The Woodsum Spur is one of only three spur trails that veer off the Grafton Loop Trail (GLT), the other two being the Eyebrow Trail and the Table Rock Trail in Grafton Notch State Park. Located in a conserved forest known as the Stewart Family Preserve, the spur trail veers off the GLT halfway between the first set of open ledges and the first summit of Puzzle Mountain, the easternmost peak of the Grafton Loop Trail. The 1.7-mile trail meanders along the mostly open southwest peaks and ridge before rejoining the Grafton Loop Trail near the true summit of Puzzle. The Woodsum Spur allows folks to enjoy a fun, more challenging 7.6-mile lollipop day hike if they wish to only hike Puzzle Mountain for a day instead of the whole Grafton backpacking loop. We recommend hiking the spur clockwise to get the Puzzle Mountain peak first and then get the views of the Mahoosuc Mountain range and Bear River valley that the spur offers head-on as you travel down the mountain. The Stewart Family Preserve is one of the privately conserved parcels of the Grafton Loop Trail. The Preserve is named after Bob Stewart, who donated the land to the Mahoosuc Land Trust for permanent protection from development. The Woodsum Spur is named after Ken Woodsum, a forester and conservationist who was instrumental in protecting Puzzle Mountain and first explored the route of the current trail with Bob Stewart.
The connection: Inland Woods + Trails was originally called Mahoosuc Pathways. We rebranded to Inland Woods + Trails in 2020 because, along with other reasons, we felt like we were expanding to an area larger than the Mahoosuc region, and the name limited us geographically in a way that we just felt like didn’t reflect where we saw ourselves growing over time. That being said, the Woodsum Spur remains under our stewardship, and we are delighted to manage it, as it is the closest connection (physically and figuratively) we have to the Mahoosucs. We also love connecting with the other managers of the Grafton Loop Trail to steward the loop together. As mentioned above, the preserve that the spur is located on is managed by our friends at the Mahoosuc Land Trust. We assist with the management of the GLT by managing the spur, while the rest of the loop management is conducted by a variety of organizations including Mahoosuc Land Trust, the Maine Appalachian Trail Club, and the Appalachian Mountain Club. We love being able to offer this day hike options to folks looking to hike the Mahoosucs in Newry, and working either directly with managers (like Mahoosuc Land Trust on the Stewart Preserve section of the GLT) or indirectly with managers (the sections outside of the Stewart Preserve that are maintained by AMC and MATC) on this incredible resource of a backpacking loop that connects recreators to the Mahoosucs and Grafton Notch mountains along a string of conserved lands, private landowners, state property and the federal corridor of the Appalachian trail.
Trails available & stats:
Traditional hiking trail: 5.1 mi
OTHER: Backpacking trail
Maine Trail Finder link