Can you name this lakeside village and the mountain on the far shore?
Photograph by Benjamin Williamson
For more than 10,000 years, the mountain that seems to rise up from the golden waters of this lake has held a special allure. The Wabanaki considered it sacred, and some tribes traveled great distances to collect its hard, volcanic rhyolite, which they chiseled into arrowheads and other tools. In 1857, Penobscot guide Joe Polis told his client, Henry David Thoreau, that the huge stony mound was a cow moose lying on her side, slain by a mighty hunter. Thoreau was impressed with the moose’s precipitous head, the 763-foot cliff he called “a dangerous place to try the steadiness of your nerves.” Maybe it is, but the cliff has always attracted the adventurous, including a teenage Theodore Roosevelt, who climbed it in 1872, joining other wealthy rusticators at a tony hotel at its base. That hotel stuck around until the 1960s, although its
18-hole golf course, New England’s second oldest, is still attracting players today. Hikers still come too, of course, usually by ferry from the little town in the foreground. Four trails lead to the summit, and the most strenuous climbs along the open ledges, offering views of the magnificent lake. At the top, it gets even better. Looking out from a retired fire tower, a hiker can see mountains and unbroken forest in all directions.
We’ll feature our favorite letter in an upcoming issue — and send the winner a Down East wall calendar.
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For more than 60 years, NRCM has been leading efforts to protect Maine’s special places. Our Explore Maine map is your guide to finding beautiful locations to explore along Maine’s coast, lakes, rivers, and mountains. Click here to begin exploring.