Old Speck

September 7, 2002
(Tim & Danielle - Total Distance: 8 miles)

Old Speck is a 4,000 foot mountain located in Maine. The main route to the summit follows the Appalachian Trail (AT), however we took a slight detour over a cliff called the Eyebrow. After passing the obligatory boulder the trail gets rather steep in spots and did not have any real views until we reached the top of the cliff. We did get a nice view of Old Speck, but soon realized the trip over the Eyebrow wasn't worth the effort.

Grafton Notch from the Eyebrow
Grafton Notch from the Eyebrow

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Bald Pate from Old Speck trail
Bald Pate from Old Speck trail 
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After rejoining the AT we followed a ridgeline all the way to the summit. In some areas we found views of nearby mountains from rocky ledges and cliffs. However, both of us thought the trail was not very well marked. On occasion we did come across some AT benchmarks that pointed us in the right direction.

Further up the trail and about a mile from the summit we came across some strange rocks that look liked they were pushing up out of the ground. At this point a father and son went speeding past us. We caught up to them a little further up the trail and played leap frog all the way to the summit. Looking at the sweaty condition of those two, we decided a slow steady pace is better than quick bursts of speed. Just before we detoured off the main trail for the summit we came to another fabulous viewpoint.

Tower on Old Speck
Tower on Old Speck
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Mahoosuc Notch & the White Mountains
White Mountains from Old Speck
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We estimated that we would arrive at the summit around noon and managed to get there right at the appointed time. The summit had a clearing looking northeast with strange rock cairns nearby. Somebody spent a lot of time building these rock piles.  The old fire tower was recently reconstructed and gave us some great views looking over the trees.  We could see the route we took up, Grafton Notch and Sunday River ski area. The views in all the other directions were just as spectacular.  From the summit we hiked the four miles back to the car in under 3 hours. Before heading home the next day we stopped at the Loaf Around in Gorham, NH for the best breakfast anywhere!

 

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