails depended on access to parts of this land, particularly in the Hedgehog Hill area, and it comprised a major part of park views. People throughout the region and the state traditionally counted on access to the land for hiking, hunting and fishing, and its forests also provided a reliable timber base for the local economy.

Tumbledown in distance

Responding to these surprising – and some might say, shocking – developments, many area residents met in December 1999 to explore options for protecting Mt Blue State Park and the mountains of the Weld area from development and fragmentation. In 2000 we organized the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance. We worked with the State to develop a conservation plan to protect critical areas and guarantee public access and the continuation of forestry activities. The plan included a combination of fee purchase and purchase of conservation easements. Fee purchases were made for critical areas, while the easements enabled lands to remain in private ownership while guaranteeing public access, preventing subdivision and development, and promoting sound forest management.  

Shortly after TCA became organized, another 12,000 acres in Township 6 came up for sale. The tops of Tumbledown and Little Jackson Mountains were in this parcel. We hadn’t started any too soon!

Since 1999, three phases of land protection – the Mt. Blue-Tumbledown Project – have been completed. The Tumbledown Conservation Alliance, in partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the Maine Department of Conservation, helped raise $8 million to protect 26,000 acres in this region.

The Land for Maine’s Future Program and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Forest Legacy Program provided significant public funding, but essential to the project were almost 1000 private donors, who generously gave nearly $600,000 in matching funds to help preserve favorite hikes and scenic vistas, to maintain the integrity of wildlife habitat and clear waters and to sustain the forest economy.

When TCA began ten years ago we said we would be here for the long run, not just helping to raise purchase money, but also for trail maintenance and management of the protected land.

Tumbledown Sunset Panorama 1

Founders of the Tumbledown Conservation Alliance included:

-The Webb Lake Association

-Foothills Land Conservancy

-Friends of Maine State Parks

-Western Maine Audubon Society

-The Appalachian Mountain Club

-Local and seasonal residents

-Students from the University of Maine at Farmington

Latest News

The Bureau of Parks and Lands is applying for Land and Water Conservation Fund grant awards for repair of the […]
On Saturday February 3rd from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm at 299 Center Hill Rd, Weld will be the annual […]

Historical Photos

Historic Weld area Photographs in the Library of Congress. These photos are in the Library of Congress’ FSA/OWI (Farm Security Administration/ Office of War Information) black & white collection, the same collection that has photos by such famous photographers as Dorothea Lange. They can be viewed on the Library of Congress online Catalog. Look for FSA/OWI, or search for one of the numbers below at the end of the description. All four were taken in Weld, Maine in the early to mid 1930s.

As part of an effort to provide relief to distressed rural areas during the Great Depression, the federal government bought land in Weld in the 1930s; it subsequently gave it to the state for a park. WPA or CCC crews built shelters and roads. You can see some circa 1940 photographs in the pamphlet  “Mountain Climbing in Maine”. A photographer might have been sent at that time to document the area.

TCA Logo

contact information

Tumbledown Conservation Alliance
PO Box 24
Weld, ME
04285
Tumbledown Mountain by Meridith Minear
Tumbledown Mountain by Meridith Minear