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Backpacker Magazine – January 2011

Trip Finder: Northeast

Your favorite Northeast hikes—from dayhikes to weekenders to multiday trips.

by: Sarah L. Stewart

Get a Presidential view from Franconia Ridge. (Tim Seaver)
Get a Presidential view from Franconia Ridge. (Tim Seaver)
Hike to the summit of 3,335-foot Sunday River Whitecap. (Tim Seaver)
Hike to the summit of 3,335-foot Sunday River Whitecap. (Tim Seaver)
Amble along Cranberry Lake's edge in the 'Dacks. (Gillian Scott)
Amble along Cranberry Lake's edge in the 'Dacks. (Gillian Scott)


 Grafton Loop Trail, ME
The 2007 opening of this trail’s western section completed a 39-mile loop over the alpine ridges of six 3,000-plus-foot peaks, punctuated by mossy valleys and dense forests. Start a three-night trek at the southern trailhead on ME 26 near Newry and hike clockwise; in 7.1 miles reach the 3,335-foot Sunday River Whitecap. Meet the AT just past the 4,170-foot Old Speck summit and follow it across ME 26 to begin the eastern portion. Camping is allowed only in designated sites.
SHORELINES Dorr Mountain to Cadillac Mountain, ME
The short hikes on Mt. Desert Island are seemingly designed to show off stay-awhile views, with open ledges that overlook Acadia National Park’s 40 miles of rocky shoreline. Hit the highlights on this overnight. Camp at Blackwoods Campground, and hike the 3.3 miles (one-way) up 1,270-foot Dorr Mountain. Day two, leave camp by headlamp and take the 7.4-mile South Ridge Trail to 1,530-foot Cadillac Mountain, the first point in North America to see the sunrise (October to March).

The mighty Potomac and bluff-lined Fifteen Mile Creek parallel most of this 15-mile point-to-point in Green Ridge State Forest near the West Virginia border. From Little Orleans, follow the gently graded C&O Canal south 2.5 miles to the white-blazed Long Pond Trail. At mile 6.9, camp along the creek across from a slab some readers call “Smiling Rock” because of its upturned ends. Day two, continue to the Pine Lick Trail to finish the long day at the visitor center.

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