Grafton Notch State Park - Old Speck Mountain and Eyebrow Loop

MTF

Trailhead

From the intersection of US Route 2 and ME Route 26 in Newry, follow ME Route 26 approximately 12 miles north to where the Appalachian Trail crosses the road. Coming from US Route 2, the trailhead and parking area will be on the left. The trails up Old Speck and Eyebrow Loop leave from the parking area and kiosk on the west side of ME Route 26.

Description

Grafton Notch State Park is a premier recreational destination off of ME Route 26 in Newry. The park lies amidst some of Maine's most spectacular mountains, the Mahoosuc Mountain Range, and offers rugged terrain for back-country hikers including close to 5 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Hiking up the steep summit trails rewards hikers with spectacular views, particularly on Old Speck  Mountain which at 4,180 feet is Maine's third tallest mountain.

Old Speck Trail (7.6 miles round trip, advanced):

Old Speck Trail is a challenging hike with spectacular views from an open observation tower at the summit. From the parking area, follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail southbound along Cascade Brook. The trail crosses many streams then ascends the north shoulder, rising out of the woods and offering frequent views of the Notch. The summit and tower are reached by a 0.3-mile spur reached at approximately 3.5 miles from the trail head.

Eyebrow Loop Trail (2.2 miles round trip, advanced):

The Eyebrow Loop Trail rises steeply to a 2,900 foot shelf-overlook on Old Speck Mountain. Following the white-blazed Appalachian Trail southbound for 0.1 miles, look for the start of the orange-blazed Eyebrow Trail on the right. The trail gently rises as it passes through a stand or hardwood trees until it reaches a steeper cliff section. Portions of the orange-blazed ascent involve ladders and steel rungs. It is suggested that users descend by following the Appalachian Trail back to the parking lot and trailhead. While still steep, this avoids climbing down steep sections. Hikers wanting to avoid the rungs and ladders can go up and back on the AT portion for a 2.6-mile round-trip. The Eyebrow may not be achievable for small children, especially in wet conditions.

Other Information

Grafton Notch State Park is also part of the Maine Birding Trail, birdwatchers can observe peregrine falcons, a wide variety of songbirds, and at higher elevations some northern forest species.

In the winter, adventurous snowshoers and cross-country skiers enjoy exploring ungroomed trails.

Grafton Notch is open seasonally from May 15th to October 15th from 9:00 am to sunset.

Trail Manager

Visit Grafton Notch State Park online for more information and a downloadable map, or contact:

Grafton Notch State Park
Park Manager
1941 Bear River Road
Newry, ME 04261

Off Season:(207) 624-6080
Phone: (207) 824-2912

Comments (3) Add Comment

avatar holyman1May 16, 2013, 1:55 pm EST

Hiked eyebrow trail on the 16th of may 2013 was really rugged terrain and a few patches of snow and ice but otherwise a good hike took me about 3.5 hrs up and down

avatar ZetterstrandAugust 11, 2013, 1:44 pm EST

Hiked it yesterday. Perfect day for it great views from the tower. Went up with the eyebrow trail and then down with old speck trail. I have a 25 lbs Australian Cattle Dog/Pointer mix young dog and he did better than me. I was worried from what I read about the trail but as long as your dog is in good shape he will be waiting for you the whole way.

avatar Marc BedardAugust 29, 2013, 7:59 am EST

I hiked this trail in October, 2011. I did good time so I decided to continue to Speck Pond and I was rewarded. The pond was pristine and the views were spectacular. I started up from the parking lot at 8AM and returned at 4PM. It was a memorable trip.

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View from Old Speck Trail
View from Old Speck Trail
Photo courtesy:Maine Division of Parks and Public Lands

The western portion of Grafton Notch State park offers two advanced hiking trails that offer excellent views of the mountain range and challenging terrain.

Quick Facts

Activity
  • Hiking / Walking
TownGrafton Twp
DifficultyAdvanced
Length7.6 miles, Round Trip
SurfaceDirt/Forest Floor, Rocks/Ledge
PetsPermitted
FeesYes
Other ActivitiesNone

Current Weather

April 23, 2014
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Mostly Cloudy
48°F

Wind:
From the West at 6 MPH
Humidity:
89%
Dew Point:
45°F

Source:
Weather Underground
5-Day Forecast

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