50 Wilderness Sites Across America
On Blueberry Ridge, looking southwest (Courtesy of Sean Munson via Flickr)
A blueberry bush in Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness (Courtesy of Sean Munson via Flickr)
A waterfall along Caribou Brook trail (Courtesy of Sean Munson via Flickr)
The summit of Caribou-Speckled Mountain (Courtesy of Sean Munson via Flickr)

Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness

Spectacular fall colors, moose and stunning vistas

smithsonian.com

Location: Maine
Size: 11,233 acres
Year Designated: 1990
Fast Fact: Maine’s largest wilderness area.

Maine’s largest wilderness area gets its name from two mountains within its boundaries: Caribou Mountain and Speckled Mountain. Speckled Mountain is so named for the hardwoods which dot its slopes and turn vibrant colors in the fall, transforming the mountain into a speckled, multicolored jewel. The other mountain is named for the caribou that roamed throughout Maine until the early 20th century (excessive hunting and disease exterminated them from the state nearly 100 years ago). The last wild caribou in the region was shot on Caribou Mountain by two brothers in 1854; the brothers' names are still carved on top of the mountain.

Though visitors won’t find any wild caribou roaming the wilderness, they will find coyotes, bears and moose. The Appalachian Mountain Club named Caribou-Speckled Mountain Wilderness one of the best federal wilderness areas for hiking.

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