Thursday, May 30, 2013

Hiking Mt. Zircon in Rumford

White Mountains, NH. Click picture to enlarge. 
Bailey and I hiked Mt. Zircon on Memorial Day. What a day... blue skies, cooling winds, and near one-hundred mile views. As you can see, the White Mountains were snow covered.

Most of the woodlands around Mt. Zircon are now owned by the Poland Springs Co. In the 1800s, the Mt Zircon water company was known as Moontide Springs. The so-called medicinal waters attracted people "from away"--folks we Mainers like to call flatlanders.

Back in the 1960s when I was a boy, Mt. Zircon bottled soda made all of us local kids smile. In my neighborhood, we bought our sodas at Potvin's Store just a 100 yards from my home. This little penny candy store had a red Coca Cola ice water cooler; that ice water kept those sodas chilled perfectly... Mt Zircon Grape, Birch Beer, and Orange were my favorite flavors.

Concord Pond, Peru ME
The old Moontide Springs spring house, now wrapped in barbed wire to keep out people and wild things, is still at the base of the hiking trail. The 50-room hotel is long gone. Up on top of the mountain, the fire watch tower has been toppled so hikers won't scale it and put themselves in danger. It'd be great if the forest service would take apart the metal structure and remove it.  

The last time I hiked Mt Zircon was 10-15 years ago. Back then, I mountain biked from the Rumford Point side of the mountain and then tried to ride up the hiking trail. That was not happening. I pushed the bike as far as I could and then hiked the last 15 minutes up to the summit.

Mt Zircon is 2 miles outside of downtown Rumford just off the South Rumford road. The round trip hike is about 2 hours.
Rumford and the Androscoggin River

Mt. Blue in Weld ME

"Take the picture and give me a treat, Human... please.

Western Maine mountains