The trail traverses over eight summits including several that are open and exposed. The trail spends most of its time in the forest, with a handful of open summits that offer classic Maine mountain views stretching all the way the Presidential Range in New Hampshire. Despite the challenging terrain, beginners will appreciate the obtainable distance and the nine campsites throughout the loop that allow for a casual pace if desired for those not looking to rush. Just to clarify, no prior reservation or permit is required for camping at along the Grafton Loop? 771 votes, 17 comments. DIFFICULT 34.8 mi. The AMC describes the camping areas along the trail here. The AMC map is more up to date, but the MATC version has trail distances. Needless to say, we left the pack alone. There are several side trails that can be added to the loop and the Maine Mountain Guide covers these trails in detail as well. Bald Mt Campsite to Sargent Mt Campsite 3.4 mi A large parking area is on the left, 12.1 miles from the junction here. The best opportunities for moose seem to be on the private land between Puzzle Mountain and Long Mountain, where logging has occurred. At the foot of Puzzle Mountain there’s another brook, from which the water quality seems questionable at best. If you enjoyed this article, please check out my book. 3,471 ft. Elev Gain. Portions of the trail traverse both Maine’s Grafton Notch State Park as well as a … Goose Eye Trail Loop. Starting at the southern end will also begin and end your trip near the low point of the loop. However, an observation tower stands on its summit. Sunday River Whitecap Mt. Day 2 Stats: Grafton Loop Trail, Campsite Spurs - 16.8mi, 4950' gain, 10hr 10min taken Day 3 Stats: Grafton Loop Trail, Campsite Spurs, Appalachian Trail - 11.6mi, 3250' gain, 7hr 5min taken This hike has been on the to-do list for 12 years now, and especially the last 3-4 years, but somehow it still never happened until … The AMC website offers a basic trail description with camping information here and a map here. It occurred to us that as the crow flies we weren’t very far from the Frye Notch Lean-To, where Brad and I stayed on our Maine Appalachian Trail section hike. Appalachian Trail. During our night in Frye Notch we were serenaded by a lonely moose. 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 Appalachian Trail (AT). For detailed trail mileage and a map, the most recent edition of the Maine Mountain Guide by Carey Kish is a great resource that covers the entire trail. The Grafton Loop trail was a true backpacker's trail, and a welcome addition to the roster of GO backpack trips in the future! Fortunately, there are eight campsites in addition to the lean-to, so finding an appropriate spot to camp isn’t an issue. Grafton on Trailforks.com. On wet days, plan for some extra time coming down Puzzle Mountain, as there are several areas of open rock that can be slippery. And as a bonus, you enjoy 360-degree views of gorgeous terrain the entire way. It's a recently constructed ~40 mile loop that utilizes a few miles of the Appalachian Trail in the western part of the state. 3. From the East Peak the Loop Trail descends a ledge via metal rungs, and soon parallels a house-size boulder with a cave in the middle. Most of the route features blue blazes. Download its GPS track and follow the route on a map. Thanks so much for your awesome trip report. The Grafton Loop Trail, although constructed only a few years ago, is quickly becoming one of the most popular backpacking trips in the region. All photos are from the author with the exception of the waterfall, jay, and banner, which were taken by Josh Rosenthal. The Grafton Loop Trail is a 38.6 mile, backcountry hiking experience in the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine. 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. The climb to the East Peak, elevation 3,812 feet, is more of a scramble up a steep and open rock face. On Sunday Deb and I (yes, and Tucker) ran the Grafton Loop Trail with a bunch of Maineacs and it was a mighty fine day on the trail. Hike the trail for foliage views. The longest stretch without a campsite is on the northern end of the loop between Baldpate Lean-to and Bull Run tent site south of Old Speck, approaching eight miles between sites. >>Click Here For Pictures/Slide Show … Puzzle Mountain Loop … Last week I headed up to Maine for a few days on the Grafton Loop Trail. Map. The Grafton Loop Trail, near Newry and Bethel, Maine is 38.6 miles long and has approx. Click here to view the entire Grafton Trails Region. While I never saw a bear in this area, they are not uncommon. The trail hikes over open rock with wooden planks traversing fragile alpine vegetation. It’s a 38.6 mile loop going over Bald Mountain, Stowe Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap and Old Speck on the western side of the loop and going over West Baldpate, East Baldpate, Long and … East Baldpate is another open summit with fantastic views. All of the campsites appear to have bearboxes, outhouses and usable water sources. The Grafton Loop Trail, in the Mahoosucs Range of Western Maine, is one of the newest major trails to be built in New England. The peak can only be approached via the Grafton Loop Trail, with a long journey from either end to reach it. The Hike. The western section of the Grafton Loop Trail (GLT) covers 17.1 scenic miles from the Eddy Road parking lot to the Appalachian Trail lot, both on Route 26. The southern trailhead sees less traffic and is less likely to fill up during crowded periods. The next morning we made short work of the remaining hike up Puzzle Mountain, and once again the fog and mist prevented what otherwise would have been an outstanding view. On the 24-mile shuttle hike up to the Moxie Bald summit, the Maine wilderness unfolds a dizzying array of flora and fauna, and panoramic lake, valley, and peak views. The loop was built with backpackers in mind. After crossing an iron lattice … Grafton Loop Trail. Appalachian Trail. The eastern portion of the loop travels through areas that were logged with lots of new dense vegetation that would be a good opportunity for ticks to grab onto you. 2. Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information and a printable map or contact: Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, Grafton Notch State Park 1941 Bear River Road Newry, ME 04261 Phone: … The previous year, while hiking the Appalachian Trail, from North Adams, Massachusetts to Mount Katahdin in Maine, I remember seeing the trail signs and blazes for the Grafton Notch Loop Trail. 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 … While driving down Route 26 last week I spotted the logging road and the plan was in place for this week. This major trail effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the state of Maine, and nonprofit organizations such as the AMC. There’s one short climb for lightning ledge, but the weather didn’t grant us any views. Take note that the western portion of the trail is accessed .6 miles south of this trailhead via a road walk on 26. 26 trailhead) provide ascends the north shoulder, rising out of the woods and backpacking opportunities. Grafton Loop Trail . You made it all the way to the bottom. For anyone looking to hike the 16.2 miles from Route 26 to the Stewart Campsite, you should know that the site is located at least two-thirds of the way up the mountain. Androscoggin River Reservoir via Appalachian Trail and Mahoosuc Trail. Less worn down and in some spots overgrown, but I had no difficulty following the trail. 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. 26 to Bald Mt Campsite 1.68 mi https://www.strava.com/activities/3870759583 The summit by itself isn’t too impressive. Lots of cobwebs encountered. MODERATE 6.6 mi. Two popular ones are Komoot (with turn-by-turn voice directions, if desired) and AllTrails Grafton Loop Trail Hike Part 1: Eastern Section, Grafton Loop Trail Hike Part 2: Western Section, The 5 Best Beer Hikes in Maine and New Hampshire, Winter Hike Baldpate Mountain Via the Appalachian Trail in Grafton Notch, Maine, A Walk on Maine’s Wild Side: 22 Days Section Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Winter Hike the Old Speck Trail in Grafton Notch State Park, Maine. The vantage point offers an interesting look toward Mahoosuc Notch, a short distance from the summit. 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