Funding was provided by several private donors and foundations, as well as by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and federal Recreational Trails Program funding. Log in or create an account below to unlock all the great features of Maine trail finder: keep track of trails you want to do, preserve memories of trails you’ve done, earn badges, and more! The first had no water, the second was marginal and the last two had adequate water.. My friend Marc picked me up about 15 minutes later, but not until after two other vehicles had stopped to offer me rides. The section of trail over Puzzle Mountain is mostly on land owned by the Mahoosuc Land Trust and permanently protected from development. First five miles are up hill. More information about the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program’s Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit. Trail was marked, including signs for upcoming camp sites. Camping is allowed only in 5 designated campsites along the trail, and in some sections, it is a long distance between reliable sources of water. We saw a moose, an owl, plenty of toads, and some beautiful birds! Please try again. 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. 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. The trail across much of the summit is on a unique raised walkway that protects fragile, rare alpine plants from hiker’s boots. From there it is another 4 miles southbound along the A.T. to return to ME Route 26. Coming north on ME Route 26, the trailhead and parking area will be on the left with signs indicating the state park. I've come away thinking that the non-AT sections of the trail are used significantly more by Grafton Notches moose population than human population and that is quite okay with me. The trail then ascends Lightning Ledges for several good views. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. Grafton Notch is a magnificent mountain pass in Southwestern Maine, a short drive from Gorham, NH, the last major trail town that Appalachian Trail thru-hikers visit before leaving New Hampshire. Black flies were most prevalent on the upper slopes. 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 coming down great hiking bug spray experienced hikers three hours moderate hike few hours cave. Started at the south end and hiked 10.2 miles to Slide Mtn campground for the first night. The trail was clearly not kept up this year, very overgrown particularly between Old Speck summit and slide campgrounds. Visit the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Appalachian Mountain Club, and Maine Appalachian Trail Club online for more information and a printable map or contact: Northern Trailhead: This trailhead also serves as the main trailhead for Grafton Notch State Park. Countless PUDS but the views are spectacular. Follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail south along Cascade Brook. All that being said, we had a great 3 days with particularly beautiful views white cap. Bring water and a snack. The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. The trail then continues descending southward, skirting Slide Mountain, to Miles Notch. The trail crosses many streams then ascends the north shoulder of Old Speck, rising out of the woods and offering frequent views of the Notch. Some blowdowns. The trail emerges on the road a half mile south of the Southern trailhead parking area. It had absolutely STUNNING views and I would suggest it to anyone hiking the loop as a point to enjoy. There's a very pretty brook with a little waterfall that you cross to get to the campsite from the trail. It is often used by camp and school groups. There was still snow on anything above 3000 feet. Great hike, up the hill for the first couple miles, demanding but fun. Table Rock & Baldpate The best short hike in Maine, Table Rock is a 2.4-mile roundtrip in Grafton Notch State Park with spectacular mountain views at the summit. We think it’s called the Eyebrow Trail because the trail curves over an exposed cliff with rock grains that are curved like an eye. 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. If you are interested in maintaining a section, please see the Baldpate Districtin the current vacancy section of our Trail Maintainer Page. I would suggest keeping a GPS handy, because there were several times when I could not see any markers and had to reference my GPS to figure out where the trail was. Trail was not well blazed and in the open hardwood sections, overgrown. Got an 87, 6.9l with a banks kit (pre sidewinder, no waste gate) and the turbo needs to be rebuilt. Next day was around 14 miles to Lane Campground. 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. I saw one Moose and many tracks along with plenty of scat. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. This significant trail-building effort was done over a six-year period by members of the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition, which includes the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maine Conservation Corps, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, several timber management companies, Sunday River Ski Resort, and other private landowners. 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. Final day was 4.9 back to the car! 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. has shaft play. This byway follows along the Bear River for much of the trip. Grafton Notch State Park is also part of the Maine Birding Trail. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage. The Woodsum Spur traverses the open ledges around the summit of Puzzle before returning to the GLT. We did it in 3 days but have talked to folks that have done it in 2-4 days. 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. The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. Saturday was a beautiful hike up Bald and Stowe mountains; nothing too steep and the AMC has done some great additions of planks and stairs in the most steep areas. Along the gradual descent there is a campsite to the right. Occasional problems finding a trail marker, but overall well marked. I did the full loop in June of 2020 and had an excellent time. Length: 38.6 milesLocation: Western Maine on the ridges and peaks surrounding the Bear River Valley, Grafton Notch, and Maine Route 26Trail Type: LoopScenery: Forests and brooks with small waterfalls give way to numerous open summits with views across western Maine’s rugged mountains, especially the Mahoosuc Range, and into New Hampshire to the Presidential RangeApproximate Time to Hike: Most can comfortably fi… Mandymac71 wrote a review Oct 2020. Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch Oh and it was HOT!. Coming north on Route 26, the parking area are will be on the right, directly across from Eddy Road on the left. About 1.5 miles from Long Mountain there is reliable water as the trail descends one fork of Wight Brook and the ascends another. good decline to start difficult but doable climb to white cap gentle climb down to Sargent Brooke camp. The renowned Grafton Notch Scenic Byway bisects the Park and several pull-offs highlight interesting natural features. The Glencliff Trail ends at a junction with the Carriage Road in a sag between the South Peak and the main summit. Lots of blowdowns along the trail. Stream dried up at Stewart so make sure to fill up at the stream at the base of Puzzle. Trail poorly marked. 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. Turn left onto the Carriage Road, also following the Appalachian Trail, to reach the main summit. There are four campsites that allow camping on this portion of the trail. 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. The trail then heads down Puzzle, passing the Stewart Campsite on a short spur to the left, to the valley between Puzzle and Long Mountain, where it crosses the headwaters of Chase Hill Brook (reliable water). Grafton Notch Campground in Newry, Maine. Lots of PUDS but great view from Sunday River Whitecap. A rugged hike but worth it when you see the 360 degree views from the tower! Great views on puzzle mountain. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. There are two campsites on short side trails in this section, about 1.3 miles apart; one has a spectacular waterfall and pool. Sargent Brook tent site was decent with a bear box and communal cooking area. This massive trail-building effort was done over a six-year period by members of the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition, which includes the Appalachian Mountain Club, Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Maine Conservation Corps, Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, several timber management companies, Sunday River Ski Resort, and other private landowners. This major trail effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the state of Maine, and nonprofit organizations such as the AMC. Success! Eastern Section to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch: The trail then follows a series of minor peaks before traversing Sunday River Whitecap. The Grafton Loop is a roughly 39 mile, 9 summit hiking loop formed by connecting a portion of the Appalachian trail with the Grafton Loop Trail. It may be accessed from the Grafton Loop trailhead on Rt. © 2021 Maine Trail Finder. Water abundantly available in October. Take the 0.3-mile spur to the left, at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head, to the summit and observation tower. Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account. In 2011, a new 1.8-mile side trail off the GLT was opened. The water source is a brook, which was pretty dried up, but we were able to walk up the creek bed and find a fairly deep and clear pool for our bottles/dinner. Two trails allow for moderate or more challenging options, and for a longer hike continue up to Baldpate Mountain for 5.8-7.6 miles total. From Whitecap the trail descends to a campsite below Sargent Mountain and then to Bald Mountain. The Appalachian Trail goes through GNSP. The trail is primarily used for hiking and rock climbing and is best used from May until October. Grafton Notch Trail is a 53.9 kilometer lightly trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a river and is rated as difficult. All of the streams were full and the trail had ankle deep water. AT parts of the trail are much better maintained than the other parts which are pretty overgrown. This challenging trail traverses the peaks in the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. Check out the newest articles in MTF Stories! Worst part of the trail was the 0.6 miles of road you have to walk to return back to the parking lot. From the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 26 in Newry, follow ME Route 26 approximately 12 miles north to where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. Please prepare accordingly. Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a good deal of private land. 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. Highly recommend Lane campground, it has a waterfall and small pools to take a dip (chilly but soothing). This is a tough little trail! Here the Grafton Loop trail branches off and heads south. The Grafton Loop Trail is a 38.6 mile, backcountry hiking experience in the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine. View from Sunday River White Cap was phenomenal! We had lunch at the Sargent Brook campsite, which didn't have any water source we could find. Next day was 8.3 across Long and up Puzzle (very steep) to Stewart campsite for the final night. This potentially has the makings of a great trail, but the only views were on Sunday River Whitecap. Grafton Notch State Park has waterfalls, a cave and a couple of big mountains. This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. I helped build the trails here in 1994! Probably best to hike with a companion Good cell phone reception through out to keep contact with family and friends. In some areas the trail was over grown and we did find a few blow downs. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. 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. From East: Success Pond Road leaves ME Route 26 about 2.8 miles north of the Appalachian Trail crossing in Grafton Notch State Park. West of ME Route 26 (17.5 miles, strenuous): The western section, leaving from the northern trailhead at the A.T. crossing of ME 26, follows the A.T. southbound along Cascade Brook. Currently there seems to be plenty of water. Water is available at each campsite. The most strenuous hiking we had was the decent down the AT to the parking lot; those are long four miles with packs when you're a newbie. Trail directions from the GLT trailhead: Andover, Andover West Surplus Twp, Grafton Twp, Newry, Riley Twp, Click on a parking icon to get custom directions. From here the trail begins ascending Sunday River Whitecap, passing several open views and then coming out on the open north ridge to finish the climb to the summit where there are views in all directions. The Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine’s most spectacular mountain terrain. 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