From there it is another 4 miles southbound along the A.T. to return to ME Route 26. As many people probably think, let’s choose the shorter portion since it will be quicker. Directions to Grafton Loop Trail trailhead: A short side trail leads to a good view near the summit. We then went up and over the Sunday River Whitecap, which was the only section above the tree line. 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. Next day was 8.3 across Long and up Puzzle (very steep) to Stewart campsite for the final night. 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. I hiked the western half of the loop and found the trail to be difficult to follow at times. Eastern Section to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch: Not many other hikers on the loop, lots of day hikers near trailheads on 26. Including a section of the Appalachian Trail, it provides a multi-day loop backpacking experience. Friday night we parked at the southern parking lot 985 Maine 26, Newry, ME 04261 Near intersection of Rt 26 and Eddy Rd and hiked the 0.5ish mile south from parking lot to the Grafton Loop Trailhead (44.530831,-70.825252) Parking is not allowed here at this trailhead, hence the road hike. If you are interested in helping to maintain the GLT, please contact MATC Baldpate District Overseer Tom Gorrill at woodencanoeboy@gmail.com or (207) 657-4249; or Kim Marion, AMC North Country Volunteer Coordinator at 603-466-2721 X192. There was an issue with your submission. 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. The trail was clearly not kept up this year, very overgrown particularly between Old Speck summit and slide campgrounds. Day 2 was certainly the most challenging with the ascent of Baldpate, descent to the road followed by the ascent of Old Speck, however all of this was along the AT with plenty of people and trail marking and maintenance. East of ME Route 26 (21.1 miles, strenuous): The eastern half of the trail, coming from the south, leaves ME Route 26 at the southern trailhead and continues to the open summit of Puzzle Mountain after passing several ledges with fine views of the Bear River Valley, the Mahoosuc Range and the Presidential Range beyond. Grafton Notch State Park has waterfalls, a cave and a couple of big mountains. Trail was not well blazed and in the open hardwood sections, overgrown. Use mileage to determine the correct road as Success Pond Road is an unmarked logging road leaving ME Route 26 on the western side of the road (left side if coming from the State Park). No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. Birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and at higher elevations some northern forest species. Old Speck, at 4180 feet, is the third highest mountain in Maine. Realize there is an upper loop trail at 4.5 miles to the falls, and a lower loop trail at 3.5 miles to the falls. 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. But a trip to this state park does not need to include a summit experience. This challenging trail traverses the peaks in the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. 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. The Appalachian Trail goes through GNSP. has shaft play. The trail is primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until October. 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. The trail across much of the summit is on a unique raised walkway that protects fragile, rare alpine plants from hiker’s boots. The trail then follows a series of minor peaks before traversing Sunday River Whitecap. I probably didn’t pay attention as much to the directions about the loop trail that exists, even as I’m reading it now. Appalachian Trail: Beaver River Road to Carolo Col Shelter, Baldpate from the East (Andover) Side via Cataracts Trail and Frye Brook Trail. 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. Only 3.3 miles from Whitecap is the Slide Mountain Campsite, which is … Water is available at each campsite. From Sunday River Whitecap, the Grafton Loop Trail descends into Miles Notch, elevation 2,350 feet, and after cutting through the notch, begins a long and gradual climb up an arm of Old Speck Mountain. 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. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. Dogs are also able to use this trail but must be kept on leash. Your log in attempt was not successful. Was a hot buggy trip. The western section of the Trail has been open for use since 2003. The Woodsum Spur traverses the open ledges around the summit of Puzzle before returning to the GLT. There's a very pretty brook with a little waterfall that you cross to get to the campsite from the trail. First five miles are up hill. It has become an increasingly popular destination for hikers and backpackers wishing to hike a loop. It is often used by camp and school groups. We're accepting reservations for the 2020 Camping Season 2020 - OPEN Mid-May through Columbus Day. We had both campsites to ourselves each night, but crossed paths with a few other hikers and groups on both Saturday and Sunday. This is a tough little trail! It may be accessed from the Grafton Loop trailhead on Rt. 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. Mandymac71 wrote a review Oct 2020. Water abundantly available in October. Grafton Notch State Park: Table Rock and Baldpate Mountain, The Eyebrow and Old Speck, Grafton Loop Trail. Countless PUDS but the views are spectacular. Take the 0.3-mile spur to the left, at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head, to the summit and observation tower. Success! A rugged hike but worth it when you see the 360 degree views from the tower! But the views are lovely from the ridge, as you can look all the way down the notch. If you are interested in maintaining a section, please see the Baldpate Districtin the current vacancy section of our Trail Maintainer Page. More information about the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program’s Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit. 6/17-19/20 Started at the Puzzle Mtn parking lot and did the east loop first. We camped Friday night at the Bald Mountain Campsite (2 miles from Rt 26) which had 2 wooden tent platforms, designated kitchen area with bear box, and composting outhouse. The southern trailhead is located just north of where Eddy Road meets Route 26 in Newry, Maine. All of the streams were full and the trail had ankle deep water. Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a good deal of private land. About 1.5 miles from Long Mountain there is reliable water as the trail descends one fork of Wight Brook and the ascends another. Western Section, to AT parking lot in Grafton Notch Phenomenal views scattered throughout, but mostly in the woods. Final day was 4.9 back to the car! Grafton Notch Trail is a 33.5 mile lightly trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a river and is rated as difficult. Hello fellow grease balls. The only issue for us was we didn't encounter any water between the base of Stowe Mountain and the Slide Mountain campsite. More information about the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program's Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit. It is often used by camp and school groups. There was still snow on anything above 3000 feet. This trail is partially within the 9,993-acre Mahoosuc Ecological Reserve, which, like all Maine State Ecological Reserves, is specifically set aside to protect and monitor natural ecosystems. Campsites were in fair shape with Privy's. Super very unfriendly trail abutters across from western loop trailhead... campsites were clean not busy. 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. In 2011, a new 1.8-mile side trail off the GLT was opened. 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. The trail emerges on the road a half mile south of the Southern trailhead parking area. The west loop from 26 up to Old Spec's fire tower was fine. AT parts of the trail are much better maintained than the other parts which are pretty overgrown. There are two campsites on short side trails in this section, about 1.3 miles apart; one has a spectacular waterfall and pool. 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. From here, it heads across a field to a snowmobile bridge across the Bear River. It has become an increasingly popular destination for hikers and backpackers wishing to hike a loop. 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… 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. In the woods nearly the whole trip. Started at the south end and hiked 10.2 miles to Slide Mtn campground for the first night. More Eyebrow Trail and Appalachian Trail Loop is a 2.1 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Newry, Maine that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate. 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. Bear box at Slide was left open and full of water. Bald Mountain tentsite has a privy and tent platforms. Please try again. GF and I did the Western half of this loop from 5/8/2015 to 5/10/2015. This potentially has the makings of a great trail, but the only views were on Sunday River Whitecap. Here the Grafton Loop trail branches off and heads south. Trail was marked, including signs for upcoming camp sites. Some blowdowns. Slide Campground had a bear box. Close to the Sunday River ski area in western Maine near the New Hampshire border, it generally follows the mountain ridge lines that surround Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley, passing over the summits of Old Speck, the Baldpates, and Sunday River White Cap. Route 26 runs through the middle of the notch and it can easily be reached from the Lakes Region in about three hours. Andover, Andover West Surplus Twp, Grafton Twp, Newry, Riley Twp, Click on a parking icon to get custom directions. All that being said, we had a great 3 days with particularly beautiful views white cap. No additional water until you get to the other side of Bald Mtn. 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. The Glencliff Trail ends at a junction with the Carriage Road in a sag between the South Peak and the main summit. There is a campsite (Bull Run) 1.9 miles from Old Spec with water and another campsite (Slide) 2.1 miles further with marginal water. 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 Long Mountain, following the Andover-Newry town line north over rugged terrain and mostly private land. After a .5 mile descent, the East Baldpate campsite is on the right. The section of trail over Puzzle Mountain is mostly on land owned by the Mahoosuc Land Trust and permanently protected from development. The trail is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, much of it … Sargent Brook Campsite was dry. It was similar to a Wilderness Area trail, like you might find in the Wild River. Stream dried up at Stewart so make sure to fill up at the stream at the base of Puzzle. The trail leaves Route 26 and continues 17.1 miles to the summit of East Baldpate where it intersects with the Appalachian Trail. 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. Access to the eastern half of the trail is from the northern end of the parking area. 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