Grafton Notch State Park is located in west-central Maine on Route 26, between the towns of Newry and Upton. This beautiful, scenic state park covers over 3,000 acres of land and offers tons of sightseeing, hiking and places to stop and picnic.
If hiking is your thing, this is the perfect park for you. There are four main hiking trails inside the park and the Appalachian trail runs directly through Grafton Notch State Park. The four hiking trails include The Table Rock Loop, Old Speck Trail, The Eyebrow Loop, and Baldpate Mountain Trail. Each of these hikes can be done in the course of one day, although some are shorter and easier to navigate than others.
One of the most popular hikes is the hike to the top of Old Speck. This hike will take you up to 4,000 feet, so hikers should be in good physical condition. Grafton Notch State Park does not have running water, so hikers should take plenty of water and supplies when visiting. The hike to Old Speck covers pretty rugged terrain and hikers will need to use steel cables and iron rungs in the beginning of the hike. The views at the top of Old Speck are incredible and there are many great viewing places to stop along the way. This particular hike is about 8 miles long and can easily take a full day.
Another popular, and much shorter, hike at this state park is The Eyebrow Loop. At just 2.2 miles, this is a better hike for beginners or those who don’t want to spend an entire day on a hike. Like the other trails, The Eyebrow Loop is not well-maintained, so hiking boots are advisable and hikers should be in good physical shape. This trail will take you to the top of Grafton Notch and the views are stunning from this point as well.
If hiking isn’t your thing, Grafton Notch is the perfect park to drive though while taking the time to stop at a number of points of interest and scenic areas. For example, visitors can stop to see waterfalls and a number of different glacial formations without having to walk far and most of these areas are also handicap accessible. Auger Screw Falls, Mother Walker Falls, and Moose Cave can all be viewed without hiking and are perfect for families visiting with children.
While you’re at the park, it’s worth stopping for a picnic. There are several places to stop to eat and some of them have barbecue pits for cooking. It’s free to drive through the park and the cost to hike the trails is minimal – approximately $3 per hike.
There is no camping in Grafton Notch State Park itself, but camping is available nearby on Route 26 for those who wish to camp.
Grafton State Park is located at 1941 Bear River Road Newry, ME 04261. The phone number for the park is 207.824.2912, but the office is only staffed during summer months. The official park website is http://www.visitmaine.com/organization/2709/grafton_notch_state_park/.