Burnt Meadow Mountains

The Burnt Meadow Mountains, along with nearby Pleasant Mountain in Denmark and Bridgton, are unique geological features in Western Maine. Most of the mountains and hills of Western Maine are associated with the coming together of North America, Europe, and Africa to form the supercontinent Pangea. They consist mainly of regional metamorphic schists and gneisses, as well as white granite pegmatite (granite with very large mineral grains) from magma squeezed up into the surrounding metamorphic rock from this compression 400 to 200 million years ago. The Ossipee Mountains, a nearly perfectly circular mountain range 16 miles away in New Hampshire is a ring dike – the uplifted and exposed rocks of a collapsed volcanic caldera. The smaller, oval-shaped Red Hill in Moultonborough, New Hampshire (West of the Ossipee Mountains), Green Mountain in Effingham, New Hampshire, Burnt Meadow Mountains, and Pleasant Mountain (East and Northeast of the Ossipee Range), are all essentially “mini” ring dikes associated with the breakup of the supercontinent Pangea. They all contain rhyolite – chemically the same as granite – except that its individual minerals cannot be seen, as rhyolite is the result of lava that made it to the surface, where granite is the result of magma that remains underground, cools over a long period of time, and through uplift and erosion of surrounding rock, eventually becomes exposed at Earth’s surface.

Trails go two two of the peaks:

More on Ring Dikes: