- Whitney and I celebrated Independence Day with a bang by hiking the Grafton Notch Loop. 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. Coming north on ME Route 26, the trailhead and parking area will be on the left with signs indicating the state park. After the cairn on the summit the trail follows open ledges to about .2 miles after the summit where the other end of the Woodsum Spur trail branches to the right. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. Please stay safe and call ahead to get the latest information. Absolutely gorgeous day hiking on the Table Rock Trail of the Appalachian Trail in Grafton Notch State Park. Access to the eastern half of the trail is from the northern end of the parking area. Take the 0.3-mile spur to the left, at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head, to the summit and observation tower. The map now contains brown squares outlining nearby US Topo Map quadrants. Grafton Notch State Park is located on Route 26 between Newry and Upton, Maine, and offers opportunities for sightseeing, picnicking, and hiking on its 3,000 acres of beautiful natural terrain. Grafton Notch State Park is a premier recreational destination off of ME-26 in Newry. The trail across much of the summit is on a unique raised walkway that protects fragile, rare alpine plants from hiker’s boots. The one at Bull Run is non-existant as far as we could tell. I saw one Moose and many tracks along with plenty of scat. From Rumford/Farmington: Follow Route 2 West to Newry Corner (Routes 2 & 26) Turn right. There was still snow on anything above 3000 feet. 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… I hiked the western half of the loop and found the trail to be difficult to follow at times. I did the full loop in June of 2020 and had an excellent time. This byway follows along the Bear River for much of the trip. No fires are allowed on the trail or at the campsites. Grafton Notch is a notch, or mountain pass, located in Oxford County, 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. Find local businesses, view maps and get driving directions in Google Maps. Newry is home to 32 hotels and other accommodations, so you can find something that's perfect for your stay. More information about the reserve can be found at Maine Natural Areas Program's Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit. Oxford, Due to the spread of COVID-19, some points of interest may be closed or have restrictions. There were some times that the trail was a little touch and go, the section between Town Corner and Lightening Ledge Knob was particularly hard to follow, but not impossible. Just before Grafton Notch on ME 26 is one area where moose are plentiful. About 1.5 miles from Long Mountain there is reliable water as the trail descends one fork of Wight Brook and the ascends another. 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. We left our house in Gorham at 4AM, taking two cars, we left her car at the southern trailhead on ME 26 for a resupply, as this is where the Grafton Loop Trail crosses the road about 21 miles into our 38 mile hike. Anyone who is interested in visiting Kinsman Notch can print the free topographic map and street map using the link above. 1472 Bear River Road / Route 26 Newry, Maine 04261 • 207-824-2292 . From Whitecap the trail descends to a campsite below Sargent Mountain and then to Bald Mountain. North of the height of land, the notch drains into the Swift Cambridge River, then into the Dead Cambridge River and Umbagog Lake, the source of the Androscoggin River, which drains into Merrymeeting Bay, the estuary of the Kennebec River, and thence into the Gulf of Maine. Interested in learning more about trails in Maine? There are two campsites on short side trails in this section, about 1.3 miles apart; one has a spectacular waterfall and pool. Grafton Notch State Park is located in Newry. Anything you plan or save automagically syncs with the apps, ready for you to hit the road! Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a good deal of private land. Here the Grafton Loop trail branches off and heads south. Grafton Notch State Park, Bethel: See 197 reviews, articles, and 152 photos of Grafton Notch State Park, ranked No.1 on Tripadvisor among 13 attractions in Bethel. After the hike we headed to Step Falls for a frigid but fun swim ♥️ Screw Auger Falls were really nice, as the setting was really different than most other falls I have seen so far. At lower elevations, visitors commonly observe large mammals, even in the vicinity of Route 26. 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). Read all 196 reviews Full view Follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail south along Cascade Brook. Grafton Notch State Park is a state park in Maine. © 2021 Maine Trail Finder. All Rights Reserved. These awesome businesses support our goal of connecting people to outdoor adventures in Maine! While you're in town visiting Grafton Notch State Park, you can discover the sights within a few miles of the area. The trail crosses many streams then offering frequent views of the Notch. Alert riders are bound to see moose along the roadside. I do wish the route climbed Slide Mountain, though. Maine State Route 26 passes through the notch. GF and I did the Western half of this loop from 5/8/2015 to 5/10/2015. Many family history in Grafton first class. 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. Click to find a great deal for this hotel. Please try again. 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. Get directions, maps, and traffic for Grafton, NH. The AMC map is more up to date, but the MATC version has trail distances. The park is abutted by the eastern and western sections of the Mahoosuc Public Reserved Land, … This byway follows along the Bear River for much of the trip. The tent site at Slide mountain consisted of privy. Kinsman Notch is in the Gaps category for Grafton County in the state of New Hampshire. If you are interested in maintaining a section, please see the Baldpate District in the current vacancy section of our Trail Maintainer Page. Kinsman Notch is displayed on the Mount Moosilauke USGS quad topo map. From Bethel: Follow Route 2 East to Newry Corner (Routes 2 & 26) Turn left. Once a route marked by swift-moving rivers flowing through the mountain valley, the Grafton Notch scenic byway begins in Newry, just north of Sunday River Ski Area, and travels along Route 26 to Grafton Notch State Park and Lake Umbagog, which crosses the New Hampshire border. Coming north on Route 26, the parking area are will be on the right, directly across from Eddy Road on the left. The trail is a rugged, remote backcountry trail, and much of it is on private land. There is a short history and personal reflection about the town of Grafton Notch in Louise Dickinson Rich's "Happy the Land" on pages 65-68. 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 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. I have hiked every trail at Grafton notch state Park and I will have to admit that my favorite trail is the eyebrow loop trail with a great view right through the park. Old Speck, at 4180 feet, is the third highest mountain in Maine. This potentially has the makings of a great trail, but the only views were on Sunday River Whitecap. After some views to the south and east, the trail descends a long series of rock steps to a campsite and finally down to the Bear River and ME Route 26. 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. Andover, Andover West Surplus Twp, Grafton Twp, Newry, Riley Twp, Click on a parking icon to get custom directions. Including a section of the Appalachian Trail, it provides a multi-day loop backpacking experience. Maine State Route 26 passes through the notch. I have hiked every trail at Grafton notch state Park and I will have to admit that my favorite trail is the eyebrow loop trail with a great view right through the park. 26 (Bear River Rd.) From there it is another 4 miles southbound along the A.T. to return to ME Route 26. Legal. Maine Grafton Notch is a notch, or mountain pass, located in Oxford County, Maine.The notch demarks the northeastern end of the Mahoosuc Range, and thus of the White Mountains. The Appalachian Trail, a National Scenic Trail from Georgia to Maine, crosses the notch between Old Speck and Baldpate. Did you know: If you use the Roadtrippers mobile app, your trips will instantly auto-sync over... Ready for navigation and good times! From here is the 2.1 mile ascent of East Peak of Baldpate, where, after 17.1 miles, the trail connects the Appalachian Trail. Read all 196 reviews Full view 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. View a map of this area and more on Natural Atlas. Here the Grafton Loop trail branches off and heads south. The eastern side of Route 26 is the longer (21.1 miles) and more difficult section of the Grafton Loop Trail. There was an issue with your submission. The trail then ascends Lightning Ledges for several good views. This trail passes through a property that was acquired in part with funds from the Land for Maine’s Future program. 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. My grandfather was night watchman leaves on old spot for 7 seasons. Maine's Grafton Notch State Park includes the land along the bottom of the notch, and extends as far south as the summit of Old Speck Mountain on the southwest side of the notch. In Grafton Notch State Park, part of the Maine Birding Trail, birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and – at higher elevations – northern forest species. Things to See and Do Near Grafton Notch State Park. The crux of the route is the consecutive climbs and descents of East Baldpate and Old Speck. Be the first to add a review to the Grafton Notch. Campground is on the left. Check out the newest articles in MTF Stories! There are four campsites that allow camping on this portion of the trail. The notch demarks the northeastern end the Mahoosuc Range, and thus of the White Mountains. Grafton, NH Directions {{::location.tagLine.value.text}} Sponsored Topics. The Grafton Loop Trail (GTL) is located on both sides of Route 26 and links with the AT on Baldpate Mountain and on Old Speck. A new password has been emailed to you. I was a Ranger there in the 80 ern. Carter's Cross Country Ski Center & Resort, The ultimate guide to the must-see attractions along I-95, The Great Northern is a 3,600 mile, cross-country odyssey, The Ultimate Guide To Acadia National Park, The most amazing campgrounds for stargazing with the kids, All of the Cool Stops and Attractions on I-40, Beaches, beef and the Bean: 48 Hours in Chicago, An offbeat Orlando road trip guide for weirdos, 48 Hours in Orlando: Things to do that aren't a theme park, Meet "Big Daddy": Roadtripping US-20, the Longest Road. 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. This challenging trail traverses the peaks in the Mahoosuc Region above Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley. Bald Mountain tentsite has a privy and tent platforms. In fact, the scenery on this ride rivals any you can find in New England. It was similar to a Wilderness Area trail, like you might find in the Wild River. Please try again. In Grafton Notch State Park, part of the Maine Birding Trail, birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and - at higher elevations - northern forest species. The notch demarks the northeastern end the Mahoosuc Range, and thus of the White Mountains. Along the gradual descent there is a campsite to the right. After a .5 mile descent, the East Baldpate campsite is on the right. 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. Your log in attempt was not successful. Old Speck, at 4180 feet, is the third highest mountain in Maine. 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. Check flight prices and hotel availability for your visit. 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. Position your mouse over the map and use your mouse-wheel to zoom in or out. The trail then ascends Long Mountain, following the Andover-Newry town line north over rugged terrain and mostly private land. 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! There is a campsite about 2 miles after the summit of Old Speck. Funding was provided by several private donors and foundations, as well as by the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund and federal Recreational Trails Program funding. For more information about the LMF program and the places it has helped to protect, please visit the LMF webpage. The eastern half of the GLT consists of a 21-mile arc that leaves Route 26 in Newry, Maine, and returns to the road in Grafton Notch State Park via four miles on … Regarding this, whoever designed and cut the Grafton Notch loop did a fine job, and this is obvious from looking at the topographic map, such as the lines up Puzzle and East Baldpate. The renowned Grafton Notch Scenic Byway bisects the Park and several pull-offs highlight interesting natural features. The trail emerges on the road a half mile south of the Southern trailhead parking area. 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. There is a campsite about 2 miles after the summit of Old Speck. The trail then continues descending southward, skirting Slide Mountain, to Miles Notch. This ride is for the very fit and adventurous bicyclist—there is no major town along the way, and services are few and dispersed. Go 7 miles north on Rt. Because of its length and the terrain it traverses, the trail is strenuous and requires appropriate equipment and preparation. USA. Directions to Grafton Notch Campground. Enter your username, and we will send you a new, randomly generated password to your email account. There’s parking at each road junction (directions at the bottom), one at the AT parking lot in Grafton Notch State Park, the other near Eddy Road in Newry. Several interesting attractions are conveniently located on scenic Route 26. I will probably go back up with a saw and clear some of the blowdowns, The trail kind of disappears when a 40 ft tree falls on it. The park lies amidst some of Maine's most spectacular mountains, the Mahoosuc Mountain Range, and offers rugged terrain for back-country hikers including close to 5 miles of the Appalachian Trail. My father was the last night watchman in 1959 . Lots of blowdowns along the trail. This map was created by a user. Grafton Notch is a notch, or mountain pass, located in Oxford County, Maine. 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. The trail then continues descending southward, skirting Slide Mountain, to Miles Notch. The state park occupies 3,129 acre surrounding Grafton Notch, the mountain pass between Old Speck Mountain and Baldpate Mountain. Learn how to create your own. 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. 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. Title: GLT brochure map.FH11 Author: lgarland Created Date: 3/8/2010 9:19:24 AM Success! Sargent Brook tent site was decent with a bear box and communal cooking area. 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. 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