Grafton Loop Trail Offers 39 Miles of Scenic Hiking
Completed in the summer of 2007, the Grafton Loop Trail offers 39 miles of hiking along a trail that connects a series of scenic peaks and other natural features in Maine's Grafton Notch. This major trail effort was a cooperative effort among private landowners, the state of Maine, and nonprofit organizations such as the AMC. The group's goal was to develop multi-day hiking opportunities that offer alternatives to heavily used sections of the Appalachian Trail (AT).
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. The eastern half of the Grafton Loop was completed and opened to the public in June 2003. The remainder of the trail (another 21 miles) opened in June 2007.
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). Seventeen miles are newly constructed trail, which traverse four mountain peaks and include five primitive campsites. Approximately two-thirds of the trail's length is on private lands with the remainder located on public lands managed by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. 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 western half is a 13 mile stretch, beginning on Route 26, south of the eastern half's trailhead. Traversing the Bear River, Bald Mountain and Miles Notch, this part of the trail ends on the summit of Old Speck Mountain at its junction with the Mahoosuc Trail/AT. This section includes three primitive campsites.
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Photo: Courtesy of Maine Appalachian Trail Club