The Appalachian Trail may be all hugs and kisses on the southern end of New Hampshire, but it will kick you in the fanny on its northern exit. This 31-mile section from Shelburne, NH to Grafton Notch, Maine contains 8,000 feet of elevation gain with majestic views, alpine bogs, ledge climbs, above treeline traverses, and the notorious mile-long boulder scramble of Mahoosuc Notch.
Hiking in northern New England is no simple walk in the park. Consider that we’re also home to some of the finest micro-breweries in the business, and one has to wonder: What’s the point of all those rugged, root-tangled miles if the calories burnt aren’t immediately replenished by a pint of ale and good old pub grub?
As one of the AMC’s red lines, the Wright Trail is by no means a secret. Given that I completed it on a cloudless Saturday morning in June after a week of rain and only saw four other people, it certainly passes for a hidden gem. Listed in the White Mountain Guide as a loop trail, the North Branch now appears to be closed. Don’t let this scare you away, though. The long parallel with Goose Eye Brook and eye-popping scenery of Goose Eye Mountain and the Mahoosuc Range make it a great getaway.
Today we learned, and quickly I might add, why Maine is generally considered the toughest state on the Appalachian Trail. New Hampshire certainly is no slouch either, but I have…