Maine occupies the northern part of the Appalachian Highlands region of the United States. Its physical features were determined by continental glaciers more than 10,000 years ago, which eroded and smoothed the hills and in places leveled the land. When the glaciers receded, they dammed rivers to created lakes, and left widespread debris in such forms as moraines, eskers, and drumlins.
I thought I would briefly introduce you to the wide variety of gentle mountains in Maine, which
range from the eastern White Mountains to the peaks of the Rangeley area to the remote Baxter State Park. Within these regions lie 14 of New England’s 4,000 foot peaks.
Geographically, Maine itself is divided into three major regions: the Seaboard Lowland, Longfellow Mountains, and New England Upland. The scattered Longfellow Mountains, the state’s major range, are considered an extension of New Hampshire’s White Mountains. In
1959, they were named by the Maine Legislature for Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet and native son. This range is composed of widely-separated, low, glacier-rounded mountains extending northeastward across much of the state. Mount Katahdin, Maine’s highest peak, rises to 5,267 feet above sea level. The other major summits are also fairly low, between 3,000 and 4,200 feet.
The Longfellow Mountains contain the terminus of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, a 2,155 mile footpath that runs from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mt. Katahdin in Baxter State Park in Maine. Maine is considered by many to have the most difficult, rugged, and beautiful part of the trail.
New Hampshire’s Mount Washington was originally considered to be the northern terminus of
the Appalachian Trail, but Myron Avery, the first 2000 mile hiker of the trail, spearheaded the effort to carry the trail across Maine. His efforts included creating locations for camp sites, measuring the original 269 miles of trail, and recording data on the path. In 1937 the trail in Maine was connected to the trail south to Georgia by the Civilian Conservation Corps, thus accomplishing Avery’s goal. The Trail is a little different today than it was in 1937, although 180 miles of it were relocated in 1968 to enhance its appeal.
The mountainous region of the Maine Appalachian Trail amazes everyone who walks its path. For anyone who’s into hiking, Maine is a great place to visit.
Don’t forget to make your best guess (or several guesses) as to which two places of A-Z I’ll be visiting this summer; the winner(s) get a free book!