Old Speck Mountain Trail

HARD 45 reviews
#1 of 10 trails in

Old Speck Mountain Trail is a 6.6 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Newry, Maine that features a great forest setting. The trail is only recommended for very experienced adventurers and primarily used for hiking, nature trips, and snowshoeing. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

DISTANCE
6.6 miles
ELEVATION GAIN
2847 feet
ROUTE TYPE
Out & Back

dog friendly

hiking

nature trips

snowshoeing

forest

views

Just east of the New Hampshire border this is Maine's 3rd highest peak. This is an easy mountain as it is only 4 miles from a main highway through Grafton Notch. It is part of the Mahoosuc Range. You'll want the crampons as the trail is very steep in places and gets icy. There is an old firetower on top that may or may not be accessible to climb.

hiking
1 month ago

Planned on just hiking to The Eyebrow. Got to the top (up Eyebrow Trail), only took us an hour, was only 12:30, and a gorgeous day, so . . . on we go to Old Speck. First, The Eyebrow offers some awesome views in exchange for steep, challenging, but relatively short hiking. So many manicured, man-made stone steps, iron bars, and cable handrails to help with the elevation change that it was almost disappointing. Note that there are several trail branches leading to the edge of the cliff near the top that you should take to get a clear view. There is no open space at the top affording a wide field of vision. Too many trees. Second, the hike from The Eyebrow to Old Speck is long, but due to the early elevation gain, it is largely undulating ridge hiking with gradual elevation gain to 4,300 feet. There are several steep-ish rises along the way, but they are mercifully short. You must climb the ladder to the top of the fire tower at the summit. DO NOT MISS THIS, even if you are fearful of ladders/heights. Third, there is some debate about the AllTrails stats for the hike to Old Speck, and my stats suggest an error by AllTrails. It is not 5.9 miles, but about 6.8 to 7 miles round trip measured from the parking lot to the summit, taking the Eyebrow Trail, then the AT, and coming back down the AT all the way to the lot. Took us 4 hours and 45 minutes, with periodic rests, and time to take in the views at The Eyebrow and Old Speck summit (as well as lunch and two trips up and down the fire tower). It was a long day, and we ran out of water (100 oz me, 72 oz wife) halfway through the trip down to the lot. Well worth the sore muscles and joints the next day, though.

Previously hiked this on August 21, 1994 and September 13-14, 1997 (tented at top, Speck Pond platforms).

hiking
2 months ago

I loved it! The whole trail was actually 7.6 miles round trip. Very mossy woods all the way up which was absolutely beautiful. Took us 3 hours to get to the summit. The Old Speck Trail we took was dog friendly with great cooling spots. Starts out steep at first so you get a good cardio in. At the top, I highly recommend you go up the fire tower to get THE best 360* view of Mahoosuc Range. We hiked 7.6 miles in about 7 hours, including an hour at the top. Lots of other things to see around that area as well if you're there for a couple days or a few hours.

3 months ago

Beautiful and somewhat challenging!

hiking
4 months ago

Great Hike with various environments including water falls, rock falls, and trees. Enjoyed the lookout tower but held onto ladder with white knuckles while going up and down.

hiking
5 months ago

The main trail is closer to 7 miles, not 4 or 6, as the description says. It is also not EASY, but it is a relatively short hike compared to other summits. For perspective, I just did a Presidential Traverse the day before. I was moving very quickly on this trail due to an approaching storm, and I was able to complete it in 2hrs50min. Close to the White Mountains, but a different feel. Hemlock trees make for more exposed roots, moss groundcover, and dark green landscape. There is a stream adjacent to the first half of the trail with little waterfall sections. Good for letting my dog cool her feet and legs off.

hiking
5 months ago

Took the Eyebrow trail up. Moderate usage on the main trail. Overall, good trail conditions and nice view from the tower on top.

hiking
Friday, October 21, 2016

Took eyebrow up, up to the peak, on the fire tower than down the AT. I hike a lot and thought the eyebrow was a bit of a challenge. I would recommend NOT taking dogs up the eyebrow, it's steep and lots of ladder rungs. But dogs can do great going up the AT trail. It was below freezing at the top and I did it mid October. Any later in year would require warm gear. Took me 2 hours up and 2 hours down. (But I am a pretty quick hiker) awesome view from the fire tower. An awesome 4K footer!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

took eyebrow up and the AT down. found this to be a perfect 4000' hike. lots of variety and a great mix of terrain. we had a perfect day with almost no wind, full foliage and bright sunshine. The tower was very good for 360 views. only saw a few other hikers. found the at section coming down, very steep. I recommend the eyebrow trail going up. Easier, and some really neat things including cables and rungs in the steeper sections. great trail conditions. highly recommend this hike. I have finally realized that there are no easy hikes up a 4k mountain. Always harder than I think it will be, but always well worth the effort.

hiking
Monday, October 10, 2016

We did the Eyebrow trail, 2.4 miles in and back. Steep trail...not much relief. But it's a great hike if you're looking for a quick hike with a view!

hiking
Monday, September 19, 2016

Did the Eyebrow Trail up, AT back down. Eyebrow is steep with ladders and ropes required at some spots - very well maintained when I went. Awesome views all the way up, thick boreal sub alpine forests from about 2900' up to the summit. Not much trail traffic. First of my Maine 4000'ers, third of the NE 67.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Great hike! Bummed we did it on a cloudy day, the views would have been amazing on a sunny day. It was great to chat with the Appalachian Trail hikers we met along the way, though! Lots of interesting stories.

hiking
Tuesday, July 26, 2016

I was surprised how challenging this hike was, I took the eyebrow trail up which is a little bit longer. I recommend bringing bug spray because it was awful today. It's a pretty steady climb up for about 4 miles. Once at the top there is a watchtower to get a much better view. First hike by myself took me about 3 and a half hours.

Sunday, June 05, 2016

Great hike. Challenging but the views are definitely worth the sweat. Look out for poison sumac. It's not friendly!

hiking
Sunday, May 22, 2016

We enjoyed our hike up Old Speck this weekend and it was very beautiful on the way up. took us about 7 hours up and down. Always filled with nice scenery changing from rocky little water ways to small green trees to ice covering some of the path but the view is all worth it at the top with a large welded fire tower structure to climb with beautiful views of Sunday River, the Whites, Berlin, and Lake Umbagog.

hiking
Thursday, May 19, 2016

Just hiked this trail and it's a ways filled with nice scenery changing from rocky little water ways to small green trees to ice covering some of the path but the view is all worth it at the top with a large welded structure to climb

hiking
Monday, February 29, 2016

Very beautiful on the way up. took me about 7 hours. well marked. Was a bit surprised at the top there is not a view due to trees unless you climb this tower. It was too icy this time of year to do that but it was still a fun hike. will

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It was a beautiful trail along the AT. Well maintained, great views.

hiking
Tuesday, September 09, 2014

We enjoyed our hike up Old Speck the first week of September. The first mile before the first trail intersection from the parking lot is well-maintained with stairs, but you certainly do gain a bit of vert which warms you up quick. Make sure you don't miss the first trail intersection and loop back to the parking lot! Keep in mind AT blazes. Second section is easier with more switchbacks and since we were hiking the week after Labor Day, we had a pretty quiet time except for a few thru-hikers. I wouldn't call the trail one filled with false peaks, but there is a little bit of up and down on the ridge. The top has a great fire tower with beautiful views of Sunday River, the Whites, Berlin, and Lake Umbagog. Highly recommend if you're interested in a classic Whites hike that's in the low 4000 range. We are experienced and were able to complete the hike in about 4.5 hours. I had a measurement of 6.7 miles total, not 9.8, for the trail I did. Grab an AMC Maine Hiking map to assist with your drive, but it's easy to get to from Bethel, Maine.

Saturday, August 09, 2014

July 2014 ~ Amazing experience for one very out of the game hiker and two first time hikers. We were probably ill-equipped and not really sure of what we were getting into, but loved the experience, despite a bit of whining and slap happy silliness upon our descent. Loved chatting with a few AT thruhikers, and definitely loved the summit and tower (which made us all
very happy and just a little shaky). Didn't love the 'false summit' situation we ran into a few times (up-down-up-down) but the real deal was worth it. Took 3 unprepared and slightly clueless women 7 hours to do the summit and back (7.6 miles total no pond or eyebrow) with time for chats, treats and, um, acclimating.

hiking
Saturday, October 12, 2013

Nice trail. I went over the Eyebrow first and the to the summit. Only a couple step areas and overall very manageable for most hikers. View from the fire tower is great with 360 looking to Mt Washington, Sunday River and Sugarloaf. While in the area, check out Screw Auger Falls just down the road.

Load More