The Grafton Notch Loop is 39 mile trail that was completed in 2007. Close to the Sunday River ski area in western Maine near the New Hampshire border, it generally follows the mountain ridge lines that surround Grafton Notch and the Bear River Valley, passing over the summits of Old Speck, the Baldpates, and Sunday River White Cap. From Old Speck to the East Baldpate the loops runs concurrently with the Appalachian Trail while the remainder is newly constructed trail with periodic campsites, shelters, and water sources available.
As near as I can tell, Ryan and I set a new Fastest Known Time (FKT) for the route. A little Googling beforehand showed that Scott and Deb Livingston with Matt Schomburg ran the whole route in 13:26 in 2008, shortly after the loop was completed. The next year, Steve and Deb Pero et al also did the whole thing roughly 14-15 hours. I had heard a rumor of a possible 10:30 time but no one I've talked to can remember where they heard that, who did it, or when it might have happened. In any case, we left plenty of slack in our day and if this worthy route sees more attention I wouldn't be surprised to see some one better our time by ninety minutes.
Post by colingulley on Aug 27, 2015 19:54:31 GMT -5
On 8/28/15 I'll be attempting the Grafton Loop Trail. Solo, self-supported. I will be starting at the southern parking area across from Eddy Rd. and following the trail Counter Clockwise. Same as Adam and Ryan.
Post by colingulley on Aug 28, 2015 19:59:05 GMT -5
Thanks Adam! Today wasn't my day though. Weather was perfect and trails were good. East side went well but I got hammered on the west with some hydration/fuel/stomach issues. This is an excellent loop, that I hope more people attempt as an FKT, for training, or just for fun. Below is a link to my Strava data as well as a run report on my blog. I also included a link to the DFL Ultra Podcast interview with Adam and Ryan about their run in 2014 as I think it's very useful and still accurate as far as trail conditions a year later. I guess my time of 10:22:28 is a new self-supported record, for whatever that's worth, as the other times Adam mentioned in his original post were all done with partners.
Post by bennephew on Sept 20, 2017 22:29:14 GMT -5
I ran the loop in 8:41:05, but am proposing to cut out the huge road section at the end, where my time to the southern trailhead on route 26 was 8:30:42. Several maps show the loop as crossing directly over 26, or with a short road section, not the 0.7 miles it is. This can cause a bit of confusion. The last mile on the snowmobile trails before the road is also not well marked at all, but you stay straight, bear right over the bridge, left after the bridge, then right to the road. It is an awesome loop with amazing views throughout.