Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Hike in Maine?

  1. #1
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina
    Posts
    504
    Images
    4

    Hike in Maine?

    I'm looking for a hike for my son and me (he's 29; I'm 61) for the 3rd week in May (hopefully that's after winter and before bug season). Something on the order of 20-30 miles. Preferably a loop, but we could drop a car if it's not too far from Portland. Anyone have a suggestion?
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  2. #2
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    44

    Grafton Loop Trail

    http://www.matc.org/glt1.htm

    I have only done the portions that are on the AT, but it is comprised of two loops, east and west. The trail is brand new, new shelters (if hammocking, only important for the clean privies ) and both sides have soem gorgeous spots:
    West- Old Speck (firetower), Speck Pond (most beautiful spot on AT IMHO)
    East- Table Rock Outcropping, Bald Pates (nice section above tree line)

    If you're only doing one half, it may be a couple of miles back to the car, but along the only road in the area where hitches are customary.

  3. #3
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    44
    Also, a few years ago (with a similar amount of snowfall as this year), I did that section on memorial day and there was still some decent snow cover. However, it was the result of tens of feet melting and compacting down, so it was walkable without snowshoes/crampons. I would throw some yak tracks and gaiters in your pack, as the temperature, for a well prepared hiker, should not be a factor.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    New Orleans, LA
    Posts
    3,565
    Images
    57
    If you are talking about Old Speck and Baldplate mtn, I remember them being great. Just keep in mind they are a lot of the fun Maine ups. Are you looking for something with a lot of climbs of something realitively flat?
    Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
    The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".

  5. #5
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina
    Posts
    504
    Images
    4
    JB, I've looked at the Grafton Loop trail and it has just about every sort of criteria I'm looking for- loop, option of more miles, or less miles, easy access. How would you rate the difficulty of the hike? If the hike is normally a very strenuous hike the addition of snow might make things somewhat undesireable. Maybe, as an option, there's something closer to the coast that may not be as snow-prone. I'd like to have a couple of alternative plans and make the final decision at the last minute depending on weather, conditions, etc. Thanks.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  6. #6
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina
    Posts
    504
    Images
    4
    HE, I don't mind some climbs, but we want to spend about 4 or 5 days out, but without any strict schedule or time constraints, and I doubt that I am good for steady climbing for that length of time. Last fall we did a day hike in New Hampshire- up Mt. Jefferson (I think) across on the AT to Mt. Webster (I'm sure) and back down...6 or 8 miles or so, and I thought that was pretty strenuous. I would not want to do that on 4 or 5 consecutive days.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

  7. #7
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    44
    I'm sorry if I wasn't clear. The West and East loop are both 20 Miles each. Ambition hikers could do both in 4-5 days, but you could have a great time knocking out either one while exploring the side trails.

    Also, look at those topo maps on the link, while the "highlights" are indeed rugged, the grade for other parts of each loop don't look nearly as challenging. I think you have a great opportunity with the loop to get a look at a new trail. Who knows? In a few years you or your son could go back and play "remember when" for a trail in it's infancy and see how it evolves.

    Other great spots, but not as long, are the Bigelow loop and the Gulf Hagas Loop, but you're only talking 12-13 miles for the former and 6-8 for the latter.

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    North Yarmouth, ME
    Posts
    44
    JB, I've looked at the Grafton Loop trail and it has just about every sort of criteria I'm looking for- loop, option of more miles, or less miles, easy access. How would you rate the difficulty of the hike? If the hike is normally a very strenuous hike the addition of snow might make things somewhat undesireable. Maybe, as an option, there's something closer to the coast that may not be as snow-prone. I'd like to have a couple of alternative plans and make the final decision at the last minute depending on weather, conditions, etc. Thanks.
    Sorry, I didn't read the response directed towards me before posting.

    I think that "closer" to the coast really limits you in the fact that you can't get multiple days out of it. I think that the 20 miles of one of the loops, over 4-5 days would be fantastic.

    Again, you'll have the "big payoff" of the rough peak, but I think that with your slotted time you can have luxurious meals, spend a rainy afternoon playing cribbage in a shelter, and not have to worry about rushing. My father is 60 years old, is in decent shape, but has never backpacked, and I would definitely take him on such a hike with that much time alloted.

    Another suggestion, and I've only hiked a portion of it (and I was fogged in to about 15 feet of visibility) is the Bold Coast Trail. Give it a google; local papers, the NYT and other sites have reviews. It's in downeast maine, waaaay past Acadia, (probably 4 hours from Portland) and is a 10-12 mile loop with primitive campsites on the ocean. The sites are FCFS, but it is beautiful and unlike any other hike. No mountains, but not super easy.

    You could also consider hiking/camping in the Mt. Blue region. There's no multi-night looping, per say, but you could camp in the State Park and drive very short distances to some beautiful peaks. Tumbledown et. al. aren't as prestigious, altitude wise, but it's like being 5'8" in a family of five-footers; it's all about perspective!

    Let me know if you have any other questions!

  9. #9
    Senior Member DougTheElder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aiken, South Carolina
    Posts
    504
    Images
    4
    JB, Thanks. You've got the right idea about what we're looking for...Good quality time. Some of the most memorable occasions we've had together involve backpacks and boots. This Maine adventure is particularly meaningful...I was stationed at Naval Air Station Brunswick way back when, and I absolutely LOVED the area (I'm native to SC). When my son finished school he interviewed in Portland, choosing to do so based at least in part on my enthusiasm for the area. He will be there for at least 3 years and both he and his wife love the area as much as I did.
    Sometimes even a Blind Hog finds an Acorn

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •