Summary

Size:

Roughly 40 acres

Trails:

3 trails totaling 0.8 miles

Features:

Multiple panoramic views of islands and oceans, from northwest all the way around to the east; interesting bedrock geology; walkable shoreline; and very high biodiversity in a small area.

Be Aware:

All the summits have near vertical dropoffs. The stone dam crossing on the Shore Trail is submerged for roughly an hour on either side of high tide. Consult the tide chart, posted on the kiosk near the trail head to avoid getting stranded.

Guidelines:

The preserve is open for non-motorized passive recreation during daylight hours. Dogs are allowed, but please keep them leashed. Please do not hike on the right-of-way to the private residence.

Trail maps are located in the kiosk at VLT, or you may download a map and directions here.

Tip Toe Mountain Preserve

Any discussion of these high lands on Crockett Point has to begin with their turbulent geologic history. At least three different sequences of volcanic activity in the Devonian period caused multiple lava flows and earthquakes. In fact, the section that we call "the Gorge" is actually a fault line, where the earth's crust obligingly parted just enough to fit today's Tip Toe Mountain Road in the resulting gap. 

In human history, the geology continued to play a part. Native Americans collected rock from the shore here to shape into projectile points, and the very name "Tip Toe Mountain" is said to refer to the Wabanaki people using the mountain as a place to keep a stealthy eye on colonial boat traffic in times of simmering tenstions.

Today the site is covered by a mature spruce and fir forest, but an 1858 map shows a mix of forest and pastureland here. The trail to the shore crosses the remnants of a stone-and-timber dam, probably built by colonial era farmers to create salt marsh pasture for their livestock.