|Hiking Trail Conditions Report|
||Old Speck Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap, Stowe Mountain, Bald Mountain, Puzzle Mountain, Long Mountain, Baldpate Mountain - East Peak, Baldpate Mountain - West Peak, ME|
||Grafton Loop Trail, Bull Run Campsite Spur, Bald Mountain Campsite Spur, East Baldpate Campsite Spur|
|Date of Hike:
||Sunday, June 13, 2021|
|Parking/Access Road Notes:
||Plenty of parking at the AT trailhead on Friday morning. Maybe half full on Sunday morning when I ended around 9am. |
||Dry Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Mud - Minor/Avoidable |
|Water Crossing Notes:
||Very dry right now. All crossings were easily rock hoppable. See below for water source info. |
|Trail Maintenance Notes:
||I was so impressed by the care that went into building and maintaining this trail. A few blowdowns blocking the trail on the Eastern half with clear paths around them. There were a number of recently cleared blowdowns on the Western half. |
||Saw a couple of pups on Puzzle Mountain. It is dry so be sure to pack water.
I also ran into a grouse at the start of the ascent up Long Mountain that was very upset with me and flew at me a couple of times. I suspect it was protecting a nest near the trail, so it might be a good idea to watch your dog in this area. |
||Not too bad overall. Mosquitoes were present in most spots and bad in a few, but not too bothersome. Black flies were not really an issue. Long pants and long sleeves treated with permethrin along with picaridin did the trick when they were bad. |
|Lost and Found:
||Saw an orange/tan hat hanging on a tree on the descent southbound from Old Speck. I think it was close to Bull Run Campsite.
Lost a disposable water bottle somewhere between Lane Campsite and the knob above Lightning Ledge. If you see it, please recycle :) ||
||This is a report for a 2 night trip on the full Grafton Loop, starting from the AT Trailhead at the Northern end and going counterclockwise.|
The trail is in great shape overall. There are some sections with lots of undergrowth - particularly between Old Speck and Slide Campsite and between Lane Campsite and Lightning Ledge - but the trail is still easy to follow in these areas. A number of water sources are dry at the moment.
Bull Run Campsite: flowing well
Slide Campsite: It did not appear to be flowing on trail. I did not investigate the campsite itself.
Sargent Brook Campsite: I did not investigate, but could hear flowing water from the junction.
Bald Mountain Campsite: Water is not flowing at the campsite. Definitely plan to pack in water if you are staying here. The brook was flowing well further down the trail, but you need to descend several hundred feet.
Stewart Campsite: Dry. Pack in water if staying here.
Chase Hill Brook: The brook is flowing well at the low point between Puzzle Mountain and Long Mountain.
Town Corner Campsite: I did not investigate.
Wight Brook: Flowing well everywhere, including at Lane Campsite and East Baldpate Campsite.
I stayed at Bald Mountain on night one. As noted above, the brook is not flowing at the campsite. Two tent pads, privy, and bear box. On night two, I stayed at East Baldpate Campsite. Plenty of water, several tent pads, and a privy. There is no bear box so plan to hang your food. There is also a large dead branch overhanging the edge of one tent pad that is broken off and barely hanging on. I would not want to camp underneath it.
Aside from the AT and the stretch between Rt 26 and Puzzle Mountain, I saw one solo backpacker and one group of two. I had both campsites to myself.
Thank you to the very helpful hiker who I saw on Old Speck and again on Puzzle Mountain who provided lots of info about water sources!
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.