Story posted October 27, 2010
We successfully navigated our way to the trailhead for the Notch Trail, despite unknown distances between particular turnoffs. The hike began with a leisurely 2.5 miles of mild incline. During that time we had to cross a creek multiple times, which was mildly adventurous and involved some bushwhacking to find a suitable spot. Once the Notch Trail met with the Appalachian Trail, we dropped into the Mahoosuc Notch. We made great time, getting to the other end of the notch in about an hour and 15 minutes.
The Mahoosuc Notch, though know for being the "toughest mile of the Appalachian Trail" is a very different kind of "tough" from, say, climbing straight up a mountain. Because you have to focus so much on where to put your feet and how to shift your body weight to get up or down particular sections, it's easy to forget that it's difficult and it just becomes a jolly scramble over and under giant rocks. (Granted, we did only have day packs--I imagine it would be much more difficult if we were backpacking.) However, the rocks were quite slick, because it had rained the day before. At the other end of the notch we stopped for a delicious nutella-filled lunch before turning around to tackle the notch again. It was a fun challenge to complete all the obstacles from a new perspective--the ups were downs and the downs were ups, making some maneuvers more difficult than when we first came through.
All in all, it was a great day that left us tired but satisfied.