Blow-Me-Down Mountain Trail Improved
From July 31 - August 1, IAT Chairperson Paul Wylezol, Recording Secretary Caroline Swan, and Maine hiker Loren Johnston did a 2-day hike in the Blow Me Down Mountains to add trail markers to the IATNL Blow-Me-Down Mountain Trail, and look for route improvements and additions.
The trek began at the parking lot of the Copper Mine To Cape Trail, a partnership of the IATNL and OBIEC (Outer Bay of Islands Enhancement Committee). After climbing to the 1650 ft (500 meter) vertical mark, the Blow-Me-Down Mountain Trail intersects the 2100 ft (640 meter) C2C Trail, turns south and heads to Simms Gulch on the south side of the hills.
Along the way, the trio encountered George Perry and his friend Malcolm, local geo-cachers up early on the trail, updating their caches and enjoying the beautiful summer morning.
(left to right, Caroline Swan, George Perry, Malcolm, and Loren Johnston)
Turning south at the intersection, the Blow-Me-Down Mountain Trail meanders through a mountaintop valley,
then along a small pond and up over a low hill,
until it reaches a nice rest spot with a good view of Old Man's Pond and the rust-colored mantle above Blow-Me-Down Brook (at far right).
After lunch and a little more trail marking
and moose watching (12 in all)
the hiking trio reached the upper Blow-Me-Down Brook, where they turned east and headed down stream, looking for a suitable swimming pool and river crossing to reroute the trail.
1.5 kms (1 mile) of rock hopping and stream crossing led to a beautiful and crystal clear series of pools and waterfalls, with the first at an ideal crossing point with a good campsite. After setting up tents and taking a refreshing dip,
Paul and Caroline scouted out the stream crossing and possible links with the existing BMD trail route.
After a good night sleep and early morning swim, the trio broke camp and followed the upper right bank down stream, which provided great views of the cascading waterfalls and tranquil pools.
Before long they were at the edge of Blow-Me-Down Gulch, with its geologic mix of earth's mantle (rust-colored peridotite) and oceanic crust (mostly gray gabbro).
Descending to the valley floor below, they were afforded good views of 200 ft (60 meter) Blow-Me-Down Falls,
which they later swam under in a 50+ ft (15+ meter) wide clear deep pool.
From the falls to the Blow Me Down Brook Trail parking lot, the trek is approx 10 kms (6 miles).
However as the day was sunny and warm, it required approx 4 more hours - and 4 more dips! - before the trio was back to one of the two vehicles that made the trip.