how to live, travel and explore the world from your van

Grafton Notch State Park Maine on $20 a day

This is part of an 18 week, 7,532 mile, Vanabode road trip detailed in the book from Amazon
titled Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day for just $2.99
See East Coast Road Trip for more pictures, itinerary, maps and trip overview.

views of mountains in maine state park called grafton notch

We take in beautiful waterfalls, gorges, caves, rock pools, cliffs, big tree forests, and short trails throughout Grafton Notch State Park at Screw Auger Falls, Mother Walker Falls, Moose Cave, and Spruce Meadow Picnic Area. It’s only a two-dollar donation to get in and these walks can be done from the free parking lots in sandals if you tread slowly.

  vanabode road trip through grafton notch in maine

Above: The trail starts out real easy at the beginning. Below: Then turn into some of this quickly.

grafton notch tree lined uphill trails

Today we plan on an arduous steep four-mile hike up on one of the mountains. We park trailside just outside Grafton Notch State Park.

grafton notch mountain hiker tired on ground

Above: Tired, dirty, bug bitten, hungry, thirsty, hikers stagger down out of the woods. Nearly all have their heads down, and many are carrying cans of insect repellant in their hands. These people are humbled, broken, satisfied. This guy is tired from the day BEFORE, he hasn't even started hiking today yet. I wanted to take pictures of the broken dirty hikers but they waved me off as they bowed their heads. They are incapable of evil in this condition. They cannot physically start a war, or fight, or quarrel. They can’t even muster the energy to complain, or be rude, or criticize someone. They are at their base level now.
They are glad to be alive, glad to be down, glad to be within an hour of somebody picking them up and taking them to a happier place. They are supremely grateful for their life, their time, and their day. I am too.

This is nature’s gift. If you spend time with her, she makes you a better person.
Bright green humming birds squeal in and out of the field of head high flowers growing five feet from our van. We eat dinner, and then watch the sun disappear behind dark green Old Speck Mountain.

Grafton Notch State Park welcomes us back. We park in the shade, cross the road from the picnic area parking lot, then immediately start up the moderately difficult two and a half mile round trip Table Rock Loop hike. We are alone. The forest is shady and cool and despite the wind, the trees do not move much. It is just too dense.

waterfalls in maine

Above: See the tiny people moving down to the waterfalls. We pass wet bogs, little streams, massive boulders, huge trees flanked with moss and mushrooms, wooden walkways, warning signs, and animal droppings. Everything is either green or brown.

table rock loop hike timber ladder trail

Butterflies and an occasional bird flutter past our heads. The hike quickly turns more vertical. We continue up in a sort of bent over, crawl on all fours position. The evolutionists would be proud. We stop to catch our breath often but manage to summit in two hours.

Table Rock Loop hike at the top with kelly

Not being in a hurry or having a time schedule means we get maximum pleasure out of most of our excursions. This climb to the peak is no different. The views are nice but the wind gusts to forty miles per hour and nearly blows us off the rocky “table” at the top.

vanabode author jason odom goofy hiker pose

Above: With excessive hiking comes insanity.

hiking waterfalls of white mountains on road trip

Above: Later we drive through the White Mountains, enjoying easy quarter mile hikes to Glen Ellis Falls, Cascade Falls, and Silver Cascade.

For thousands of unforgettable experiences on this affordable 18 week 7,500 mile road trip
Click to see the book "Big City Wild Country East Coast Road Trip on $20 a Day"
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