Post by LAC member, Abby Gordon
On Wednesday, seventeen LAC women took advantage of a beautifully sunny day to hike Tumbledown Mountain. This easy day hike is near the town of Weld in Franklin County.
We spotted cars so we could start at the Loop Trailhead (about 5.6 miles down Byron Road) and finish up at the Brook Trailhead (about 4.3 miles down the dirt Bryon Road). Both trailheads have small parking lots and there’s plenty of parking available along the road as well.
Make no mistake about it, while the Loop Trail is only about 1.5 miles, it’s straight up! It’s quite challenging but we were all up for a solid workout and the views from the top were worth the work! In one section of the Loop Trail, you need to climb up and through a rock tunnel with a few iron rungs to assist. It’s not for the faint of heart or those not up for a bit of scrambling and creative maneuvering. Some found it easier to pass their backpacks on ahead as the space is tight. We passed a couple of men who were hiking with their dogs but we could not figure out how on earth they managed to lift their dogs through the tunnel. All I know is it involved ropes, a good bit of patience and very cooperative dogs!
We followed a ridge to the Tumbledown Pond where we stopped for lunch and the more adventurous among us (not me!) went swimming. The blueberries along the trail were already starting to ripen so I snuck a few of those along with my lunch. We followed the gentler Brook Trail down to our cars. Including a snack and lunch/swim break, we were on the trail for about 4 ½ hours.
Despite the 2-hour drive from Portland, these Tumbledown trails make for a challenging and beautiful loop that’s well worth the effort. The expansive views from the ridgeline make you feel like you’re far from civilization and near the top of the world!