the Mahoosuc Mile on the Appalachian Trail in Maine
July 5, 2018 

The Mahoosuc Notch, widely considered the most difficult mile on the entire AT, is a gorge filled with massive boulders, some as big as houses. The “Mahoosuc Mile” nestles in a deep notch between Speck Mountain and Goose Eye Mountain, running concurrently on Old Speck Trail, Mahoosuc Trail, Goose Eye Trail, and Peabody Brook Trail; climbing Old Speck Mountain, Fulling Mill Mountain (South Peak), Goose Eye Mountain (North Peak), Goose Eye Mountain (East Peak), Goose Eye Mountain (West Peak), Mt. Carlo, and Mt. Success. While this traverse deservedly belongs in the same genre as the Pemi Loop and Presi Traverse, it is perhaps the hardest of the three. With steep cliffs on either side and what appears to be no other alternative, trail builders routed the pathway through a mile long boulder field before climbing steeply back into the mountains on both sides. Scrambling through the Notch, temperatures can plummet up to thirty degrees from lingering ice and snow, like walking into a cooler.

The Notch isn’t physically taxing when compared to the rest of hiking in the Mahoosuc Range. Instead it is more technically difficult. Navigating the boulders requires going over some while squeezing through cracks and caves in other areas. Doing so with a pack on your back throws your balance off and makes it all that more difficult to squeeze through tight spaces. There’s also a decent risk of injury if you aren’t careful, especially if it is wet. Not only seriously challenging, this is an awesome adventure.

Another long overdue bucket list item. Hiking south from Grafton Notch, up over Speck Mountain, it was a very hot 17-mile round-trip under perfect skies. Here are the pictures of the rocky adventure through the Mahoosuc Mile.

looking south from Speck Mountain

shadow selfie

Speck Pond

plenty of ice under the rocks made it feel like walking through a refrigerator

standing on ice in 90 degree temperatures