the mahoosuc range

The Mahoosuc Range, a northern extension of the White Mountains, and a sub-range of the Appalachian range are some of our planet’s oldest geological formations, with ancient beauty reflected in every crystalline spring-fed pool and knobby outcropping. Straddling the state’s border with New Hampshire, the range includes almost all of Maine’s 4,000-footers (10 of 14), including Old Speck, the range’s highest peak at 4,170-foot (1,270 m).

A drive along the Grafton Notch Scenic Byway (beginning just north of Sunday River) brings visitors back through time into the heart of a 500 million-year-old geological wonder. Hike to Table Rock and then head to Spruce Meadow for a picnic with an unbeatable view. The neighboring Mahoosuc Land Trust has thousands of acres to explore across more than a dozen diverse preserved parcels. This place is breathtaking, and whether you come to challenge yourself on the Toughest Mile or wish to take the easy hike to the top of Step Falls, there is plenty for everyone to experience and enjoy.

must visit spots

Mahoosuc Notch, the toughest mile of the Appalachian Trail

the toughest mile

Known among hikers as “the toughest mile,” Mahoosuc Notch along the Appalachian Trail is legendary. This section on the AT between the ME/NH state line and Old Speck Mountain is both physically grueling and mentally demanding, even for the most seasoned hikers. This renowned (“notorious” may be the better word) part of the AT in the Mahoosuc Range covers roughly one mile and punishes hikers and climbers with everything from navigating 8- to 10-foot drops, climbing through a jungle gym of boulders, and getting through the tiniest of crevices. 

Despite these challenges, hikers conquering the most brutal section hike on the Appalachian Trail will walk away with an immeasurable sense of accomplishment.

Grafton Notch STate Park at Sunset

Grafton Notch State Park

Granite juts out from an ancient mountaintop, cliffs house nesting peregrine falcons, and the water of countless mountain springs begin the long journey to the sea. These are just a tiny part of the park’s 480-million-year-old story. Grafton Notch State Park’s geological and natural formations await visitors and outdoor recreation lovers of all ages. From hiking and fishing to every kind of winter activity, the park and all its amenities are fantastic.

For those seeking an easy adventure, many short hikes and walks lead to the impressive waterfalls and gorges. In addition to the Peregrine Falcons, birders should also know that the park is home to several rare boreal species in the higher elevations. 

Biking on Mahoosuc Land Trust trails near Bethel

Mahoosuc Land Trust

Step into the Mahoosuc Land Trust, a 22,000-acre collection of diverse preserved parcels that are a gateway to Maine’s natural splendor and adventure. Delve into endless acres of verdant landscapes that blend biodiversity and scenic beauty. Visit the iconic Step Falls or wander through Bucks Ledge Community Forest. Engage in outdoor pursuits like fishing or kayaking in the peacefulness of these conserved spaces. The Land Trust fosters community engagement through educational programs and conservation efforts. Whether seeking outdoor thrills or a peaceful retreat, the Mahoosuc Land Trust invites all to enjoy the harmony of conservation and recreation in a preserved natural environment.

mountains in the range

Ways to Adventure

Plan Your Trip

Maine’s Lakes and Mountains offers a variety of resources to help you plan your next visit, including an annual visitor’s guide, stand alone map, and the new Adventure Guide App.

Visitor's Guide

Our Free Visitor's Guide will help inspire your next adventure along our mountain trails, lakes, scenic byways, bustling towns and more.

Map of the Region

Companion to the Visitor Guide, our dual-sided planning map will help you find your way to adventure in every season throughout the region.

Adventure Guide App

The App will point the way to all kinds of adventures, experiences and destinations in Maine’s Lakes and Mountains with GPS location maps and alerts.

Adventure Respectfully

Our lakes, mountains, and forests are worthy of respect. Whether you’re venturing out into our vast public or private lands or parks, here’s what you can do to conserve the area’s natural resources for all.

other resources

Take Care of the Land

Tread lightly and leave no trace. Keep this place as pristine as you found it.

Where ya headed?

Check if you’ll be on public or private land and if there are any restrictions or fees. Always research your destination ahead of time.

Stick to established trails & roads.

Whether hiking, biking, angling, or ATVing, always stay on a designated trail.


To protect the forest, only build fires in approved sites, don’t leave them unattended, and extinguish them thoroughly.

Avoid spreading invasive species.

Don’t transport firewood, brush your boots, and wash and dry your boat before heading to your next adventure.

Avoid peak hours

Plan around peak hours midday to avoid crowds. Have a Plan B in case the parking lot is already full.

No litterbugs allowed

If you pack it in, pack it out, including food waste like apple cores. Bring bags for pet waste.

When nature calls

If you have to go, pick a spot at least 100′ off the trail or away from a body of water, and bury your poop 6″ deep.

Maine's Lakes and Mountains by the numbers

4,000+ footers
Mountain Peaks
Lakes and Ponds
+Towns and Villages
Square Miles of Adventure
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