The Laurentide Ice Sheet covered Maine during the Last Glacial Maximum (peak of the last ice age cycle).  The ice was so thick, it depressed the land below modern sea level by hundreds of feet.  Maine contains bedrock that has been molded by ice, deposits left by the ice, and shorelines and deltas that formed when the land was depressed below sea level.  Many of the hikes, lakes, and range of habitats would not be the same without the glacially modified landscape.



The view from Old Speck Mountain in western Maine shows rounded mountain tops.


Grafton Notch in western Maine is a beautiful example of a u-shaped valley carved in part by glaciers.

Glaciers are known to carve U-shaped valleys, whereas rivers carve V-shaped valleys.  Route 26 and the Old Speck parking lot are visible for scale.


Cat on striations.

Cat on striations.

I carry the cat around with me to use as a scale.  Behind the cat is glacially striated (scratched) bedrock.  The natural bedding in the bedrock is horizontal, whereas the striations go from upper right to lower left.  This photograph was taken near Belfast, Maine.

Check out the next page: Maine’s Downeast Ice Age Trail


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