Is Mahoosuc Notch the hardest or most fun mile of the Appalachian Trail? I think it’s a mixture of both! Basically a jumble of huge boulder piles, it’s definitely not like any other hiking I’ve ever done. And we had been hearing for weeks different opinions about what it was like to hike the Notch. Some said it was awesome, and some said they hated it. I would say the first 3/4 of a mile was just fun, but by the last 1/4 mile I was tired and ready to be just plain walking again. It didn’t help that it was at the end of the day when we headed in to the crazy boulder jumble. For sure, my arms were sore as scrambling through the Mahoosuc Notch was a real upper body work out. It took us about 2 hours to get through the mile long Mahoosuc Notch with a rest and snack break about half way through. We definitely had to take off our packs through some of the tight squeezes. All in all we had fun. Where else where we going to hike through caverns filled with snow in the middle of July?
Planning to Hike the Mahoosuc Notch?
My advice? Take your time, look at it as a new adventure and enjoy the novelty of the experience. There are arrows throughout the Mahoosuc Notch which tell you the best way to go.I talked to one hiker who said he always took the upper route over the boulders and he never had to take off his pack.In fact, we talked to lots of hikers that did their own thing, but we mostly followed the marked route. Another word of advice- hiking the Mahoosuc Notch would be especially difficult during or just after a rain so plan accordingly. Also, there was not a good water source south of the trail for a few miles, so fill up in the trickling streams in the Notch if you’re running short. And just like that, Maine was almost over. Since it was late evening by the time we were through the Mahoosuc Notch, we camped at a flat spot just beyond. We are ready for you New Hampshire!
Want to read more about our super long Appalachian Trail section hike? Check out some of these other recent posts-
As always, Happy Travels!