Hiking on Mount Agamenticus
The autumn colors in southern Maine can just about bowl you over, no question. And there aren’t many places better to enjoy the show than Mount Agamenticus—a spectacular natural vantage just a few minutes from the Admiral’s Inn doorstep!
Now, granted, “Mount A” is no Everest: We’re talking a swell of a summit a hair shy of 700 feet. But don’t let that modest elevation fool you: This noble summit commands an astonishing panoramic vista, including a pretty breathtaking sweep of fall-fired forests!
A Conservation Treasure—and a Whole Color Wheel
Speaking of forests, the 10,000-acre Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region protects the biggest tract of undeveloped coastal timber between the New Jersey Pine Barrens to the south and Acadia National Park to the north. The precious preserve boasts beautiful groves: from oak-pine-hickory woodlands to northern hardwood forests, which means there are birches, hickories, oaks, maples, and ashes aplenty to blaze and smolder for your seasonal enjoyment.
Besides wonderfully diverse broadleaf stands, there are other amazing habitats here at Agamenticus showing off primordial Maine, including an Atlantic white-cedar swamp and New England’s greatest concentration of vernal pools. The mountain’s an important headwater, too, for some of our local watersheds.
It’s not just the reds and oranges and yellows of the New England woods all around you, though. If it’s a clear day, the view from Mount Agamenticus (remnant of a 220-million-year-old volcano, mind you) sprawls for hundreds of miles. Up here, you can gaze seaward to Cape Elizabeth and the offshore Isles of Shoals, or take a gander at the Appalachians: The mighty White Mountains—including the stormy rooftop of New England, 6,288-foot Mount Washington—rumple up the northwestern horizon.
Eyes to the Skies
This time of year, you may also spot some southbound winged travelers: October often sees the tail end of the region’s significant raptor migration. Not those Jurassic Park monsters, mind you, but birds of prey: from kestrels and peregrine falcons to ospreys and bald eagles, not to mention a whole menagerie of hawks.
Outdoor Recreation on Mount A
The top-of-the-world prospect from Agamenticus’s crown is attraction enough, but if you’re into hiking, there are also miles of trails to explore that loop around First, Second, and Third hills. (Just this year, a mile-long fully accessible path opened up on the summit.)
A Little History
Check out the webpage of the Mount Agamenticus Conservation Region to learn more about the fascinating history behind this important landmark. An important part of indigenous geography, a source of old-growth white pine for British Navy shipbuilding, common pasture for sheep and cattle, platform for fire lookout towers (there’s still one in use today)—there are some remarkable stories up here.
Head for the Mountaintop!
We invite you to soak up the fall-color show with us here at the Admiral’s Inn, including up on our backyard peak, good ole’ Mount A!