Speck Pond Trail heads east leaving North Road to follow the northern side of a small brook. After a mile and half, the trail turns north and begins to climb steeply to Speck Pond and the Appalachian Trail, climbing 2,000 feet in 3.1 miles. Before the reaching Speck Pond the May Cutoff leaves the Speck Pond Trail on the right (south) to connect to the AT. The Speck Pond Trail continues straight here to approach Speck Pond and the Speck Pond Campsite from the west providing a nice overlook of the pond along the way. The Speck Pond Campsite is located where the Speck Pond Trail joins the Appalachian Trail on the north side of the pond.
May Cutoff (0.3 miles, moderate): This short trail provides a shortcut to the Appalachian Trail from the Speck Pond Trail crossing over the summit of Mahoosuc Arm and option to approach Speck Pond and the campsite from the AT.
This trail is partially within the 9,993-acre Mahoosuc Ecological Reserve, which, like all Maine state Ecological Reserves, is specifically set aside to protect and monitor natural ecosystems. Find out more by checking out the Maine Natural Areas Program's Ecoreserve Fact Sheet for Mahoosuc Unit.
IMPORTANT: Access to this trailhead is notoriously hard to navigate because of unmarked logging roads that can be difficult or impossible to navigate or pass. Experience on back roads, your vehicle, and the time of year may dictate whether you will be able to access the trailhead. Expect to have some trial and error when navigating these roads and please exercise good judgment and common sense.
From West: Follow US-2 into New Hampshire and take NH-16 north at its intersection with US-2 in Gorham. Continue on NH-16 for 4.5 miles towards Berlin and then bear right on Unity Street to cross the Androscoggin River on the Cleveland Bridge. Unity Street will continue straight through a set of traffic lights and then bear sharply right and becomes Hutchins Street. Follow Hutchins Street (bearing left in several places) another mile to where Success Pond Road leaves Hutchins Street on the right (eastern) side of the road. Follow Success Pond Road 12.2 miles to the Trailhead being sure to take the right fork of the road at 11.4 miles onto North Road, where the main road continues left (it is only 0.8 miles to the trailhead from this point). The trailhead is at the intersection of a logging road and is marked by blue blazes and a low sign post.
From North: Turn onto North Pond Road off of ME-26, 16.9 miles north of the ME-26/US-2 intersection in Newry on the left, or 5.1 miles south of the ME/NH border on the right. From ME-26, follow the North Pond Road south for approximately 10 miles. The trailhead and parking are just south of where Four Corners Road heads west; this is a useful landmark as the sign marking the trailhead faces south and is hidden by vegetation when traveling from the north.
Note: The traditional access from ME-26 north of the Appalachian Trail crossing via York Pond Road is permanently blocked.
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