Route: Donnell Range (ME)

Submitted by smkerr on Sat, 05/23/2020 - 04:41pm
Location
Maine, US
Distance
22 km
Vertical Gain
1130 m
Description

This ~13.5 mile route connects Schoodic Mountain to Tunk Mountain, via a small variety of trails within the Donnell Public Reserved Land system.

In excess of 3,700ft of vertical gain, it summits the following peaks: Schoodic (1080ft) Black (1094ft) Caribou (960ft) Catherine (962ft) Tunk (1140ft). The views of MDI, Atlantic Ocean, and surrounding lakes combined with boreal forests and wide views make the area well worth a visit. My hope is that this route allows a more comprehensive introduction to the area and its many attractions, along with the considerable challenge.

The route begins at a 3-way trail junction at the base of Schoodic, to the SW. To access the start point, take the Downeast Sunrise Trail to the unnamed connector trail towards Donnell Pond Rd. After ~.2mi, bear left and continue ~.6mi to the junction.

From the 3-way junction, the route ascends Schoodic via an ATV trail which climbs to the notch between Schoodic Nubble and Schoodic Mtn. From there, it follows east to the summit. Descend the eastern face, following signs for Schoodic Beach. From there, begin following signs for Black Mountain. Take a left turn from the cliffs to finish a climb to the summit, then begin following signs for the Caribou Loop Trail, bearing N.

Follow the Caribou Mountain ridge, following signs for Dynamite Brook Rd. .8mi from Caribou Mtn summit, watch for the sign indicating Catherine Mountain. Take the trail E to the summit, turning around at the large boulder cairn (will be obvious) and return to complete an out-and-back. From there, continue NW to Dynamite Brook Rd. Take a right, following the road NE to Rt. 182. Take a right, then an immediate left to the Tunk trailhead. Ascend via the main trail to the summit, then return to the trailhead to finish.

I'd like to optimize this route, so any suggestions from those more familiar with the area (or anyone with ideas) are welcome.

NOTE: I've unofficially titled this group of Northern Appalachian Mountains as the Donnell Range - they do not have an official collective name, but are all located on the Donnell Public Reserved Land, so the name seemed appropriate.

GPS Track
Images

Comments

I am thinking of trying route this with my son during the first week of June 2021.