Old Speck (moderate-intermedia­te) 4170 feet

  • May 4, 2013 · 8:45 AM

Old Speck (moderate-intermediate) 4170 feet

Let’s hike Maine 4000 footer…Old Speck.  This is a shorter in and out hike, but not easy.  The summit is wooded with an observation tower.  Some outlooks will be a couple outlooks that should offer some great views.  Please read and understand the whole description before you RSVP.  Currently, I will need to screen all participants before the hike via email/phone call; this is done to further insure safety and enjoyment during the hike.  

I plan to hit the trail head by 900am at the latest, so be there by 845am or earlier!  I generally do wait unless I know you are on the way, but chances are I will have no cell service.  I you need to cancel you must either remove yourself from the RSVP or call me the morning of  600am the latest.  MY CELL[masked]-7463.

We start as a group, hike as a group, and finish as a group. Our pace will be that of the slowest hiker. This trip isn't for you if you are faster than the group and don't want to stay with us, if you want to head off on your own, or if you are slower than the group and expect us to constantly wait for you.

Please read the entire event description before you RSVP.  It is important, not only for your safety, but that of the entire group.  Answer all RSVP questions or you will be removed from the event list until you do so.

Guests are only permitted if they sign a waiver or become members and sign up on the event page.  Waivers can be emailed or signed at the trailhead.

Dogs are not allowed on hikes I organize.  I love dogs, but believe they pose as a safety risk for the group.  I apologize to fellow dog lovers in advance.

TRIP SUMMARY
On this moderate pace out-and-back trip we will use Old Speck Trail and a portion of
Mahoosuc Trail to reach the summit and then follow the same route in reverse back to our cars. We will hike about  7.6 miles and climb about 3073 feet. It should take an average hiker about 6 hours to complete, but there is no rush-safety first; I’m planning around 7.5 hours

 Weather

Mountain weather is subject to rapid changes and extreme conditions. Dangerous weather conditions will cancel - I will post an update and/or send an email to all confirmed participants a day or two ahead of time. We will assess travel and weather conditions during the hike and make changes to our planned trip as necessary.

Current conditions : http://www.mountwashington.org/weather/forecast.php .

GEAR

I've listed winter gear as of now, since winter looks like it's hanging around a bit.  I will update as we get closer to the trip...let's hope no snow shoes!!!

Below is a list describing the minimum required items to participate in this event. Hiking safely is about being prepared so that you can respond to an emergency situation or spend a night in the woods if you have to.

Do not rely on others to have extra items to share with you at the meeting spot or on the trail. You should know how to use all of your equipment - test and adjust it prior to this trip.

Footwear: Waterproof/Insulated winter hiking boots with synthetic or wool socks. Gaiters to keep the snow out of your boots. Mountaineering snowshoes with aggressive teeth for traction while climbing. Kahtoola Microspikes or Hillsound Crampons are acceptable for this hike.  Mountaineering crampons with 10-12 teeth are optional. Since we won't be using these items all of the time either have space in your pack or a way to secure them to the outside of it.

Clothing: Dress in synthetics, fleece, and/or wool layers to easily regulate body temperature. Make sure your layers fit comfortably over each other. DO NOT WEAR COTTON - while cotton is a great insulator when it is dry, once wet it doesn't dry easily and it rapidly conducts heat away from the body.

Outerwear: Insulated jacket (e.g. fleece). Windproof/waterproof shell (with hood) and pants (e.g. gore-tex). Make sure your outerwear fits comfortably over all of your other clothing. Fleece/wool hat, balaclava or face shield, neck warmer, and glove liners. Windproof/waterproof over-mittens (e.g. gore-tex). Goggles.

Food and Water: Bring high-energy snacks, food for lunch - pack extra "just in case". Bring enough water to stay properly hydrated during the trip - use insulated wide-mouth bottles (e.g. nalgene) instead of a hydration bladder (tube could freeze). 

Shelter: Be prepared to spend a night in the woods if you have to. Options include an ultralight tarp, a bivy sack, or an emergency space blanket (which packs small and weighs just ounces).

Other Essential Gear: Map and compass - don't just bring them know how to use them. Plastic whistle. Headlamp with two sets of spare batteries (lithium work best in colder temperatures). Personal first aid kit with an emergency space blanket. Small pocket knife or multi-purpose tool. Matches or wind-proof lighter and fire starter. Toilet kit (e.g. hand sanitizer, toilet paper and a zip-lock bag to pack out your used personal hygiene items). Sunscreen. Lip balm. Sunglasses. Waterproof cover for your pack.

Optional Items: Trekking poles. Camera.

Directions: Follow this link for directions  http://local.google.com/maps?f=d&daddr=44.589963,-70.947038(Old+Speck+Trailhead%2c+AT+%5bRoute+26%2c+Grafton+Notch%5d)

Any carpooling is each person’s responsibility to arrange.  I suggest the Salem, NH park and ride, or Concord, NH L.L. Bean.

As a condition of your voluntary participation in this activity you acknowledge and agree to the following: this activity involves inherent risks that can cause property damage, injury, illness, disability, and/or death to participants and/or others; You agree not to hold the Organizer, Assistant Organizers, or any other members responsible for any injuries, mishaps, or any other situation that may happen at a planned event. You are responsible to research the event, know the area, and bring the proper gear and agree to know

 

 

 

 

Distance Time Elev

Change

Trail / Waypoint Latitude Longitude

starting at Old Speck Trailhead, AT (Route 26, Grafton Notch) 44° 35' 24" 70° 56' 49"

This trail, part of the AT, ascends Old Speck Mountain from a well

-signed parking area (small fee) on ME 26 at the height-of-land in

Grafton Notch.

0.10 mi 4 min +26 ft on Old Speck Trail

0.10 mi 4 min +26 ft This trail, part of the AT, ascends Old Speck Mountain from a well

-signed parking area (small fee) on ME 26 at the height-of-land in

Grafton Notch.

From the north side of the parking lot follow the trail leading to the

left; the right-hand trail goes to Baldpate Mountain.

to the junction of Eyebrow Trail 44° 35' 26" 70° 56' 54"

1.00 mi 1 hr 0 min +960 ft on Old Speck Trail

1.10 mi 1 hr 4 min +986 ft The Eyebrow Trail leaves right to circle over the top of an 800-ft.

cliff shaped like an eyebrow and rejoin the Old Speck Trail. The

main trail crosses a brook and soon begins to climb, following a

series of switchbacks to approach the falls on Cascade Brook.

Above the falls, the trail, now heading more north, crosses the

brook for the last time (last water), turns left at a ledge with a view

up to Old Speck, and it passes the upper terminus of the Eyebrow

Trail on the right.

to the junction of Eyebrow Trail 44° 35' 23" 70° 57' 25"

2.40 mi 2 hr 3 min +1549 ft on Old Speck Trail

3.50 mi 3 hr 7 min +2535 ft The main trail bears left and ascends gradually to the north ridge,

where it swings more to the left and follows the ridge, with

numerous short descents interspersed through the ascent. High

up, the trail turns southeast toward the summit, and there is an

outlook east from the top of a ledgy hump. The trail descends

again briefly, then ascends steadily to the south, passing the

abandoned and closed Link Trail on the left. The Old Speck Trail

passes an excellent north outlook just before its junction with the

Mahoosuc Trail, where it ends. The flat, wooded summit of Old

Speck, where an observation tower and the recently cleared

summit plateau afford fine views, is left (east); Speck Pond

Shelter is to the right.

to the junction of Mahoosuc Trail 44° 34' 19" 70° 57' 29"

0.30 mi 13 min +127 ft on Mahoosuc Trail

3.80 mi 3 hr 20 min +2662 ft This trail extends along the entire length of the Mahoosuc Range

from Gorham NH to the summit of Old Speck. Beyond its junction

with the Centennial Trail, the Mahoosuc Trail is a link in the AT.

Camping is available at the Trident Col tentsite and four shelters:

Gentian Pond, Carlo Col, Full Goose, and Speck Pond (all of

which also have tentsites). These sites may have a caretaker, in

which case a fee is charged. See earlier for trailside camping

regulations. Water is scarce, particularly in dry weather, and its

purity is always in question. Do not be deceived by the relatively

low elevations; this trail is among the most rugged of its kind in

the White Mountains, a very strenuous trail—particularly for those

with heavy packs—with numerous minor humps and cols, and

many ledges, some of them quite steep, that are likely to be

slippery when wet. Many parts of the trail may require significantly

more time than that provided by the formula, particularly for

backpackers, and Mahoosuc Notch may require several extra

hours, depending in part on how much time one spends enjoying

the spectacular scenery. Mahoosuc Notch is regarded by many

who have hiked the entire length of the AT as its most difficult

mile. Caution: Mahoosuc Notch can be hazardous in wet or icy

conditions and can remain impassable because of unmelted

snowdrifts through the end of May and perhaps even longer.

Some sections of the ridge, especially the one traversing Goose

Eye Mountain, have significant weather exposure.

Near the top of the shoulder, the trail bears right, reenters the

woods, and follows the wooded crest with blue blazes that mark

the boundary of Grafton Notch State Park. The Old Speck Trail,

which continues the AT north, diverges left to Grafton Notch, and

the Mahoosuc Trail runs straight ahead to the summit of Old

Speck and its observation tower, where the recently cleared

summit offers fine views in many directions. Here the new Grafton

Loop Trail (not yet open in the fall 2006) will lead south.

to Old Speck Mtn 44° 34' 15" 70° 57' 14"

0.30 mi 9 min -127 ft on Mahoosuc Trail

2

Distance Time Elev

Change

Trail / Waypoint Latitude Longitude

4.10 mi 3 hr 29 min +2535 ft From the summit of Old Speck and its observation tower, where

the recently cleared summit offers fine views in many directions

the AT continues north and the Manoosic Trail runs west,

coinciding with the Old Speck Trail. In the future, the new Grafton

Loop Trail (not yet open in the fall 2006) will lead south. The trails

follow the wooded crest with blue blazes that mark the boundary

of Grafton Notch State Park out of the woods near the top of the

shoulder.

to the junction of Old Speck Trail 44° 34' 19" 70° 57' 29"

2.40 mi 1 hr 17 min -1549 ft on Old Speck Trail

6.50 mi 4 hr 46 min +986 ft The Old Speck Trail leaves the Mahoosuc Trail just below the

summit of Old Speck. The Old Speck Trail passes an excellent

north outlook and descends steadily to the north, passing the

abandoned and closed Link Trail on the right. It climbs up a ledgy

hump from which there is an outlook east then resumes the

descent following the north ridge with numerous short ascents

interspersed through the descent.

to the junction of Eyebrow Trail 44° 35' 23" 70° 57' 25"

1.00 mi 31 min -960 ft on Old Speck Trail

7.50 mi 5 hr 17 min +26 ft It passes the upper terminus of the Eyebrow Trail on the left to

circle over the top of an 800-ft. cliff shaped like an eyebrow later

rejoining the Old Speck Trail. The main trail then descends a

ledge with a view up to Old Speck. It crosses Cascade Brook

above the falls. It descends from the falls on a series of

switchbacks. It resumes its descent, crossing the brook again and

passes the lower junction with the Eyebrow Trail.

to the junction of Eyebrow Trail 44° 35' 26" 70° 56' 54"

0.10 mi 3 min -26 ft on Old Speck Trail

7.60 mi 5 hr 20 min 0 ft The trail descends, soon arriving at the north side of the parking

lot.

to Old Speck Trailhead, AT (Route 26, Grafton Notch) 44° 35' 24" 70° 56' 49"

This trail, part of the AT, ascends Old Speck Mountain from a well

-signed parking area (small fee) on ME 26 at the height-of-land in

Grafton Notch.

7.60 miles

Join or login to comment.

  • josh

    The day was absolutely beautiful and the company great! Thanks everyone!

    1 · May 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Awesome hike! good views, beautiful weather, and really fun people to hike with!

    May 5, 2013

  • Ann W.

    Beautiful weather, a lovely peak, and nice people. Great hike!

    May 5, 2013

  • Craig W.

    It was great to catch up with friends on a very snow filled trail! Who would have thought at 75 degrees at the base.

    May 4, 2013

  • Linda D.

    Josh, I'm driving up north Friday night & will plan to meet you at the trailhead. I look forward to hiking with you & the group! Please call me on my cell phone if there are any last minute changes. Thanks so much.

    April 30, 2013

    • josh

      See you then Linda:)

      1 · May 1, 2013

  • Diane Duplessis S.

    Josh, my daughters first softball game is Sat., and I cannot miss it. Hope to hike with the group again soon.

    April 30, 2013

  • Theresa

    Major downer: I have to work :(

    April 30, 2013

  • maya t.

    Sorry I can't make it - have fun.

    April 30, 2013

  • Anne

    Change of plans - Need to stay local - have fun!

    April 28, 2013

5 went

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