Tablerock LbNA # 33484
|Placed Date||Jul 22 2007|
Table Rock Loop (Round trip)
2.4 miles/3.8 km (1 hr., 45 min.)
This is a somewhat strenuous climb and NOT for anyone afraid of heights. Please be very cautious when retrieving this box, as it is in a very precarious spot!
This is my first letterbox...a hand-carved stamp will be forthcoming…have fun and enjoy the views!
Table Rock is a perch from which one can gaze upon winter’s glory. Nearly 1,000 feet above one of Maine’s most scenic roads, the massive flattened ledge is an alfresco table smack across from the state’s third- highest peak—Old Speck. Ranked behind Katahdin and Sugarloaf, Old Speck stands at an impressive 4,180 feet. From Table Rock, look across at the mountain down into the undulating hills through the notch. The huge ledge (visible from the highway at the Moose Cave parking area) is part of the 3,192-acre Grafton Notch State Park. The park is ripe with hiking trails and wildlife. To climb Old Speck in winter is quite an undertaking. To snowshoe to Table Rock via the Appalachian Trail (AT) is to attain maximum views for nominal efforts. Surface quality: Unpacked.
The Table Rock Loop takes between two and three hours to hike.
Please remember to pay the fee-$2-for trail maintenance.
From the trailhead parking lot, cross Rt. 26 & follow the white-blazed Appalachian Trail north.
At .1 mile from Route 26, you have a choice: to follow the steep, boulder-strewn orange-blazed Table Rock Trail which ascends very steeply through hardwoods and boulder fields (my preference); or continue along the Appalachian Trail (AT) to the next junction. This part of the AT rises moderately, crossing or following mountain streams.
At approximately one mile, the blue-blazed Table Rock Trail begins. (Recently rebuilt, this trail is an easier hike for the less experienced and for families.) As the blue-blazed trail continues to rise gradually, watch for moose and deer in this area.
Once at the top, you will find yourself standing on “Table Rock”, aptly named, some 900 feet above your starting point. (Remember to hold onto small children, as there are no fences.) Here, you will have spectacular views of Old Speck, Eyebrow and Grafton Notch.
When at the top, stand on Table Rock facing SW (you will be looking across the notch at Old Speck. Look West and you will see a trail to your right.
Follow it West, down the rock & over the fallen tree. Take three paces. You will now be standing in a diamond shape made by three fallen trees.
There will be a small birch stump immediately to your right.
Look left, you will see a trail, follow over fallen tree for eight paces and take path to left.
Head out towards the edge, just before you step onto the rock, look to your right – there is an old stump about 2 ft, high – just beyond – in the pines, you will find the box.
For the descent, you can follow the orange-blazed trail, or if you are less experienced, you may prefer to return the way you came, on the gentler blue-blazed trail.
Leave No Trace
- Leave no trace.
- Be extremely careful with matches.
- Smoke only when stopped, and extinguish all cigarettes.
- Do not litter. Please carry out what you carry in, including cigarette filters and gum or candy wrappers.
- Pack out toilet paper (or bury it well)! Dig a hole 6" deep for human waste, well away from water.
- Please do not pick anything or disturb wildlife or the natural terrain.
1. Register your party in the trail log.
2. Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
3. Plan return before dark.
4. Carry plenty of water, dress and equip yourself appropriately.
5. Stay on marked trails. Do not get lost.
6. Supervise children closely.
To ensure a safe and pleasant visit for everyone, please follow a few simple rules:
Stay on trails.
Do not use alcohol.
Do not pick anything; leave everything for others to enjoy.
Keep pets on leashes.
Respect park boundaries.
Build fires only in grills provided.
Clean up after pets.