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Tumbledown and Little Jackson via Parker Ridge Trail

moderateYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray Star(30)
Weld, Maine

Tumbledown and Little Jackson via Parker Ridge Trail is a 7.5 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Weld, Maine that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash.

Length 7.5 mi Elevation gain 2,982 ft Route type Loop

Dogs on leash

Hiking

Forest

Views

Wild flowers

Wildlife

Over grown

Off trail

Description
Waypoints (0)

This hike starts at the Brook Trail trailhead off of Byron Road, ME. Two trails diverge from this trailhead. Take the Little Jackson Connector trail, marked with blue blazes, 1.1 miles to the next junction. This is the junction with Parker Ridge Trail. You can take Parker Ridge 1.8 miles to Tumbledown Pond, if desired. To reach Little Jackson, continue 0.1 miles past this junction, crossing a creek to reach an old logging/tote road. Take a sharp left onto this road. There is a small rock staircase and sign at this turn. The brown metal sign that noted this trail was stolen two years ago. Travel 1.2 miles, following blue blazes, to the junction with Pond Link Trail on the left. Continue slightly right on the Little Jackson Mountain Trail 1.4 miles to the summit. Little Jackson Trail is amply marked with blue blazes and carins. From this point, despite what this map indicates, you must backtrack down to the Pond Link junction. There has not been an officially maintained trail that links Little Jackson and Tumbledown for at least a decade. Any “trails” followed between the Little Jackson and Tumbledown peaks should be treated as a bushwhack with requisite navigational skills. Once back at Pond Link, take this blue blazed connector trail 1.1 miles to Tumbledown Pond. From the pond, continue 0.6 miles on Tumbledown Mountain Trail to the junction with Loop Trail. Proceed past this junction 0.2 miles, following blue blazes, to the summit. Retrace your steps back to the pond. At this point you have the option of returning via Brook Trail (1.8 miles), or Parker Ridge and Little Jackson Connector (1.8 and 1.1 miles respectively) back to the trailhead and parking.

Weather
UV Index
Daylight
Reviews (30)
Photos (459)
Recordings (18)
Completed (83)
Ron Tebbetts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 6, 2020
HikingRockySnow

5/6/20. First hike of the year. I started from the Morgan Rd. Trailhead. Byron Rd had just been graded and was in great shape. Morgan Rd is a single lane dirt road and was in great shape. I proceeded up the trail to Little Jackson Mt. Trail was in great shape with only one tree down BUT was snow covered (2-4 feet) on the top third of the trail. Snow was frozen so I was able to walk on the surface but wished I had brought my microspikes. I tried to head up to Jackson but the snow was too deep and the trail is not very well marked. It appeared that no one else has tried Jackson so I didn't have tracks to follow. Top of Little Jackson is mostly snow free and the views were spectacular. Windy but not too cold. I then proceeded down the trail on the backside of Little Jackson down to the pond. This trail is not marked well at all and I ended up wandering around a bit as the snow was up to 4 feet deep in areas and was softening up so I ended up postholing a lot. Glad I had my Garmin InReach Mini which allowed me to get back on the trail. I also carry a compass and paper map so I wasn't too concerned. Tried walking in the moose footprints but still fell through a lot. I finished by taking the Parker Ridge trail. Lots of tracks so I was able to manuever down this trail without a lot of trouble. Only a few slippery spots. If you want a good workout, go up the Parker Ridge trail instead of the Little Jackson trail. It will kick your butt. All in all, a very good workout today. If you plan to do this trail in the next 3-4 weeks, bring snowshoes!

Cassie Regner
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 11, 2019
Hiking

One of my favorites to hike and camp on!

Kyle Payson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 8, 2019
Hiking

Had a great time doing this loop a couple of months ago, went up the loop trail to the west peak first and went around up to the Tumbledown summit and over to the Little Jackson trail and back down on the Brooke trail. Super fun bushwack to get to the Little Jackson summit, we got lost at the start of the climb but after that hiccup the path was pretty easy to make out and there were plenty of cairns to guide us. View from Little Jackson was great. Would definitely recommend this hike

Billy Bouchard
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarSeptember 5, 2019
Hiking

actually you can take Morgan Road and go straight up little Jackson and around back down to the pond and back up tumble down and back down the trail head

Lauren Remington
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 21, 2019
Hiking

NOTE!! This is an inaccurate map and is not a valid hike. There has not been an official trail that directly connects the peaks of Little Jackson and Tumbledown for more than a decade. Any “trails” between these peaks should be treated as a bushwhack with requisite navigational skills. Official Tumbledown trails, of which there are several, are clearly marked with blue blazes and/or carins. Anything else was constructed unofficially and is therefore considered unreliable. This link has the official trail map: https://www.maine.gov/dacf/parksearch/PropertyGuides/Maps/FullSize/mtbluetumbledownmap.pdf Alltrails: please update your map using this official map. Also, the trailhead for all but the Loop Trail is located off Byron Rd. You make no turns off of Byron Rd to access the trailheads. Note that Byron Rd is not maintained (not plowed) from November to May. Morgan Rd is not accessible by vehicle.

Isaac Vaccaro
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2019
Hiking

6/16/19 - A friend and I tried to do the loop pictured here clockwise. We made it to the bald peak across from the lake easily, but on our way down around the far side of the pond we must have missed a left turn because we ended up looping around the pond to the top of the Parker Ridge Trail, despite following what looked like a good trail. We decided not to double back to try to summit Little Jackson, and instead had a good swim and took Parker Ridge back to the trail head. A total of 10 miles on my watch. We will be back to investigate what we did wrong but it was a beautiful hike!

M M
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJuly 14, 2019
HikingMuddyOver grownRocky

This is a wonderful hike, great payoff in views for one that is relatively short. I recommend doing it clockwise, otherwise you'll be coming down the steepest sections. The section that leaves the main trail and heads off to Little Jackson is a bit hard to find if you aren't looking at where it is on the map, once you find it though it is well marked with cairns until you get to the wooded portion to start up Little Jackson. We lost the trail once or twice at this point, but quickly backtracked and found small flagging tape markers. As you get higher there are cairns again and the trail gets easier to follow. It is pretty overgrown in spots, I assume not many people take this route and it must not be officially maintained anymore? Despite that, it was an amazing time and I will definitely do it again sometime and probably camp at the pond.

View M's Recording
Mindy Rugg
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 3, 2019
HikingBugsMuddyScramble

6/3/19 - Took the Brook Trail up to the pond. Then took the Pond link trail to Little Jackson Trail. This trail is definitely less traveled but easy to navigate. We definitely lost elevation with this connector trail, one must go down to go up on this one. Little Jackson gets fairly steep. Trail is washed out and muddy near the top as well but I’m sure later in the season it will be fine. Once we get to the open ledge you can look up to the right at Jackson Mountain but littles summit is to the left. Open face ledge walking views are beautiful all the way up. At the top there is a little area where someone built a little hiddy hole to get out of the wind. Straight off the summit if you go to the side of the ledges you can see tumbledown and the pond. On the way down it’s a little rough on the knees. Took the little Jackson connector trail back to the trail head. All in all the loop we took was 9 miles, moderate to hard grade at times. 360 views at the top make it worth it.

View Mindy's Recording
Ron Tebbetts
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 3, 2019
HikingRocky

6/4 Solo hike. Did the loop in a counter clockwise direction. Not a bad ascent to the point between Little Jackson and Jackson Mtn. Took a side trip to Jackson Mtn. Not much to see except for a small building and a helicopter landing platform. Lots and Lots of moose scat on this trail but no moose sighting. The ascent to Little Jackson is moderate at best and well marked with cairns. The descent from Little Jackson to the base of Tumbledown was much more difficult. Glad I was going down and not up. Trail up to Tumbledown was again moderate and the return loop was not well marked. Got turned around a couple of times looking for the trail. You are above treeline for most of the time from Tumbledown to well past Tumbledown Pond. Took me 7 hours with about 1 hour of stops and searching for the trail. Only saw 4 people at Tumbledown Pond, otherwise, I had the place to myself. Little bit of snow still on trail to Jackson Mtn. If you want a more vigorous hike, do the loop in a clockwise fashion.

Anne Kornkven
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarMay 4, 2019
HikingSnow

Great trail but bad time of year for it. Lots of soft snow between Tumbledown and Little Jackson. Got lost a lot because of poor trail marking and spent a lot of time waist deep in soft snow even with snow shoes. Definitely will go back in a month or so when the snow is completely gone.

View Anne's Recording
John Bryant
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 22, 2018
Hiking

An awesome hike. The trail in the wooded section between Tumbledown and Little Jackson could use some work. A very good day if the weather cooperates.

Dave Herzer Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 17, 2018
Hiking

So why did I not discovery this hike for 30 years?? My new favorite hike in Maine. Best views for the longest time of any hike in the State. Once you get above the tree line, it's hours of hiking with spectacular scenery as far as the eye can see. Not just uninterrupted views, but a variety: rolling hills, lakes, peaks, and cool rock formations - not to mention the challenging trails. Seemed that there as a new fascinating thing to see or navigate at every turn, making this long, exhausting hike entertaining enough to keep you plodding along. I would categorize the loop as a whole as "hard," with moderate and easy sections. If you complete the entire thing, you will remark at how tired and sore you are but not be able to put your finger on why. No ass-kicking, memorable steeps for long distances or anything that will traumatize you, but the up and down never ends once you get to the tree line and take the ridges. The downhill side of Little Jackson as you head towards Tumbledown gets steep fast and begins the tough portion of the hike. Lots of fun climbing up and down rocks. That loop around the back of the Pond is wild terrain. Nice to be on a trial that someone is not striving to cultivate into ADA complaint. You will lose the trail more than once, I promise you, so check your AllTrails position frequently any time you dip down into the tree line again, which happens several times. Take a back-up battery for your phone because you will drain the battery even in airplane mode trying to relocate the trail and taking lots of photos. Losing the trail is particularly easy in the Fall when the leaves are down and cover the worn path to make it blend into the wilds. Lots of dipping down into the tree line and then back up to exposed rock sections of the trail. Not actually winding, but tiring for sure. The Pond even this time of year is disappointingly crowded, but if you take the loop depicted here from Morgan Road up to Little Jackson Mountain, you will see few people until you clear Tumbledown and are nearer the lake. Parker Ridge Trail seems to be the "highway" most visiting the Pond take up and back down. Can't wait to do this one again and camp overnight. DON'T MISS IT!

Heidi MacIntyre Statile
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 8, 2018
Hiking

Absolutely amazing hike!

Isabel Ramirez-Burnett
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarAugust 11, 2018
Hiking

Many areas of this trail are on the hard side of moderate. A great trail with the most amazing views at the top. Some of the elevations over rocks are hard for short folks.

Cindy Carraway-Wilson
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 6, 2018
Hiking

This was an amazing hike. The trail between Little Jackson and Tumbledown (the unofficial part) was totally unmarked and difficult to follow when you were in tree line. The area had heavy rains two days before we arrived and some of the washouts looks like trails... We used the app to get back onto the correct track - life saver! I would have to agree with others about the dogs. I have two Siberian huskies and while they enjoyed most of the hike, the scrambles up ledges were eventually a bit much for them. Morgan Road to Little Jackson was fine for them and the Parker Ridge Trail return was pretty good. That segment would have been better for them had they not been as tired as they were. I rarely tire them out on hikes!

Tom J
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMarch 13, 2018

I consider this to be one of the 10 best hikes in all of New England. I don't think there's another mountain in this part of the world that offers such amazing views of itself as Tumbledown. It is true that part of this trail is not well marked. The section that runs from the summit of Little Jackson down to the north peak of Tumbledown is not markes because it is not official and is not maintained. It is much more than a bushwack, but can be follow once you've found it. There a review here that says not to bring a dog. This is not accurate. The "Loop Trail" is not dog friendly (although it is not actually a loop, while this trail is a loop, which is likely the source of confusion.) I had my dog with me and had a blast. This is a difficult trail due to its length, verticle gains and losses, and navigation. I cannot recommend it to someone who is not a comfortable hike AND familiar with the mountain already.

Connie Copp
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarSeptember 29, 2017

we went up loop trail do not recommend taking a dog lots of very steep rocks and the chimney is impossible with out some helping dog friendly people. otherwise great not an easy hike.

Kristen Cianelli
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarGray StarJuly 17, 2017
Hiking
First to Review

Great hike up to Little Jackson. Planned to hike over to the pond however the trail was not well marked and we got significantly off trail! Be careful if taking this path.

Matt Wojciechowski
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarAugust 2, 2020
Hiking
View Matt's Recording
Rowan Carroll-Christopher
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 23, 2020
Hiking
View Rowan's Recording
Kristen Moody
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarJune 18, 2020
Hiking
View Kristen's Recording
Kaylee Burbank
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 3, 2020
Hiking
Holly Thebarge
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarGray StarGray StarJune 22, 2019
Hiking
Lisa Strainer
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarMay 27, 2019
Hiking
View Lisa's Recording
Dave Herzer Jr
Yellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarYellow StarOctober 14, 2018
Hiking
View Dave's Recording
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