Grafton Notch State Park - Old Speck Mountain and Eyebrow Loop
View Connector Trails
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.
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.
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.
Visit Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands online for more information and a printable map or contact:
Grafton Notch State Park
1941 Bear River Road
Newry, ME 04261
Phone: (207) 824-2912; Off Season: (207) 624-6080
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Leave No Trace Principle
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Avoid hypothermia, even in warm weather, by limiting your sweat and exposure to cold water. Bring warm and dry clothes in case the shivers set in.