The complete loop didn’t open till 2007 after a serious collaboration between personal land house owners, the state of Maine, and a […] Backcountry on a Budget: Low-cost & Free Camping in the Northeast. Loved the trail. On the western half of the trail, expect to use the brooks by ten tsites for water except for the southern two miles between Bald Mountain tent site and the southern trailhead where the trail follows a small brook. The terrain below the summit is just as impressive. A beautiful, high meadow sits between the East and West Peaks that is traversed on bog bridges. All of the designated camping areas have a water source. tentsite: site with just tent platforms or pads in designated area and no shelter/lean-to. If you go clockwise, you’ll find sometimes that the blue blazes along the trail are not easy to spot, especially at dawn or dusk. The best weather for hiking the Grafton Loop is between late May and mid-October. As a result, camping is limited to designated sites and the Baldpate Lean-to on the AT portion of the loop. While rodents aren’t unusual at backcountry sites and lean-tos, particularly on the AT, I have a word of caution on the Baldpate Lean-to. Bull Run Campsite to Old Speck Mt 1.6 mi Compared to the venerable trails just over the border in New Hampshire, the Grafton Loop is relatively new. Elevations range from around 700 feet near the southern end of the trail, to 4,170 feet on the summit of Old Speck. The trail traverses strenuous terrain with substantial elevation changes. When shining a headlamp outside the tent, numerous mice could often be seen. AMC Outdoors > Bulletin: Around AMC > Web Exclusives. This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. Eyebrow Trail to Grafton Notch AT Parking 1.1 mi Hiking the Grafton Loop - Camping in Maine - Duration: 48:52. sintax77 63,014 views. Trail Correspondents 2021: Apply to Join the Team! 48:52. https://www.strava.com/activities/3878374720 of them. Wildlife: The Grafton Loop Trail travels through moose country. The MATC also has basic trail information here. It's a recently constructed ~40 mile loop that utilizes a few miles of the Appalachian Trail in the western part of the state. Starting at the southern end will also begin and end your trip near the low point of the loop. Multiple blow downs that are easy to navigate around. The Grafton Loop Trail traverses sections of private land. The AMC describes the camping areas along the trail here. Old Speck Mt to Eyebrow Trail 2.4 mi 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). The 2008 trip was one of our classic adventures, and I wrote about it a the time. According to the AMC, the brook by Stewart tent site can be unreliable. To learn more, please visit the About This Site page. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/maine/grafton-notch-trail Thanks so much for your awesome trip report. The closest campsite from the road is 5 miles in, on the other side of 3,000-foot Puzzle Mountain. If you are planning a trip to this region, please use our group notification system to let us know of your intent to visit and use any sites along the Grafton Loop Trail. 3,812 foot East Baldpate sits near the northern end where the eastern half of the loop intersects the AT. Excellent synopsis! Fortunately, there are eight campsites in addition to the lean-to, so finding an appropriate spot to camp isn’t an issue. The coalition worked with private landholders to gain right-of-way via temporary access, easement, or outright purchase. Cairns mark the route over open summits. Thanks for your support! 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. Appalachian Trail, Grafton Loop Trail, Woodsum Spur Trail, Lane Campsite Spur, Knoll Campsite Spur, Town Corner Campsite Spur, bushwhacks, Stewart Campsite Spur: Date of Hike: Thursday, September 17, 2020: ... With all the out and backs to campsites and viewpoints we did 17.1 miles. Seventeen miles are newly constructed trail, which traverse four mountain peaks and include five primitive campsites. The AMC maintains the following four sites on the Grafton Loop Trail in Maine: Bull Run, Slide Mtn, Sargent Brook, and Bald Mtn. Only concern is the ladder that you picture in this article. In our busy White Mountain campsites, we rely on the caretaker program to protect the resources of trees, soil, and water quality, and the campsite infrastructure itself, during periods of high use. 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 idea morphed into the Grafton Loop Trail Coalition (GLTC). Mud and biting insects could cause problems early in the season. By late October, snow isn’t unusual. The vantage point offers an interesting look toward Mahoosuc Notch, a short distance from the summit. Grafton Loop Trail - Day One - Stewart Campsite Trekking On. March 23, 2017. As an added bonus, gray jays frequently greet hikers that linger long enough near the summit. The loop features excellent scenery with challenging, yet fun terrain. The AMC Maine Chapter and Maine Appalachian Trail Club maintain the Grafton Loop Trail and shelters/campsites, along with the section of the Appalachian Trail that compose the loop. Endless peaks can be seen in every direction. The dogs were exhausted. Trail Connections is a proud member of the following: Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association; Appalachian Mountain Club Thanks! My stay at Stewart Campsite was a peaceful one. Sunday River Whitecap Mt. I personally recommend the Lane tent site on the eastern section of the trail. Since then I have hiked the Long Trail, Cohos Trail, parts of the PCT, much of the Colorado Trail, numerous other backpacking trips, and countless day hikes. Grafton Notch Campground in Newry, Maine. Though the trail is a long loop, there are several options for hiking trips here. The southern end of the loop between Bald Mountain and Stewart tent sites travels just over seven miles between designated sites, so plan accordingly. All of the campsites appear to have bearboxes, outhouses and usable water sources. Fortunately, there are eight campsites in addition to the lean-to, so finding an appropriate spot to camp isn’t an issue. Most of the loop’s route can be seen from the summit, including Old Speck, Grafton Notch, the Baldpates, and nearly all of the eastern half of the loop. Here I am with a group of volunteers as we started work on two separate privies on the Grafton Loop Trail in Maine. Ladders aid hikers over rocky drops. Day 2: 8.5 mi Just to clarify, no prior reservation or permit is required for camping at along the Grafton Loop? Backpackers of all experience levels will find the the loop a worthy destination. I enjoy all things outdoors including hiking/backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, xc skiing, kayaking, and writing about my experiences. March 23, 2017. The AMC website offers a basic trail description with camping information here and a map here. The trail passes by the summit of Puzzle Mountain and follows numerous open sections with fine views. Traversing the Bear River, Sunday River-Whitecap and Miles Notch, this part of the trail ends on the summit of Old Speck Mountain at its junction with the Mahoosuc Trail/AT. Those who make the climb are greeted with stunning 360-degree views from the lofty perch. Day 3: 5.1 mi As soon as the tarp was up they went in, and stayed in for the night. Few wet spots. Appalachian Mountain Club, 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129 P: 617-523-0655 F: 617-523-0722. If you go clockwise, you’ll find sometimes that the blue blazes along the trail are not easy to spot, especially at dawn or dusk. Despite the lower elevation, the climbing is somewhat more gradual in either direction from the southern trailhead. This 38-mile trail, by connecting to an 8-mile section of the Appalachian Trail (AT), forms a loop encircling Grafton Notch in western Maine, near the village of Bethel. 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