|Mt. Madison from Cascade Mountain, another of my favorite shots|
US 2 east of Gorham, NH to Height of Land overlook, Mooselookmeguntic Lake, south of Oquossoc, ME: 64.3 miles
General Impression/Theme: The gauntlet continues here in the 'hard part' of Maine, including the infamous Mahoosuc Notch. It took me thirty difficult yo-yo day hikes (roughly two weeks for the average one-way thru-hiker) to get through the White Mountains and the Mahoosuc Range.
Supply/Overnight: Gorham/Berlin, NH Wal-Mart, Trailhead parking lots; the Hannaford and Wal-Mart in Rumford/Mexico, ME
Worst Memory: My second bee sting, with some allergic reaction - body rash for a couple days, just north of Grafton Notch. Also ripped my trusty Columbia Titanium nylon shorts and had to make a major repair.
|East Baldpate as seen from the summit of the west peak|
Second choice, and also a great hike, is a loop hike over Goose Eye Mountain from the Goose Eye-Cado Col Trailhead parking area on Success Pond Road - great views.
Third, for the 'thrill seeker' whether fit or not, I'd recommend hiking the Notch Trail from the ample trailhead parking area off Success Pond Road up to Mahoosuc Notch and then hike down-and-back through the Notch - a little or a lot, as much as you care to do. The hardest part of Mahoosuc Notch is on that upper end, so you immediately get a sense of what it's like and can turn around if it's not for you. Amazingly, the approach trail - the Notch Trail - is a very easy two mile hike end to end, so that even the novice day hiker who wants to do a little rock scrambling can get a taste of this infamous toughest mile of the Appalachian Trail.
A fourth great hike takes you the other way (south on the AT) from the Grafton Notch parking lot. This is the popular climb up to the Old Speck fire/observation tower via the AT and then an 0.3 mile side trail to the wooded summit (excellent views from the tower). There is an opportunity for a loop hike via the Grafton Loop trail.
|Dream Lake, Mt. Madison in the distance|