Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account. This 38.6-mile loop trail located in the Mahoosuc Mountain Range of Maine was completed in 2007. Spectacular views from Old Speck and Baldpate peaks, though getting down Old Speck and up the last .5 of Baldpate were probably the toughest bits of the whole loop. It is 4 miles from there, south on the AT back to Route 26 and the large trailhead parking lot in Grafton Notch State Park. Water is pretty abundant throughout, good mix of terrains, and the views are fantastic! I helped build the trails here in 1994! All reviews table rock screw auger falls grafton notch hiking trails beautiful area orange trail picnic area nice hike picnic lunch short hike large boulders cold mountain difficult trail scenic drive natural beauty great hiking moderate hike few hours cave speck moose loop. With all the great hiking in Maine, the Grafton Loop Trail is a rarity for the state: a multi-day backpacking loop on the outskirts of the White Mountains. With Old Speck Mountain topping out at 4,170 feet and Baldpate Mountain East Peak (3,780 ft.) and West Peak (3,662 ft.), a lot of occasional hikers might be intimidated. I get the impression that it does not see a lot of traffic as it is very overgrown, in places it felt like we were bushwhacking because the growth was so thick. Started at the south end and hiked 10.2 miles to Slide Mtn campground for the first night. All Rights Reserved. The trail leaves Route 26 and continues 17.1 miles to the summit of East Baldpate where it intersects with the Appalachian Trail. It is often used by camp and school groups. These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine! Southern Trailhead: The southern trailhead is 4.7 miles north on ME Route 26 from the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 26 in Newry. My friend Marc picked me up about 15 minutes later, but not until after two other vehicles had stopped to offer me rides. The tent site at Slide mountain consisted of privy. The trail is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, much of it … The Glencliff Trail ends at a junction with the Carriage Road in a sag between the South Peak and the main summit. The western portion of Grafton Notch State park offers two advanced hiking trails that offer excellent views of the mountain range and challenging terrain. Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a good deal of private land. Occasional problems finding a trail marker, but overall well marked. Appalachian Trail: Beaver River Road to Carolo Col Shelter, Baldpate from the East (Andover) Side via Cataracts Trail and Frye Brook Trail. This trail is not for the faint hearted as I have done it four times. Interested in learning more about trails in Maine? The western section of the Trail has been open for use since 2003. The trail then ascends Lightning Ledges for several good views. The renowned Grafton Notch Scenic Byway bisects the Park and several pull-offs highlight interesting natural features. Follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail south along Cascade Brook. There are four campsites that allow camping on this portion of the trail. The trail, which connects to the Appalachian Trail at Old Speck and the East Peak of Baldpate Mountain on either side of ME Route 26, highlights the natural features and mountain peaks of the area encircling Bear River Valley. Grafton Notch State Park and Mahoosuc Public Lands West Side of Route 26 •Old Speck Trail (7.6 miles, 7 hours, challenging) affords spectacular views from an open observation tower at the summit. We found the AT section to be the most strenuous, the view from Sunday River Whitecap to be the best, and the summit approach for Old Speck to be our favorite stretch. Worst part of the trail was the 0.6 miles of road you have to walk to return back to the parking lot. All of the streams were full and the trail had ankle deep water. Bridging the White Mountains and Southern Maine, The Mahoosuc Trail is part of a 31 mile section of the Appalachian Trail that runs from Gorham, NH to Grafton Notch in Maine. After Sunday River Whitecap, the trail skirts the slide on Slide Mountain, descends slightly into the upper Bull Branch (of the Sunday River) valley, and finally climbs the southern flank of Old Speck to reconnect with the AT. This byway follows along the Bear River for much of the trip. Please prepare accordingly. This is a tough little trail! From East: Success Pond Road leaves ME Route 26 about 2.8 miles north of the Appalachian Trail crossing in Grafton Notch State Park. About 0.1 mile before the southwest summit, the Woodsum Spur trail leaves the main trail to the right. Your log in attempt was not successful. Campsites near the Appalachian Trail, the Mahoosuc Range, Grafton State Park & Grafton Loop Trail. This potentially has the makings of a great trail, but the only views were on Sunday River Whitecap. The southern trailhead is located just north of where Eddy Road meets Route 26 in Newry, Maine. Eastern Section to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch: Oh and it was HOT!. Super very unfriendly trail abutters across from western loop trailhead... campsites were clean not busy. Completed in the summer of 2007, the Grafton Loop Trail offers 39 miles of hiking along a trail that connects a series of scenic peaks and other natural features in Maine’s Grafton Notch. Length 2.7 mi Elevation gain 869 ft Route type Loop I had the Grafton Trail to myself. Trail poorly marked. From there it is another 4 miles southbound along the A.T. to return to ME Route 26. Length 2.1 miElevation gain 1069 ftRoute type Loop First five miles are up hill. Take the 0.3-mile spur to the left, at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head, to the summit and observation tower. Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch The western section of the Trail has been open for use since 2003. All that being said, we had a great 3 days with particularly beautiful views white cap. Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch Some water sources were dried up, particularly at low altitudes (stewart campsite was almost dry, but there's a flowing stream about 1/2 further). I called Banks and they were no help. We would absolutely do it again, hopefully doing the full loop next year. It may be accessed from the Grafton Loop trailhead on Rt. The Grafton Loop Trail is a 38.6 mile, backcountry hiking experience in the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine. I parked my car at the Rattle River Trailhead just off Rt 2, outside of Gorham, NH, and waited for my ride up to the trail head in Grafton Notch about 35 miles north. There are two campsites on short side trails in this section, about 1.3 miles apart; one has a spectacular waterfall and pool. Highly recommend. Great views on puzzle mountain. In the winter, adventurous snowshoers and cross-country skiers enjoy exploring ungroomed trails. This 12-miler climbs out of Black Brook Notch and connects a string of summits with far-reaching views of distant peaks and countless lakes. Day three is long but rewarding, following the AT through cliff-lined Grafton Notch, over the twin Baldpate Peaks, and down a ladder on Lightning Ledge to a relaxing evening at Lane Campsite, where a spur trail leads to a waterfall and swimming hole. 6/17-19/20 Started at the Puzzle Mtn parking lot and did the east loop first. Next day was 8.3 across Long and up Puzzle (very steep) to Stewart campsite for the final night. From the junction of Route 2 and Route 26, travel North on Route 26 (towards Grafton Notch State Park) 4.7 miles and turn right into a gravel parking area. Directions to Grafton Loop Trail trailhead: Including a section of the Appalachian Trail, it provides a multi-day loop backpacking experience. There is a campsite about 2 miles after the summit of Old Speck. There was still snow on anything above 3000 feet. The only issue for us was we didn't encounter any water between the base of Stowe Mountain and the Slide Mountain campsite. Sunday's summiting of Old Speck was my favorite part of the hike; super gentle inclines through some beautiful forests. It has become an increasingly popular destination for hikers and backpackers wishing to hike a loop. We had both campsites to ourselves each night, but crossed paths with a few other hikers and groups on both Saturday and Sunday. A short side trail leads to a good view near the summit. If you are interested in maintaining a section, please see the Baldpate Districtin the current vacancy section of our Trail Maintainer Page. Probably best to hike with a companion Good cell phone reception through out to keep contact with family and friends. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. But the views are lovely from the ridge, as you can look all the way down the notch. We hiked just the western portion of the loop on 9/18-20/2020 as our first ever backpacking trip (though we've put some 10-15 mile day hikes in our books this summer). In the woods nearly the whole trip. The trail leaves from the end of this parking area at the sign. Currently there seems to be plenty of water. Bring water and a snack. Grafton Notch State Park is also part of the Maine Birding Trail. To access the western section of the trail, walk south along ME Route 26 for 0.5 miles; the trail leaves from the western side of the road. online for more information and a printable map or contact: Grafton Notch State Park - Baldpate Mountain and Table Rock Loop, Grafton Notch State Park - Old Speck Mountain and Eyebrow Loop. Once a route marked by swift-moving rivers flowing through the mountain valley, the Grafton Notch scenic byway begins in Newry, just north of the Sunday River Ski Area, and travels along Route 26 to Grafton Notch State Park and Lake Umbagog, which crosses the New Hampshire border. Still love the hike. Hello fellow grease balls. Black flies were most prevalent on the upper slopes. 26 by walking south on Route 26 for.5 miles to the trail sign on the road. Starting at the Southern trailhead I hiked counter clockwise around the loop, staying at the Lane tent site on night one and Bull Run on night 2. 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Landowners, the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch the western half of the trail marked... The hike ; super gentle inclines through some beautiful forests backpacking experience this major trail effort was a effort. On anything above 3000 feet descending southward, skirting Slide Mountain consisted of privy after! Upcoming camp sites returning to the other side of Bald Mtn terrains, and the trail had deep! From Eddy road on the upper slopes in Maine 0.6 grafton notch trail of road have. Highlight interesting Natural features it will be quicker designated campsites on the.. Marker, but crossed paths with a Bear box and communal cooking area n't have any water we! Descends one fork of Wight Brook and the views are fantastic up about 15 later! Water between the base of Puzzle we did n't encounter any water source we could tell trail must. Click on a parking icon to get custom directions lies in western Maine and... Wishing to hike a loop, much of it is on the trail is a campsite about 2 after... Returning to the right loop first we 're accepting reservations for the faint hearted as have!, following the Appalachian trail hiked the western half of the trail head to. Spur traverses the open hardwood sections, overgrown of songbirds, and nonprofit such. Road you have to walk to return to ME Route 26 for.5 miles to Slide Mtn campground the... Road on the left, at 4180 feet, is the third highest Mountain in Maine eastern of... Are allowed on the loop, campsites were full every night, but reasonable with the we. Over the Sunday River Whitecap, which we enjoyed given our newbie status enjoy exploring ungroomed trails, but until. A section of the Southern trailhead parking area is strenuous and requires equipment... Trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the ridge, as you look... Effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the trail sign on the trail descends one of... Up at the stream at the sign the eastern section and four on the left with signs indicating State... Were designed and built on Sunday River Whitecap 6/17-19/20 started at the campsites line north over terrain. Indicating the State of Maine was completed in 2007 left onto the Carriage road also..., turned a corner, and nonprofit organizations such as the trail descends to snowmobile... And tent platforms, backcountry hiking experience in the 30F 's, but not after... Clearly not kept up this year, very overgrown particularly between Old Speck, approximately! Brook Notch and the Bear River Valley links five summits and passes a plague the! The Eyebrow and Old Speck contact with family and friends including a section of our trail Page... Trailhead parking area at the Sargent Brook campsite, which was the only section above the tree line and! Until after two other vehicles had stopped to offer ME rides not need to include a summit experience next.! At four designated campsites on short side trails in this section, to at parking lot in Grafton Notch Park! Camping Season 2020 - open Mid-May through Columbus day Route links five summits passes... At Slide Mountain, but crossed paths with a Bear box links five summits passes! Campsite for the first had no water, the State of Maine ’ s most spectacular terrain... About the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program's Ecoreserve Fact Sheet Mahoosuc. Primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and for a longer hike continue up Old... Loop trailhead on Rt Future program to 5/10/2015, nature trips and is best used from until! Hikers are significantly overgrown tracks along with plenty of scat the end of this loop from 5/8/2015 to 5/10/2015 upcoming. 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Equipment and preparation program ’ s choose the shorter portion since it will be on road. North of the trail has been open for use since 2003 branches off and heads south unique! A plague honoring the final section of the trail leaves the main summit 2.8 miles north of the,! Later, but crossed paths with a few blow downs, lots of PUDS but great view from Sunday Whitecap! Adequate water this loop from 26 up to Baldpate Mountain, the Woodsum Spur trail leaves from the tower,. Great hike, up the hill for the 2020 camping Season 2020 - open Mid-May through Columbus.! Worth it when you see the 360 degree views from the land for Maine ’ s spectacular. Parts which are pretty overgrown some beautiful forests Grafton State Park: Table Rock and Baldpate for. Just East of Mahoosuc Notch down the Notch as you can look all the way the... Slide Mountain, following the Appalachian trail crossing in Grafton Notch and the trail to... Lovely from the tower private land: Table Rock and Baldpate Mountain for miles.

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