|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||East Baldpate, Long Mountain, Puzzle Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap, Old Speck, ME|
||Grafton Notch Loop|
|Date of Hike:
||Saturday, September 5, 2020|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||No problems at the Old Speck lot at 8:30am on Saturday, and it was almost empty at 6pm on Monday. I bet it was packed in between, though. |
||Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Significant |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||None, probably because there's no water |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I saw a couple guys working on the mud pit between the Baldpates, which seems a little hopeless but maybe they'll think of something. There's various blowdowns, of course, the most annoying of which was just south of the Sargent Brook campsite. From Bull Run to the summit of Old Speck, the trail is very grown in and narrow, though the foot bed is easy to follow. In all, the loop is very well blazed and marked. |
||I saw one or two mosquitos, plus some annoying flies on the road walk section. It wasn't enough to care about. |
|Lost and Found:
||Wow, water is a major problem right now. Going clockwise from Old Speck, your only real water options are at the road, at Baldpate Shelter, East Baldpate tent site, the whole stretch east of Lane tent site, the Long/Puzzle col, the river crossing at the south end, a couple tenths going up towards Bald Mountain tent site (and this rapidly runs out, so don't wait too long), just west of Stowe Mountain (and this one is mossy and slow moving), and right on the trail at Slide Mountain tent site. This sounds like a lot written out, but it amounts to several 6+ mile water carries.|
I did not check out Bull Run. Stewart and Sargent Brook are dry. Town Corner and Bald Mountain are very nearly dry. Be prepared to tank up and carry it long distances.
The Old Speck Trail is the worst part of this whole hike. Compared to Grafton Notch Loop, it's just an eroded trench of bare rocks and roots. It's a completely irredeemable, miserable hiking experience. The rest of the loop sees far less traffic and has a much softer foot bed. There are steep and rocky sections of course, but it's not close to the same.
||Chris Lumens |
Disclaimer: Reports are not verified - conditions may vary. Use at own risk. Always be prepared when hiking. Observe all signs. Trail conditions reports are not substitutes for weather reports or common sense.