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Ski
Hiking Trail Conditions Report
Peaks
Peaks Bald Mountain, Stowe Mountain, Sunday River Whitecap, Old Speck Mountain, ME
Trails
Trails: Grafton Loop Trail, Mahoosuc Trail, Old Speck Trail
Date of Hike
Date of Hike: Monday, August 22, 2022
Parking/Access Road Notes
Parking/Access Road Notes: Large lot at top of notch/Old Speck trailhead was half full at midday and near empty at 7PM. There is a designated parking lot .6 north of the Grafton loop trailhead-parking at trailhead not permitted (except for bicycles hidden in the woods)! 
Surface Conditions
Surface Conditions: Dry Trail, Wet Trail 
Recommended Equipment
Recommended Equipment:  
Water Crossing Notes
Water Crossing Notes: Everything was dried up or low and slow 
Trail Maintenance Notes
Trail Maintenance Notes: Oh boy. as previously stated in earlier trail reports the section between Slide campsite and Old Speck Summit is SEVERELY overgrown. It starts as hobblebush and other vegetation, some of which is twelve feet high, and is almost constant with only short reprieves. It transitions to spruce, which you have to swim through at times as if on a gnarly bushwhack. The footbed is easy to see/follow and mostly dirt, so that's nice, but having such a long distance of severe overgrowth becomes extremely annoying and burdensome. There are also lots of blowdowns in this section which adds to the profound misery. This section was also soaking wet. It was essentially the three-mile carwash from hell 
Dog-Related Notes
Dog-Related Notes: Would be a great dog trail except for the prolonged dry stretches. Old Speck trail is steep and rough but would be okay for mountain dogs. 
Bugs
Bugs: none 
Lost and Found
Lost and Found: found a nice (but stinky) wool sock that I meant to leave at trailhead but forgot and brought it home. If it is yours email me and can arrange return 
 
Comments
Comments: Monday Mahoosuc madness!!! My main goal was to not die riding my bike eight miles down the notch, which I did. There is no shoulder and I had a few logging truck whiz past in close proximity which took a few years off Ol' Spence's life I think. I started this adventure at the crack of noon and was done biking by 12:30. Grafton Loop is extremely awesome/pleasant except for the last three miles from Slide Camp to Old Speck, as detailed above. Real miserable section. Bald Mountain Camp and Sargent Brook Camp have only small stagnant pools of water-luckily I had read this and carried three liters which was sufficient. Sargent Brook camp water source was very low and slow but okay. Bull Run has ample water still. Only other good water source (at the moment) is the stream in the col between Stowe Mtn. and its' westerly knob. Me and a bear scared the crap out of each other just before Bald Mtn. summit-that was exciting. It ran away through brush and then I almost stepped in its' poop five minutes later. Sunday River Whitecap is an amazing summit area, and the descent down the north side has prolonged sweeping views of the notch and surrounding mountains-very cool mountain. I somehow dodged most of the rain-it only started coming down hard half mile from car, thankfully. The descent down Old Speck was steep and rough, and no fun at all on this particular day. Speck was socked in so didn't climb tower, which was soaking wet anyways and not looking safe at the moment. I saw zero humans and finished at 7PM. Another fast and grand relining adventure. Cannot wait to get back to Grafton Notch and do the entire loop it is an amazing area!  
Name
Name: Spence 
E-Mail
E-Mail: stormyweatherholt@yahoo.com 
Date Submitted
Date Submitted: 2022-08-23 
Link
Link: https:// 
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