Oxford County High Point Trip Report

Old Speck Mountain (4,160+ ft)

Date: September 7, 2000
Author: Mike Schwartz

This day started ominously with reports of a magnitude 3.2 earthquake, centered near Waterville, that occurred at 6:07 AM. The hike is almost entirely on the Appalachian Trail, but the trail is very rocky, rutted, and wet, and was not particularly well marked. Other hikers were complaining also, so it wasn't just that I was having a bad day. There are a few viewpoints along the way, but the hike is mostly in mixed woods. Driving up ME 26 from Bethel, you enter Grafton Notch State Park, and come to a large parking lot signed for "hiking trails" on the west side. Parking fee of $1.00 on the honor system. Hike the A.T. for 3.5 miles to a signed junction with a spur trail to the summit. Go left for 0.3 miles to the top. The lookout tower is now restored and open, but requires a climb on an open rung ladder. I climbed high enough to clear the trees, but chickened out at that point. Excellent views to the NE, and especially fine views of Mt. Washington, with the smoke from the cog railway engine clearly visible. Canada jays will be very happy to share your lunch with you. The hike took 2:15 up and 2:05 down, which could be shortened considerably by someone in better condition.