View Full Version : Grafton Loop Western side

03-20-2006, 12:47 PM
Does any one have any info on when the Western side of the Grafton Loop will be opened? I thought it was going to open last year. Checked MATC website but couldn't find any info. I noticed alot of construction in the general area of the Eastern traihead and across the street where the western junction was supposed to start. I am hoping that this has not disrupted the western trail somehow. They have already had to relocate the bottom section of the Puzzle Mountain trail due to construction, and have a sign with a map of house plots for sale. All sorts of new roads are being put in and a few large clearcuts are viewable from the ledges on Puzzle mountain. I am just hoping that al of this new construction doesn't disrupt one of the newest trail systems in Maine in decades. Any info that someone may have on any of this would be appreciated.

poison ivy
03-20-2006, 01:10 PM
A couple of us are planning to hike the loop this summer and were checking into this a few weeks ago. We have been told that is that the work on the western half is nearly (if not already) complete and the trail will officially open this spring.

I was unaware of the construction nearby, so I can't offer any insight there.
- Ivy

03-20-2006, 01:13 PM
The Grafton Loop Trail is completed, and is going to "officially" open on National Trails day, June 3rd.

This is from AMC's website, posted in Fall 2005:

"Grafton Loop Trail:

This fall, AMC completed the final 3.5 miles of the Grafton Loop Trail in the Mahoosucs. The loop trail is approximately 37 miles in total length, and includes approximately 8 miles of the Appalachian Trail. The newly constructed trail on the west side, the portion that AMC will maintain into the future, is about 14 miles long. One designated campsite has been constructed and more will be completed over the coming years. Signs and blazing will be complete in late fall of 2005, making the trail ready for hikers in Spring of 2006. Information about the complete loop will soon be available on the AMC web page (the current info only covers the eastern portion)."


03-20-2006, 01:48 PM
Thanks for the replies. My family has a small camp a few miles past the Puzzle mnt end of the trail and I have been looking for some sort of a sign for the western side trail head. All I have seen is a big mess of construction, and was just concerned that this may have effected the location of the trail head. I am heading back up there next weekend and may go check around a bit. I am just guessing that the trail head would be directly across from the current parking area for Puzzle Mnt (Eastern Loop) on Eddy rd jnct with route 26. I am really looking forward to hiking over Sunday River Whitecap, hopefully this spring :)

03-20-2006, 02:08 PM
I'm the proud new adopter of a portion of the western half. It just so happens to be the section over Sunday River Whitecap!

I haven't been there yet this spring (it is spring, isn't it?) but I'll be heading there soon. It's an awesome new trail!

As others have said, the official opening is this spring. It think that's when they'll make the connection to the road obvious.


03-20-2006, 02:55 PM
Thank you Spencer. I am looking forward to standing on the summit of Sunday River Whitecap, I can see the summit from my camp and have always wanted to go there. Thanks for helping out.

03-20-2006, 03:08 PM
Frodo and I noticed a brandy-spankin' new "Grafton Loop Trail" sign on the summit of Old Speck on Saturday (before dropping into the "Touching the Void" abyss known as Mahoosuc Notch... which was really quite fun, BTW). :eek:

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy--a new trail! :) :) :)

So, it's 37 miles... does anyone know the cumulative elevation gain? Those of you who know me know what I'm thinkin'! :D :D :D

03-20-2006, 03:11 PM
So, it's 37 miles... does anyone know the cumulative elevation gain? Those of you who know me know what I'm thinkin'! :D :D :D

Do it in a day . . . set a record :)
you know you can no matter the elevation gain :D

I will likely backpack this sometime this summer. Should be fun !!!


03-20-2006, 03:31 PM
If the views from Puzzle and Baldpate are any indication, this should be a great trail.

03-20-2006, 04:47 PM
I saw that new Grafton Loop sign recently too! 12.9 miles from Rt. 26 to the summit of Old Speck. Started me thinking.........hmmm, maybe this summer! I've hiked the Eastern side and it was GREAT, only saw 3 people over 2 days! I think I can squeeze the Western side into a hike this year!!


03-22-2006, 12:53 PM
The southern junction of the western part of the GLT (got that?) was already in place, with a trailhead sign, last fall. It took a while to find it, though. It is not directly across from the Puzzle Mtn trailhead and parking lot, but a mile or so south of there on the west side of Rt 26. The sign itself is facing north, hard to see if you are coming up Rt 26 from Bethel. It is placed near a utility pole and a gate. You could follow the trail from that junction west a short way and cross a snowmobile bridge. Then the signs stopped. The rest was guesswork. I assume the signage will be completed this spring.

03-28-2006, 11:07 AM
I did a little exploring there this past weekend. I've posted a trip report with map and elevation profile for the first couple, three miles.