There's a hike in northwestern Maine that has intrigued me for a long time. It has nothing to do with its level of difficulty or part of a bigger network.

It's a hike that doubles as a somber history lesson. It's the B-52 Flying Fortress crash site on Elephant Mountain in Piscataquis County.

1963 B-52 Elephant Mountain Crash

In January of 1963, a B-52 left Westover Air Force Base in Massachusetts on a training flight. While flying low-level in Maine, the crew experienced strong turbulence and the plane broke apart.

Six crewmen would go down with the plane, and another would die on ejection. Two crew members managed to survive the freezing night before being rescued the following day.

The Elephant Mountain Crash Site

The debris field primarily covers a few acres on the southern slope of Elephant Mountain. Much of the plane is still on the premises. The stabilizer sits over a mile away.

The hike has become a very popular one. About 15 miles from downtown Greenville, the hike is easy to find and get to, depending on the time of year and condition of roads.

Google Maps
Google Maps

While the pieces of plane were once removed, they have been returned as a memorial to those who lost their lives. Visitors are strongly asked to leave everything where it is. It's important to remain respectful to a living monument.

Below are some of the powerful images from the site. Thanks to Erin from Norway, we can see the debris field and understand how powerful the memorial truly is.

Erin also suggested to bring an American flag if you do decide to visit the site. Folks tend to leave those flags in remembrance to those who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Thank you to Erin for allowing us to tell this part of history with her powerful images. And thank you to all who serve and have made the ultimate sacrifice.

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Just south of Moosehead Lake lies a memorial that some may not know about. The memorial is a short hike in, right on the southern slope of Elephant Mountain in Piscataquis County.

The memorial is the crash site of a B-52 Stratofortress that went down on a training mission in 1963.

The site is now a popular hiking destination for folks to learn of its history and to pay respect to the seven men who lost their lives that fateful day.

A thank you to Erin from Norway, who took these very powerful images of the site, and allowing us to tell the story through her work.

Gallery Credit: Chris Sedenka

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