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Grafton Notch Campground is located along the Bear River in Newry, Maine, near the Appalachian Trail. The park has 15 tenting and RV sites, each with its own fire ring and picnic table. The owner remarks that the sites are quiet and secluded. Other property features include a bathhouse with hot showers and flushing toilets, a field area with tables, chairs, and lawn games, and an office with a camp store. The store sells snacks, ice cream, firewood, dishwashing supplies, and bug spray. Grafton Notch Campground also has a dump station and a privy. The campground is adorned with trees and grass between the camp sites. Notable attractions nearby include Grafton Notch State Park, Mahoosuc Range, Appalachian Trail, and Step Falls. These areas provide spaces for people to hike, bike, fish, and kayak.
Grafton Notch Campground is located in Newry, Maine, along the Bear River and the Mahoosuc Mountains. The property has 15 camping sites, including Site 1, which features electricity hookups. Mo Ginther, one of the owners, says most sites can accommodate an RV or camper up to 30 feet long. Additionally, each spot has a fire ring and a picnic table. Mo states that grass and trees separate the sites, noting that they are reasonably spaced from each other. Moreover, Mo states that the sites with trails to the Bear River are frequently among the first to be rented.
The campground's office includes a camp store that sells items such as ice cream, snacks, bug spray, toothbrushes, dishwashing equipment, firewood, and other things travelers might have forgotten. Mo notes that there is a dump station nearby for RVs to use. Furthermore, Grafton Notch Campground has a bathhouse with hot showers and flushing toilets. Dishwashing sinks are also available on the outside of the bathhouse. A privy, or outhouse, is located nestled in the woods. Finally, a field area has space for lawn games, tables, and chairs. Grafton Notch Campground encompasses nine acres. Mo says visitors can walk around and explore the surroundings if they like, recalling how children might visit the river or try to find animals in the area. Mo also has flowers and flower pots throughout the grounds, and she says wildlife can be seen in the area. Some common animals in the area include moose, deer, owls, frogs, and various bird species.
The region surrounding Grafton Notch Campground is comprised of the Appalachian Trail, Mahoosuc Mountains, waterfalls, streams, and rivers. Mo explains that many places to hike, bike, and fish are nearby. According to her, visitors can fish for brook trout and view other types of wildlife. While she says guests do not tend to place kayaks or boats in the Bear River, the area has other locations for kayaking, canoeing, and swimming. Instead of boating on the river, people often wade in the water. Other attractions or points of interest include Grafton Notch State Park—although camping is not allowed in the park itself—and the Appalachian Trail, specifically a stretch called Mahoosuc Notch. According to Mo, Mahoosuc Notch is said to be the most difficult mile of the Appalachian Trail. Dining options are also available near the campground. Some of the co-owner's personal recommendations include The Good Food Store, Smokin' Good BBQ, Puzzle Mountain Bakery, and Sud's Pub, among other local breweries.
Mo, a Grafton Notch Campground co-owner, strives to create a "lowkey, laid-back, quiet, [and] mellow" atmosphere for occupants. She greets the guests at the park and gets to know their names to create connections. Mo also enjoys having conversations with people to help them feel like part of the campground's family.
When considering what makes Grafton Notch Campground unique, Mo believes the bathhouse's cleanliness is noteworthy. She also says the "quiet simplicity" sets her property apart, noting how the campground is suitable for all ages. Additionally, she says that there is no light pollution from any cities and recalls receiving many comments from children about the stars at night.
Visitor feedback seems to reflect Mo's efforts to keep the park well-maintained. For instance, one guest said, "Mo, the owner, takes pride in keeping her campground as clean as she can. Campsite number 5 has great hammock trees. Campsite number 6 is great for being close to the bathroom. [There is] plenty of room for two vehicles."
While Grafton Notch Campground does not host any activities, Mo notes that some groups may rent a number of sites for various get-togethers. "People make their own [plans] and come back year after year with their gang," she explains.
Mo notes that her guests are respectful in following the establishment's policies. Quiet time is from 10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m. daily, and generators are not allowed. She asks that people drive slowly as there are often kids and dogs at the campground. While dogs are allowed, they must be kept on a leash and not left behind when their owners leave the park.
Grafton Notch Campground is open from mid-May to Columbus Day. Mo says the busiest part of the season is during July and August, although fall foilage is popular as well. The guest demographic usually consists of families and couples, though Mo observes that older visitors show up more often after Labor Day. Additionally, Grafton Notch Campground hosts many hikers or people introducing their children to camping, and many guests return annually.
Grafton Notch Campground began construction in the fall of 2005 and was completed and opened in July 2006 by Mo Ginther and Mark Wight. Mo recounts how they measured the park's dimensions and cut down trees to make space for the campground's facilities. Before the conversion, the property was an apple orchard, although Mo says many apple trees are still scattered throughout the campground. She and Mark decided to purchase the land after Mark worked as a Maine State Park Ranger/Manager for 30 years.
Mo's favorite part of running Grafton Notch Campground is meeting new people from different places. She remarks that guests from across the globe have visited Grafton Notch Campground, and she enjoys making friends with her visitors and their children.
Through the years, Mo and Mark have made a few adjustments and upgrades. They also added the camp store and office, with plans to add a lean-to at Site 15, the group site.