Grafton Loop Trail is a hiking trail in Newry, Maine. It is 11.1 miles long and begins at 727 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.5 miles with a total elevation gain of 7,741 feet. Bald Mountain (elevation 2,077 feet), Stowe Mountain (elevation 2,677 feet), and Sunday River Whitecap (elevation 3,307 feet) can be seen along the trail. The trail ends near Old Speck Mountain (elevation 4,144 feet). There is also an observation tower near the end of the trail.
Grafton Loop Trail Professional Reviews and Guides
"Recently completed, the Grafton Loop combines 30 miles of new hiking terrain with 8.6 miles of preexisting Appalachian Trail (AT) mileage to form a fabulous backpacking circuit in western Maine. In addition to offering overnight opportunities at eight camping locations, the loop also provides a variety of shorter options from half-day to full-day adventures. This lightly traveled trail weaves beneath towering yellow birches, along cascading mountain streams, and across moss-filled ridgelines to spectacular bald peaks and surreal summit vistas. The Grafton Loop, while challengingly steep on occasion, generally provides an ideal pathway for backpack toting and quiet contemplation."
--Jeffrey Romano, 100 Classic Hikes in New England (The Mountaineers Books).
"The full Grafton Loop features about 30 miles of new trail around
Grafton Notch, along with an 8-mile section of the Appalachian
Trail (AT) between Old Speck Mountain and Baldpate Mountain.
The hike connects a series of scenic peaks and other natural features, and explores some of Maine’s most rugged and scenic backcountry."
--Matt Heid, AMC's Best Backpacking in New England (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"A short but demanding hike to a wonderful granite-ledge overlook with terrific views of Grafton Notch. Grafton Notch is as wild and remote as Evans Notch is intimate and inviting. While there are a host of accessible, roadside spectacles to savor within Grafton Notch State Park, including beautiful Screw Auger Falls and the deep flume known as Moose Cave, the region is best known for its imposing terrain. Here, the Appalachian Trail cuts through what many thru-hikers consider the trail’s most difficult section. Despite its relatively short length, this hike provides a taste of the area’s demanding terrain with a steep 1-mile, 900-foot vertical ascent. Yet, it also rewards your effort with interesting caverns to explore and amazing views from the spectacular outlook known as Table Rock."
--Ty Wivell, Discover Maine (Appalachian Mountain Club Books).
"Cascading streams tumbling down rocky mountain slopes serve as the backdrop for two short loops that together offer a nice half-day of hiking to the Eyebrow and Table Rock, scenic ledges in Maine’s Grafton Notch. Each loop can be hiked individually as a shorter trip, and each can be extended by more than 5 miles to include one-way trips to the highest peaks in the region. For those looking for a multiple-day adventure, these same features can be visited along a brand-new 42-mile loop trail. Whatever your pleasure, Grafton Notch is a welcome addition to any hiking itinerary."
--Jeffrey Romano, Best Loop Hikes: New Hampshire's White Mountains to the Maine Coast (The Mountaineers Books).
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