FKT: Peter Howe - Grafton Notch Loop (ME) - 2020-09-19

Route variation
Standard loop
Gender category
Start date
Finish date
Total time
7h 55m 59s

Managed to catch a stunner day for the Grafton Notch Loop- dry, clear, and brisk.

I began at the Puzzle Mountain Trailhead and worked my way counter-clockwise. The entirety of the route was new to me besides Old Speck- which meant that I quickly got caught up in the excitement of new peaks and trails, and committed myself to a fast day. The flowy, runnable, but rugged character of the trail reminded me a bit of the Kilkennies, and I found a great rhythm through the first half of the loop. After an overeager descent off the Baldpates, I worked harder than I'd hoped up Old Speck, with the foolish assumption that it was all downhill from there, besides Sunday River Whitecap. Though mostly kept things together, I got humbled by some surprise climbs in the last few miles and left some time out there.

The last miles of my GPS track are wonky, but the full time and some data is correctly captured.

What a special loop- as aesthetic to run as it looks on a map. Thank you to the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, Mahoosuc Land Trust, and others for making this trail possible.

Grafton Notch and the Bear River valley lie in the unceded ancestral lands of the Arosaguntacook band of the Abenaki and the Wabanaki Confederacy.