QUICK TRAIL FACTS
- Preserve Size: 34,955 acres
- Trail Mileage: 2.7-mile loop
- Pets: yes
- Difficulty: challenging
- Sights: Views
This Grafton Notch hike offers extraordinary views after a relatively easy, short climb. That is, the hiking is moderately easy if you go up the Appalachian Trail for 0.9 miles and then take the 0.5-mile trail that cuts straight over to Table Rock. There’s just a bit of a clamber up rocks and rungs to the flat rock ledge at the end. Table Rock sticks out of the side of Baldpate Mountain 900 feet above the valley road, offering great views of Old Speck Mountain and down the notch.
Be careful, though, because the cliffs plummet straight down!
For those who want more of a challenge, you can take the Table Rock Trail up, blazed in orange. This 0.8-mile trail is very steep, with lots of climbing over boulders and huffing up stone steps. I’d advise not going down it, but rather returning on the AT. But it’s an interesting trail because you pass under the cliffs that make up Table Rock, and squeeze around huge fallen boulders. You can explore the slab caves here, although we didn’t.
The total loop is about 2.7 miles according to my GPS.
Directions: You can leave from the huge parking area for Old Speck Mountain, off of Route 26. Cross the road on the AT, and you’ll reach the junction with Table Rock Trail in about 0.1 mile, heading off to your right.