Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Bald Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap, Old Speck Mountain, ME
Trails: Grafton Loop Trail, Old Speck Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, September 3, 2018
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Plenty @ Grafton Notch State Park lot when I finished late afternoon. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: No issues here. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: A couple of downed trees around that did not pose much of a problem to pass. Trails are well signed and blazed. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Just S of Sargent Brook campsite I found a small bag of dog food. I picked it up and no more than 5 minutes later I chatted with a young woman with a dog I had seen on Saturday coming from the opposite direction. Although it wasn't hers she kindly offered to take it from me. 
Bugs: A couple of flies trying to attack my eyes but not bad otherwise. 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: Nothing other than the aforementioned dog food. 
Comments: Day three of a three day Garfton Loop backpack: Bald Mountain Campsite to Grafton Notch State Park lot.

GLT is mostly soft until connecting to the AT. It is a little brushy in spots, including the last stretch heading N to Old Speck. Old Speck Trail is steep, rocky and slick virtually the entire way.

Bald Mountain is not bald at all but it was more than made up for at Sunday River Whitecap - a really spectacular peak that made a couple of stiff ascents worth the work. I had it all to myself for an early lunch while listening to some occasional distant rumbles that would continue all afternoon. Heading N I had originally planned to stay at Bull Run Campsite - if nothing else to avoid Labor Day traffic going home - but I got there so early I decided to make some miles and finish since skies were clear to the west. Got to Old Speck mid-afternoon and had the tower to myself with just two others at the summit. On the way down Old Speck Trail a trail runner heading up gave me intel of thunderstorms between 5 and 6. Starting just below the lower Eyebrow Trail junction it started to get dark with a little more rumbling above. Hiked the last half mile out with the trail runner and within two minutes of getting back to the car the first lightning strike was seen. Within two minutes after that the skies opened up with torrential rain. I would like to thank Mother Nature for allowing my to finish my trek without enduring her wrath.

The young woman with the dog was the only person I saw on the GLT today. There were a few day hikers and thrus once on the Old Speck Trail. It's amazing just how few people I saw on a Holiday weekend hiking the Grafton Loop. It really is a great trek.  
Name: HMJ 
E-Mail: trailsntrees(at)gmail(dot)com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2018-09-04 
Link: http:// 
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