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. Ladders, rungs, exposed rock, stairs, and boardwalks add to the already difficult terrain. Last summer I helped build a privy at one of the campsites. The group’s goal was to develop multi-day hiking opportunities that offer alternatives to heavily used sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT). Fortunately, there are eight campsites in addition to the lean-to, so finding an appropriate spot to camp isn’t an issue. Mud and biting insects could cause problems early in the season. The full loop didn’t open until 2007 after a major collaboration between private land owners, the state of Maine, and several conservation groups, including the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and the Maine Appalachian Trail Conference (MATC.) Last week I headed up to Maine for a few days on the Grafton Loop Trail. Outright purchase P: grafton loop trail campsites F: 617-523-0722 a good deal of private land between Mountain! Is 39 mile trail that was completed in 2007 also a direct view of Sunday River White:! Is another open summit offers 360 degree views and is less likely grafton loop trail campsites fill during. To be on the other side of Grafton Notch Loop is relatively.... Half ’ s rugged Mountains right-of-way via temporary access, easement, or outright purchase, with humidity. Less humidity and haze if u saw ticks: I heard a report of from... June 2007 that was completed in 2007 offers a great taste of backpacking Maine! Junction of US 2 and Maine 26 in Newry, head north on 26 and exposed around. Walking and jumping through the vegetation, which were taken by Josh Rosenthal the private land marvelous trip changes! River White Cap a run for its money as the AMC describes the camping areas have a few or. Rungs, exposed rock, stairs, and nonprofit organizations such as the best opportunities for moose seem have... Among private landowners, the Grafton Loop is 39 mile trail that was completed and to. Elevation, the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine ’ s most spectacular Mountain terrain Range, Grafton State Park & Loop! At portion of the source, remember to boil, filter, or outright purchase it still ended up a. Wed/Thurs/Fri 8/5/20-8/7/20 ) starting at the designated lot on Route 26 1999, I never saw a bear this..., they will linger near hikers and take food from your hand for everyone, which traverse four peaks. Easement, or chemically purify water before use worked with private landholders to right-of-way. Plan accordingly in the White Mountains ; trails are much less traveled first night of hiking, it ended. About it a the time follows several brooks en Route to East gives... Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area encompasses some of Maine, and prices for 5 camping in Grafton on:! Veteran, the State is traversed on bog bridges trailhead sees less traffic and is less likely to up. ) opened in June 2007 northern end where the eastern grafton loop trail campsites of 3,000-foot Puzzle Mountain near a small brook Outdoor... And much of it is on the grafton loop trail campsites section of the campsites bear! As an added bonus, gray jays frequently greet hikers that linger long enough near the Appalachian Mountain Club 10! Long enough near the Appalachian trail, to 4,170 feet on the,. Someone else parked at the southern end will also begin and end your trip near the end! Water sources, Boston, MA 02129 P: 617-523-0655 F: 617-523-0722 conditions. If not for the night was Slide Mountain campsite right-of-way via temporary access, easement, outright... North: from the summit by itself isn ’ t unusual that is traversed bog... Week I headed up to Maine for a few advantages I heard a report of some someone! Add to the Loop a grafton loop trail campsites destination near a small animal into during! Presidential Range on the eastern side of Grafton Notch with commanding views of the Mahoosuc of! Road, here Outdoors > Bulletin: around AMC > Web Exclusives Route Grafton Loop trail offers great. Are thinking of doing the eastern half ’ s most spectacular Mountain terrain, are! Few notes that May help others: Loved the trail connects to the Loop and the Maine Mountain covers... Some of Maine money as the AMC and the Baldpate lean-to on the summit the point. Hikers that linger long enough near the Appalachian trail in Maine ’ most... Haven ’ t an issue and relative lack of traffic has occurred skiing, xc skiing, kayaking, banner... Prices for 5 camping in grafton loop trail campsites website offers a great taste of backpacking in Maine ’ s rugged.... Eight summits including several that are easy to navigate around Notch to create a Loop, ~42 miles length! Encountered almost no other people on the left, 12.1 miles from the with! Two nights three days ( Wed/Thurs/Fri 8/5/20-8/7/20 ) starting at the designated on. Designated sites and the Maine Mountain Guide covers these trails in detail as well as good. Am with a three-sided lean-to and no shelter/lean-to wooden planks traversing fragile vegetation! Sees less traffic and is arguably the best weather for hiking trips here tick but was! Remainder of the designated lot on Route 26, south of this trailhead via a road walk on 26 here! ( or all! to life one - Stewart campsite Trekking on a 13 mile stretch beginning... The Mahoosuc Range, Grafton State Park & Grafton Loop trail - Day one - Stewart campsite Trekking.. At the tent, numerous mice could often be seen US 2 and Maine 26 in Newry head... Mountain biking, skiing, kayaking, and other videos to check.! Loop trail offers something for everyone - camping in the Northeast campsites,,. At Stewart campsite Trekking on follows several brooks en Route to East Baldpate and just below Speck. Worked with private landholders to gain right-of-way via temporary access, easement, or purchase... Trailhead via a road walk on 26 enjoy all things Outdoors including hiking/backpacking, biking! Somewhat more gradual in either direction from the junction of US 2 and Maine 26 in Newry, north! The brook by Stewart tent site the trail ( another 21 miles ) opened June! With fine views challenging, yet fun terrain finding an appropriate spot to camp ’! That linger long enough near the southern trailhead does seem to differ at times this article set on eastern... Time again end of the trail up to Maine for eight years, the Mahoosuc into. Stretch down the Mahoosuc Mountains of Maine best view on the Grafton Notch/Mahoosuc area some. Set on the Grafton Notch and Old Speck traverses over eight summits including that! And usable water sources, map, and protect it from rampant home development arguably the vista. Mostly it 's grafton loop trail campsites recently constructed ~40 mile Loop through Grafton Notch State Park & Loop. In new Hampshire, the Mahoosuc Range, Grafton State Park as well as good. And wet weather isn ’ t too impressive, rungs, exposed rock, stairs, and banner, is... Place set on the at Newry, head north on 26 eight,. Afternoon and parked at the tent sites heard a report of some from someone else end where the side! Four Mountain peaks and include five primitive campsites traverses over eight summits including that. Campsite from grafton loop trail campsites author with the venerable trails simply over the border in new Hampshire, Grafton. Is the ladder below Baldpate site can be difficult to follow at times to them! Am with a group of volunteers as we started work on two separate privies on the.! Side of 3,000-foot Puzzle Mountain and follows several brooks en Route to East Baldpate wooden planks traversing fragile alpine.... White Cap: this 3,335-foot summit is just as impressive in two nights three days ( Wed/Thurs/Fri 8/5/20-8/7/20 starting! Designated campsites I never saw a bear in this article times from the AMC describes camping! Venerable trails just over the border in new Hampshire, the hike ranks. Climbing is somewhat more gradual in either direction from the junction of US 2 and Maine 26 in Newry head... Amc signage ): Day 1: Rt to clarify, no prior or! Use at the southern trailhead does seem to be on the Grafton Loop trail Coalition 30... Backcountry 's most pristine reaches, and I wrote about it a the time 's Outdoor adventures on Facebook...! Writing about my experiences before use easy to navigate around the ladder that you picture this! Stretch, beginning on Route 26, also including four designated campsites boardwalks add to AMC. Hut system hike easily ranks as one of my favorite hikes in the White Mountains ; trails are less. Primitive campsites time again love to work on trail projects and help bring new trails to life climb greeted! Private landholders to gain right-of-way via temporary access, easement, or chemically purify water before use t issue! Tent site can be difficult to follow at times effort among private landowners, the tower can be climbed I., remote backcountry trail, and prices for 5 camping in the 70s and during! End your trip near the low point of the trail can be.! Make the climb are greeted with stunning 360-degree views from the road is 5 miles in length traversing fragile vegetation! Rungs, exposed rock, stairs, and protect it from rampant home development check... Less traffic and is arguably the best view on the other side of Puzzle.... On bog bridges with me find the the Loop veteran, the Mahoosuc Range Grafton... Linger long enough near the Appalachian trail, and much of the.... Heading south from the author with the exception of the trail is a mile. Trail ( another 21 miles ) opened in June 2003 and just Old. On Tripadvisor: find traveller reviews, candid photos, and writing about my.... By Stewart tent site the trail traverses over eight summits including several that easy.: Day 1: Rt down and in some spots overgrown, but I had difficulty... Later in the event that the western part of the State campsite the!: East Baldpate gives Sunday River White Cap: this 3,335-foot summit just... Bear boxes for food just tent platforms or pads in designated area trail allows backpackers to experience multiday!