Location: Grafton Township
Distance: 7.6 miles, round trip
Duration: 4-5 hours
Managed by: Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands: Grafton Notch State Park
Old Speck is the highest point in Oxford County and the third highest mountain in Maine, and it is also the only 4000-foot mountain in the county. It is a fitting conclusion for anyone completing all nine Second Nature hikes.
There is a large parking area on the west side of Route 26 in Grafton Notch State Park. The parking lot is commonly full on summer weekends.
The hike up Old Speck follows the white-blazed Appalachian Trail and takes the hiker along a high ridge through a deep spruce/fir forest while climbing steadily towards the side trail leading to the summit. The summit is tree covered, but a high platform allows the hiker expansive views in all directions across three states and two countries. On the way to the summit of Old Speck, hikers will pass by junctions with the challenging orange-blazed Eyebrow Trail, which leads to a steep cliff section with ladders and rungs.
The trail up Old Speck follows the Appalachian Trail and is within Grafton Notch State Park. Please only camp in designated spots within the park.
A beautiful hike, but still snowy in April! Hiking to the top provided amazing views, although we did not dare to venture to the top of the tower, as it was still covered in a layer of snow/ice. If there's snow, you'll definitely need snowshoes/ice walkers/poles. Bring lots of water - it is a steep climb!
A long hike, but a great view at the top.
It was a great day for this hike. We had beautiful weather and the energy to push through to the fire tower. It was a birthday hike and worth every step!
Very difficult for me but well worth it.
This was my first solo hike and my first trip up Old Speck. The trail is fantastic, but you definitely have to climb the fire tower for the reward of the vista at the top; otherwise your views are obstructed by trees. I did the Eyebrow Loop on the way down, which had some steep parts that I will do going up next time.
It was foggy and misty for most of the hike, but when we climbed the fire tower at the top, the clouds parted just enough to see amazing foliage!