This major trail effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the state of Maine, and nonprofit organizations such as the AMC. Heading south from the summit, steel rungs built into the rock are needed to traverse steep cliffs. I did have one tick but it was only on my sock. Grafton Loop Trail Campsites. 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. I used my Garmin to track mileages (which seem to differ at times from the AMC signage): A large parking area is on the right, 4.7 miles from the junction across from Eddy Road, here. The numbers: 39 miles, 3 to 4 days The hike: Crossing nine peaks, this route links a rocky section of the AT with 31 miles of smooth singletrack for a view lover’s tour de force.Start at the south end and hike clockwise, traversing the bare granite ledges of Sunday River Whitecap, where tasty blueberries (ripe in August) from trailside bushes will compete with the views for your attention. In spite of the comedy of errors on my first night of hiking, it still ended up being a marvelous trip. There are two trailheads that access the Grafton Loop Trail, one near the north end of the loop and one at the southern end. Bald Mt Campsite to Sargent Mt Campsite 3.4 mi The AMC maintains the following four sites on the Grafton Loop Trail in Maine: Bull Run, Slide Mtn, Sargent Brook, and Bald Mtn. Grafton Loop Trip Experience. In a dry year, later in the season, plan accordingly in the event that the brook is not flowing. The open summit offers 360 degree views and is arguably the best vista on the loop. * shelter: site with a three-sided lean-to and no designated tenting area. Starting at the southern trailhead does seem to have a few advantages. 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. The complete loop didn’t open till 2007 after a serious collaboration between personal land house owners, the state of Maine, and a […] 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. Less worn down and in some spots overgrown, but I had no difficulty following the trail. Backcountry on a Budget: Low-cost & Free Camping in the Northeast. https://www.strava.com/activities/3878371495 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. Slide Mt Campsite to Bull Run Campsite 1.0 mi 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. Grafton Notch Campground in Newry, Maine. It's a beautiful place set on the side of Puzzle Mountain near a small brook. Starting at the southern end will also begin and end your trip near the low point of the loop. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. 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. 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. Old Speck Mt to Eyebrow Trail 2.4 mi Backcountry on a Budget: Low-cost & Free Camping in the Northeast. • Grafton Loop Trail (38 miles, 3 or more days, chal-lenging), a high-elevation, backcountry trail with seven primitive campsites, connects a series of nine scenic peaks, including Old Speck, Sunday River Whitecap, Puzzle Mountain, and East and West Baldpate. Though the trail is a long loop, there are several options for hiking trips here. Accommodations: 2 wooden tent platforms, designated kitchen area, composting outhouse, Accommodations: 3 raised earth tent pads, designated kitchen area, composting outhouse, Location: 3 miles south of Old Speck Mountain, Location: 2 miles south of Old Speck Mountain, Location: off AT, just west of West Baldpate Mountain, Location: 2 miles from the summit of East Baldpate Mountain, Location: 1.6 miles, hiking south from East Baldpate Campsite, Location: 3.1 miles, hiking south from Lane Campsite, Location: 5.5 miles hiking south from Town Corner Campsite or 4.9 miles from Rt 26, Accommodations: Raised earth tent pads, outhouse. The AT portion uses white blazes. Thanks for your support! Oct 3, 2012 - Information on Grafton Loop Trail backcountry campsites and shelters. Grafton Loop Trip Experience. Cairns mark the route over open summits. The AMC website offers a basic trail description with camping information here and a map here. 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 now. Fortunately, there are eight campsites in addition to the lean-to, so finding an appropriate spot to camp isn’t an issue. https://www.strava.com/activities/3878370921 Mahoosuc Public Lands & Grafton Notch State Park - Some of the most challenging terrain along the Appalachian Trail as well as the 38 mile Grafton Loop Trail provide a memorable mountain setting for backpacking in western Maine. In comparison with the venerable trails simply over the border in New Hampshire, the Grafton Loop is comparatively new. The AMC describes the camping areas along the trail here. PLAN YOUR Summer Adventures! Ladders aid hikers over rocky drops. https://www.alltrails.com/trail/us/maine/grafton-notch-trail 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. The trail connects to the AT at two points on either side of Grafton Notch to create a loop, ~42 miles in length. A friend and I are thinking of doing the eastern side of loop. The trail can be difficult to follow at times. Adam Wilcox posted the route: The Grafton Notch Loop is 39 mile trail that was completed in 2007. The views stretch down the Mahoosuc Range into the Presidentials. The Appalachian Mountain Club maintains the trail west of Route 26, also including four designated campsites. Construction of this leg of the trail involved many individuals and organizations, including the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, the Hurricane Island Outward Bound School, the Maine Conservation Corps and the AMC. The closest campsite from the road is 5 miles in, on the other side of 3,000-foot Puzzle Mountain. For the AMC, this was the first major trail constructed by the club since the building of the Centennial Trail in the Mahoosucs in 1976. 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. After having read an article in a hiking journal about the Grafton Notch Loop Trail, my daughter Annemarie and I decided to check it out. Multiple blow downs that are easy to navigate around. We're accepting reservations for the 2020 Camping Season 2020 - OPEN Mid-May through Columbus Day. The northern trailhead also access the AT and several other trails, including the route to Old Speck, which is popular with peakbaggers, causing this trailhead to be much more crowded and potentially full. Trail Correspondents 2021: Apply to Join the Team! They are used here with permission. The summit by itself isn’t too impressive. Hi, I'm Troy, AKA- TOMCAT. Hiking the Grafton Loop - Camping in Maine - Duration: 48:52. sintax77 63,014 views. I enjoy all things outdoors including hiking/backpacking, mountain biking, skiing, xc skiing, kayaking, and writing about my experiences. I personally recommend the Lane tent site on the eastern section of the trail. As a result, camping is limited to designated sites and the Baldpate Lean-to on the AT portion of the loop. Excellent synopsis! 3,812 foot East Baldpate sits near the northern end where the eastern half of the loop intersects the AT. https://www.strava.com/activities/3878374720 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. AMC Outdoors > Bulletin: Around AMC > Web Exclusives. Those who make the climb are greeted with stunning 360-degree views from the lofty perch. 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. Whether new to backpacking or a seasoned veteran, the Grafton Loop Trail offers something for everyone. This section includes three primitive campsites. I appreciate your extensive review! 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. https://www.strava.com/activities/3878372815 Campsites near the Appalachian Trail, the Mahoosuc Range, Grafton State Park & Grafton Loop Trail. Appalachian Mountain Club, 10 City Square, Boston, MA 02129 P: 617-523-0655 F: 617-523-0722. Only concern is the ladder that you picture in this article. For those looking to expand on their Grafton Loop experience, the 1.8-mile Woodsum Spur Trail follows the open ledges of Puzzle Mountain before rejoining the loop. 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