Coal Mine on Dutch Mountain

Entrance to the abandoned coal mine

This past weekend we visited the abandoned coal mine on the top of Dutch Mountain.  We drove to the top of the mountain and parked at the juncture with a game commission road that leads back to the mine.  The game commission road is not in very good shape, so we decided to walk it.  The sun was bright and warm, and even at these higher elevations, the trees were beginning to bud.  Small streams and springs glistened in the sunlight as they meandered down through the forests.

We soon reached a large opening with gravel from the mining era; at the top is the old mine.  It isn’t much to see, but it is an intact mine shaft; you can walk back into it, but there is water flowing from within it, so it is wet.  The shaft is very shallow and just under the surface of the top of the mountain.  The mine shaft appears to be under a layer of conglomerate or sandstone.  The mine is a unique historical feature and a remnant of the mining that once occurred on top of these isolated mountains, which are now slowly returning back to forest.

Nearby is Red Brook, a more interesting hike featuring a gorge with boulders, old grades, and two waterfalls.  Old grades also explore the top of the mountain where there are vast bogs, swamps, and hemlock and balsam fir forests, which harbor incredible biodiversity and several rare species.

For a Google satellite image of the mine area, click here.

 

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