The Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust held our latest A.T. hike this past Saturday up Puzzle Mountain in Grafton Notch. Puzzle Mountain is accessible via the Grafton Loop Trail which is a blue-blazed official A.T. side trail. The weather forecast was not great but it did indicate that the heavy rain would hold off until the late afternoon and evening, so we had four hikers in total brave enough to make the trip.
We left the parking area on Route 26 at about 9am in light rain, but very quickly shed rain gear because the forest canopy of hardwoods provided us with a natural umbrella. Atticus – who had hiked up Puzzle twice during the week!?! – had his own actual umbrella but that too was put away. We reached the Stewart Family Preserve, which contains numerous areas of old-growth spruce over approximately 486 acres of forestland, fairly quickly.
The weather forecast was calling for heavier rain and possibly thunderstorms by late afternoon, so the group proceeded without stopping too often, reaching the summit by noon. There wasn’t much to see due to the fog, but as always it’s rewarding to be in a wild place three miles off the nearest paved road. We headed down the rocky ledges – which were very slippery in heavy fog – and paused for lunch at the junction with the Woodsum Spur a half mile down from the summit. After that, we concentrated in getting back to the cars before the heavier rains hit. We stayed dry.
Thanks to everybody who came along – looking for information on our next hike on our events calendar!