After finishing my NH 4000-footers, I was itching to get back out there. Old Speck is a three hour drive for me, but the closest Maine 4000-footer. I took a Thursday off of work (I had to give two weeks notice) and was lucky enough to have a beautiful day!
Old Speck is in Grafton Notch State Park and we started at the Appalachian Trail parking lot. The Old Speck Trail ascends to the left which was the beginning of our hike. You then can choose to continue on this trail or hop onto the Eyebrow Trail. The distances of these trails are about equal, but the Eyebrow Trail is much steeper and a lot more fun!
You get some help with handrails on the way up some rock slabs. The ropes extend over a narrow walkway.
|I did this section with my eyes closed! Nah, just can’t keep my eyes open for the camera.|
There are a few metal handholds that stick out of the rocks and you have to step on those and shuffle your way over to a metal ladder. I wouldn’t want to do this in winter!
After successfully completing the steep sections, you are rewarded with a nice break and some beautiful views of Grafton Notch!
Look! There’s our car!
We then rejoined the Old Speck Trail on our way to the summit.
Pictured above is our destination. Below are the rock piles I was waiting for. It’s not a New England hike without rocks!
We had the absolute perfect hiking weather. It was cool enough to wear short sleeves and a lighter layer on top. It was really easy to regulate our temperature and we had another layer (as well as gloves) to put on at the summit.
We got a couple more beautiful views before reaching the summit. There were some fall colors, but it was after peak season.
At the top we met a man enjoying the views and we made some bird friends. Another hiker we met earlier made it up not too long after us.
There is a great observation tower which gives you really superb views of the area. It was a little windy, but well worth it!
The climb up the tower is steep. Not something I’d like to climb with a little ice!
There are a couple of windmill farms in the area. Here is one close enough for a photo.
I usually carry some trail mix with me. The birds enjoyed the treat!
After staying at the summit for about an hour, we headed back down. This time we stayed on the Old Speck Trail and avoided the ladders and handholds.
For a few minutes we were a little confused because we never saw the intersection of the Old Speck Trail and the Eyebrow Trail. I think we were just chatting and didn’t notice it. We realized we were on the right trail so all was good!
The leaves were beautiful and made for a nice introduction to the Maine 4Ks. I’m looking forward to some more adventures in Maine!
Last modified: May 6, 2015
Looks like a great day for a hike. Nice photos, especially of the birds.
At least the tower wasn’t covered in bees, it was when I was there last year! Looks like you had an awesome day.
No bees for us! I bet you flew down that ladder!
HaHa, Katies afraid of bird feet.
Just ran across your blog. Awesome! Have you tried trekking Katahdin or the Brothers in Baxter? I’d love to read a blog post with pictures from Knife’s edge (although maybe it would be a good idea to save that for the summer)
Thanks Sherman! I am going to do some winter NH 4K hikes and then do some more Maine peaks next summer. I think I’m going to save Katahdin for last of my NE67 hikes. I’m really looking forward to it!