Posted on June 10, 2019 and last updated on July 14, 2019

B-52 Bomber Memorial on Elephant Mountain, near Greenville

QUICK TRAIL FACTS

  • Preserve Size: Not sure
  • Trail Mileage: .25 mile
  • Pets: yes
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Sights: remnants of a 1963 plane crash

This site is listed as a walk in some of my literature on the Greenville area. But I didn’t experience it really as a walk, more like an extraordinary and unique historical site that you can wander slowly through. Yet, because it does make it into so much of the local walking brochures of this region, I’m going to include it.

In 1962, a U.S. B-52 bomber with a nine-person crew crashed into the side of Elephant Mountain during a blizzard after running into turbulence and mechanical trouble. Only two people survived, and it’s miraculous that they did. Because when you visit the site, you can see that the plane exploded on impact into a thousand pieces over a half-mile area. Supposedly each piece of the plane, after being removed for the investigation, was returned to the exact spot it landed.

After driving a very long time on rough dirt roads, you can walk a .25-mile circuit through the plane’s debris field. People have placed wreaths and flags on the broken pieces. There is not footpath to the mountain summit.

Directions: From Greenville, drive north on Lily Bay Road for 7 miles. Turn right onto Prong Pond Road and drive 3.7 miles. Bear left at a fork. In another 1.7 miles, cross a bridge and take your next left .1 miles later. The parking area is just under two miles from this point. There should be plane signs up helping you find your way through this maze of back roads, which can be in fairly rough shape. It helps to have a tough car.

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Let me know if you have any trail updates or corrections!