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Backpacker Magazine – May 2002

Hiking The Mahoosuc Range

The short but stunning Mahoosuc Range has major-league attractions, like the toughest mile on the Appalachian Trail and conditions that discourage the faint of heart.

by: Michele Morris

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Expedition Planner
MAHOOSUC RANGE, NH/ME

Getting there: The easiest access from the west is at the Centennial/AT trailhead on US 2, about 2 miles east of Gorham, New Hampshire. The eastern trailhead is in Grafton Notch State Park, Maine, where the AT crosses ME 26. Both locations are about 180 miles from Boston.

Route: The 31-mile Mahoosuc Trail travels along the spine of the range from Gorham to Grafton Notch State Park, with a new parallel trail in the works. Numerous side trails allow for several excellent weekend loops of varying difficulty.

Fees: A caretaker at the Speck Pond Campsite from June 1 to October 15 collects the $6 per night fee.

Guides: The best topo is Map 1 (Grafton Notch to Androscoggin Valley) of the official AT maps for New Hampshire and Vermont (Appalachian Trail Conference, 304-535-6331; www.atctrailstore.org; $12.95 for NH/VT set). The trail is described (with distances and estimated hiking times) in the Maine Mountain Guide, 8th edition, by AMC (Appalachian Mountain Club, 617-523-0636; $18.95.

Contact: Appalachian Trail Conference, (304) 535-6331; http://www.atconf.org. Appalachian Mountain Club, (617) 523-0636; www.outdoors.org.


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