Grafton Notch is located in western
Maine, near the border with . For those people not familiar with the upper Appalachian Mountain chain, “notches” are thin valleys between mountains. Roads have been built through them, but the notches were never turned into farmland. What the notches do have in abundance are scenic views. New Hampshire
Grafton Notch spans the towns of Upton, Grafton Township, and Newry.
is located in the notch. There is also a Preserve located about a mile south of the park. Sunday River Ski Area and Golf Club are on mountains at the southern end of the notch. The Grafton Notch State Park Appalachian Trail also passes over the mountains on either side of the notch. Finally, there is a 35 mile long loop trail that passes over all the major mountains that surround the notch.
There are many sights to see. The best known is
. This is a waterfall that turns almost like a screw. Other things to see in the state park are Screw Auger Falls Mother Walker Falls, , and the view from Table Rock. In the Preserve is Moose Cave , perhaps the most spectacular waterfall in the state. Step Falls
Of these five sights, only Table Rock is a true hike.
requires maybe a half mile of walking, sometimes uphill over roots. The other three are very near the road and require little walking. No hiking trails connect them; you drive short distances from one to the next. Step Falls
If you are coming from the south: take Route 2 north out of
. About five miles from town Route 26 will separate off to the left. Take it. In about six miles you reach the state park. Bethel, Maine
If you are coming from the east: take Route 2 southwest out of
. About 10 miles out of town Route 26 will separate off to the right. Take it. In about six miles you reach the state park. Rumford, Maine
If you are coming from the west (except northern New Hampshire): take Route 2 east out of Gorham, New Hampshire, cross into Maine, and drive to Bethel. Stay on Route 2 north out of
. About five miles from town Route 26 will separate off to the left. Take it. In about six miles you reach the state park. Bethel
If you are coming from northern New Hampshire: take Route 26 southeast out of Errol, New Hampshire, cross into Maine, and in about 5 miles you reach the state park. Note: Since most visitors will be coming north up Route 26 the order of the posts is from south to north as they would encounter them. You would encounter them in the reverse order.
Here are posts that go into these five sights in more detail, including photos and videos:
On to the hikes…