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Environment and Outdoors

Camping Now Banned At Tumbledown Mountain Due To Damage, Litter

Maine Daily Life
Robert F. Bukaty
A group of campers from Quebec, Canada, pack up their sleeping gear after spending a night on a ledge on Tumbledown Mountain, Wednesday, July 26, 2017, near Weld, Maine. Mount Blue, a 3,192-foot peak, stands in the distance.

State park officials are closing Tumbledown Mountain to informal camping, saying that overnight partiers have been trashing the popular 3,000-foot peak in western Maine.

Bill Patterson, deputy director of the state Bureau of Parks and Lands says although there are no designated campsites there, there is a long history of informal camping. That accelerated during the pandemic and now, he says, it's gotten out of hand.

"There are clubs or just groups of friends that go up and use and leave it in good condition. But on almost any weekend there's a noticeable group with loud music, big coolers of beer, large fires. You've made a hard climb with your family to enjoy a beautiful view and the imagine finding that setting at the top," Patterson says.

Not to mention improperly buried human waste. Patterson says the bureau considered installing latrines and creating formal sites, but decided that was not practical for the remote, sensitive terrain. Instead, all camping is barred on the mountain, effective immediately. Patterson says rangers will place notice signs at trailheads and educate hikers along the route. Violators will be asked to leave, he says, while state Forest Service wardens will patrol the area regularly.