Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks Mahoosuc Arm, ME
Trails: Road walk, Notch Trail, Mahoosuc Trail, May Cutoff, Speck Pond Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Saturday, July 10, 2021
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: North Road/York Pond Road/Success Pond Road is in fine shape and is passable by all cars along it's entire length from Upton to Berlin. The NH end is rougher, but not an issue. 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail, Wet/Slippery Rock, Standing/Running Water on Trail, Mud - Minor/Avoidable, Mud - Significant, Snow/Ice - Small Patches 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Lots of water on the trails, but all stream crossing were easily hopped. The hardest crossing was an alpine big where the bridging sank below the surface. 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Trails are all easily followed and generally in good shape. As usual, some big bridging across the alpine bogs is in rough shape. 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Saw one 
Bugs: A few blackflies and deerflies, but not bad 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found:  
Comments: The forecast went back and forth, but finally decided on yesterday being the better day of the weekend, so I decided to head to the Mahoosucs to do a loop through Mahoosuc Notch and over Mahoosuc Arm. I drove it to the Speck Pond Trailhead from Upton. North Road/York Pond Road/Success Pond Road is fine for any vehicle from both ends (the NH end is rougher).

My hike started with an easy road walk down to the start of the Notch Trail. The Notch Trail is a relatively easy trail which ascends along Shelter Brook to its junction with the Mahoosuc Trail at the head of Mahoosuc Notch. It took me about an hour to do the mile through the Notch which involved lots of interesting maneuvers through caves and around massive boulders. I enjoyed it, but I can see how it would be tiring and very difficult with a large pack or in wetter weather. I was excited to see that there were still numerous snow patches in the Notch!

After the notch came the tiring ascent up Mahoosuc Arm. After the Notch thoroughly tires you out, the trail climbs straight up Mahoosuc Arm across many slippery slabs. This climb seemed to go on forever, but finally I arrived at the top, where there were good views towards Old Speck. The couple of miles through Mahoosuc Notch and up Mahoosuc Arm are definitely some of the more rugged and challenging in New England! I continued on a little ways, past May Cutoff and over a treacherous mud pit, to the view point on the east side of Mahoosuc Arm. This viewpoint offers great views to the east, south, and north, including most of the Mahoosucs, the Grafton Notch area, and an up close view of Old Speck.

After eating lunch, I turned around and descended using May Cutoff and the Speck Pond Trail. The upper sections of the Speck Pond Trail were wet and rugged, but it mellowed further down. After reaching my car, I drove out through Berlin and camped for the night at Pattee Marsh in the White Mountain National Forest.

The rugged beauty of the Mahoosucs makes them one of my favorite mountain ranges in the state, and I'll try to get in a few more hikes in the area this summer.  
Name: Sam Shirley 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2021-07-11 
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