Monadnock Trails
Monadnock Mountain

Mount Monadnock

Jaffrey Weather Forecast, NH

The weather above is for the base of the mountain.


Mountain Weather and Conditions

July 16th, 2011: It is summer on Mount Monadnock and it can be quite warm hiking the mountain. You will break a sweat hiking Monadnock. It is recommended that you bring at least 2 quarts of water per person for a hike of Mount Monadnock. If there is very hot weather forecast, it is recommended to hike early in the morning to beat the heat although it still can be humid. Accidents can occur and made worse on the mountain because of lack of water and dehydration. If it is a breezy day and you are familiar with the mountain, hiking trails that are exposed to the wind can be refreshing. If there is a west wind, White Arrow, Smith Summit, Marlboro, or Dublin Trails may be a good choice. If there is a east breeze, the White Dot Trail, and adjacent trails may be a good choice.

The black flies and mosquitoes are out but if you use insect repellent they should be no more than an annoyance in the lower elevations. Monadnock higher up has a lot of exposure and the wind almost always blows minimizing the bugs.

Mount Monadnock is very exposed to thunderstorms. If there are thunderstorms forecast for a given day it is advisable that you hike when the threat is less. For example: If thunderstorms are likely late in the afternoon than make sure you are finishing up by then. Thunderstorms can quickly pop up on the mountain. In summer, it is quite common for there to be a chance of thunderstorms. You may still hike Mount Monadnock but keep an eye on the sky. You may consult the rangers before hiking. Mount Monadnock offers expansive views of the surrounding skies except when it is mostly cloudy. If there are tall cumulus clouds building up or distant thunder you should imediately head down.

Many people underestimate Mount Monadnock and anybody hiking should use care. Accidents, injuries, and rescues are quite frequent Mount Monadnock. The trails are very rough and rocky. There is also areas of smooth slick ledge. Lichen covered rock on side trails in humid summer conditions after rains may be slick. Use care and take your time hiking the rough trails of Monadnock. Most accidents occur on the way down the mountain.


Monadnock Climate and Conditions

The weather conditions on top of Monadnock average about 10 degrees cooler than the valleys below not including wind chill.  A rainstorm may be snow or ice higher up on the mountain.  Mount Monadnock generally has better and more fair weather than in the northern mountains of the northeast which can be obscured by clouds and fog as often as the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State.  In spring and fall be prepared for brisk cold conditions on top and bring a windbreaker, gloves and fleece. In the summer the afternoons can be hot, be sure to bring at least 2 quarts of water.  Allow at least 3-4 hours to hike directly up and down the mountain, if storms are likely there isn't any shelter and the mountain is very exposed so choose another day.  In winter do not wear any cotton and be prepared for sub-zero wind chills and icy trail conditions.  For more information about hiking safety and weather, click; HikingSafety.

Trails can be muddy and hiking boots are recommended and not white sneakers.  Sometimes a cold windswept rain, snow can occur high on the mountain.  The upper 300 to 400 feet of the mountain is above tree-line, can be brisk and is fully exposed to severe weather.  Be prepared for such conditions if hiking with just a chance of bad weather.  It can be hot hiking in summertime on the mountain and it is advisable to carry 2 quarts of water per person on a hike of Monadnock.  Check the weather before hiking.


Monadnock News:


Bears have been sighted on Monadnock

August, 14 2011: In the news recently bears sightings have been reported and caught on camera in southern New England, the region, even the city of Nashua, NH.
There have been bear sightings around the Old Toll Road, and other places on Mount Monadnock, as well.
I have seen a bear on the Old Toll Road early in the morning on a weekday, in late July.
Bears do cover a large territory so the odds of seeing the bear in the same spot is small.
I often hike when there are few people around.  I have often seen Wild Turkey and occasionally White Tailed Deer, as well as Porcupines while hiking Mount Monadnock.
Winter is the best time to see animal tracks in the snow.
In winter, the white snow shoe hare also can be seen on Monadnock.
If you are concerned about running into a bear hiking Mount Monadnock, the trails are usually busy with hikers which will keep wildlife away.
If you do want to see wildlife; stay away from busy trails, or hike on off-peak times and keep quiet.
Bears seem to be more common now throughout southern New England as well as Mount Monadnock in 2011.


NH Fish and Game Called to Three Rescues in one Week

June 24, 2011: Three times in one week, rescuers from the N.H. Fish and Game Department were called to Mount Monadnock to fetch hikers.


June 22nd, 2011, Wednesday: Conservation officers went up the mountain about 9 p.m. to search for a pair of hikers who lost the trail they were on due to darkness and heavy rain, according to a news release from Fish and Game.
Steven Collazo, 29, of Killeen, Texas, and Kirsten Lomas, 25, of Leominster, Mass., turned back before reaching the mountain’s summit, but lost their way coming down a steep section of the White Cross Trail known as the “staircase,” Fish and Game officials said. Collazo and Lomas, who didn’t have flashlights with them, were located by rescuers about 11:30 p.m. “The hikers were found soaking wet and ill prepared to spend the night in the torrential rainfall,” according to the release. The hikers and rescuers made it to the state park headquarters shortly before 1 a.m., officials said. Monadnock State Park Assistant Manager Sue Tirrell provided logistical support to Fish and Game officers during the search.


NH Fish and Game urges hikers to prepare before heading out on the trails for unexpected weather conditions and bring emergency supplies for an extended stay in the wilderness.


June 19th, 2011: Sunday, a hiker was helped off the mountain after suffering heat exhaustion. It wasn't even that hot on Sunday. It was in the 80's in the valleys with low humidity. The hiker must not have had nearly enough water. Anyone hiking Monadnock in warm weather should bring at least 2 quarts of water.


June 20th, 2011: Monday evening on Mount Monadnock New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers from the Region IV Office in Keene coordinated a carry-out of an injured hiker. Isabel L. Krakoff, age 19, suffered a lower leg injury while hiking the Marlborough Trail. Krakoff was taking part in Staff Training with several other camp staff from the Sargent Center in Hancock. They were preparing for a summer Adventure Camp being held at the Sargent Center. They began their day hike at 10:30 a.m. At approximately 1:00 p.m., Krakoff injured her lower left leg which required her to be carried down the mountain. Conservation Officers along with Krakoff's fellow staff members carried her down via the Marian Trail to Mossy Brook Trail to Cart Path to the top of Old Toll Road which is a 1.5 mile carry out. The group completed the descent at 8:30 p.m. and Krakoff was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough.


Monadnock Trails Week

Volunteers Help Restore Popular Mount Monadnock Trails

Last week, volunteers came from all over New Hampshire, as well as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to help the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests restore the trails on Mount Monadnock. The work was completed as part of the Forest Society’s sixth annual Monadnock Trails Week.

“This year’s event was a great success,” said Forest Society Land Steward Program Specialist Carrie Deegan, who coordinated the event. “Thirty-six volunteers put in almost 500 hours of work on the mountain over five consecutive days.”

The most intense efforts involved the construction of new drainages and water bars on the Dublin, White Arrow, and White Dot Trails. Many of the Dublin Trail drainages were created from spruce logs found on site, which had to be cut, peeled, and moved into place, involving significant teamwork and coordination. Much of the work along the White Arrow Trail involved moving and setting large rocks as stepping stones or drainage channels.

Deegan reported that the total work accomplished for the week included 78 cleaned and repaired drainages, 14 new check steps, 11 new water bars, 17 new rock steps, four hazard tree removals, two miles of new trail markings, and one view clearing.

“This work is a significant help to Monadnock State Park staff, who strive to maintain the nearly 40 miles of trails on the mountain, many of which see extremely heavy use in season,” she said.

The Monadnock Trail Week initiative was started by the Forest Society in 2005 to help restore the heavily used trails on the mountain.

Mount Monadnock is one of the most-climbed mountains in the western hemisphere. In 1915 the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests conserved its first tract of 406 acres on Mount Monadnock, beginning a long-term effort to protect the natural integrity of the mountain and its surroundings. Since then, the Forest Society has acquired more than 5,200 acres at Mount Monadnock and Gap Mountain in the towns of Dublin, Marlborough, Troy, and Jaffrey. The Forest Society leases much of this land to the State of New Hampshire to be operated as Monadnock State Park.

The Forest Society is currently working on a project to conserve another 400 acres that would ensure continued access to some of the mountains’ most well-used trails.

Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.
Monadnock Trails Week, July 9-13, 2011 (Sat thru Wed)
Join conservation professionals and other volunteers from the Forest Society and NH State Parks in restoring hiking trails on New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock! Come for one day or several, alone or with friends! No prior experience is necessary. We will be restoring trails, building waterbars, and constructing footbridges.      *When: July 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 All workdays run from 9AM – 3PM.
     *Where: Mount Monadnock (meet at Park HQ at the end of Poole Rd in Jaffrey, NH at 9AM)
   nbsp; *What to bring: old clothes, work gloves (if you have them), a bag lunch, and plenty of water. Trail tools will be provided!
How to sign up: email Carrie Deegan at cdeegan@forestsociety.org or call 224-9945.


New Efforts are in progress for Monadnock's Alpine Vegetation

May 27, 2011
Mount Monadnock’s alpine plants are getting a little support.
On the White Dot Trail just 20 yards below the summit there are signs requesting hikers to keep hikers off the revegetation area and stay on the trail. This spot recieves the most traffic of anywhere on the mountain.
On top of the mountain, my first day seeing the signs this week, I witnessed a few people hiking across the area. It is also right by an area where people climb up when they can't climb the south cliffs. It is good to protect Monadnock but being realistic it will likely only minimize traffic. Improvements to the White Dot Trail may keep people from wandering off the trail.
The summit on a very busy day has been described as more crowded than a crowded beach with every available spot taken. Being realistic this area will likely stay barren unless they close the summit area. Take note: on weekdays the mountain are generally less crowded except when there are large groups on top.
Antioch University New England is cautioning hikers to be careful about fragile alpine plants on Mount Monadnock.
Students and faculty from the university’s Monadnock Ecological Research and Education Project hiked the mountain Friday to post signs about the fragile plants, university officials said in a statement.
The popular White Dot Trail was the focus of the effort. “The White Dot Trail gets tens of thousands of hikers annually, so the area is really impacted due to trampling,” said Peter Palmiotto, a professor in the environmental studies department at Antioch and the project’s director. “It’s significant because there hasn’t been any education on the fragility of alpine plant species on Monadnock ... the state is limited by resources.”
Project participants also plan to start revegetation experiments on the mountain this summer, department officials said.


Break-ins Have Recently Occurred
When Rangers aren't Present, May 2011

There were a few recent incidents of car break-ins with smash and grabs recently at 124.  Rangers are present 7 days a week for most of the day at 124 now but if you are hiking late after the ranger leaves you are advised to not leave any valuables in your car.  It is best if your interior is not cluttered or have anything showing of value such as GPS, wallet, or CDs.  You might even want to leave your car unlocked so your glass doesn't get broken.  At State Park Headquarters rangers are present all day, 7 days now, as well.  At the unattended parking lots such as the Marlboro or Dublin trail heads you should leave nothing of value!


A New Map of Mount Monadnock is Available for Sale

A new map of Mount Monadnock is available for sale, including many points of interest. Mike Bromberg has put together a Monadnock map that has more detail than the basic free map available at the Monadnock State Park, or on this site. His map covers the whole area in detail, includes mileage on the map, the Monadnock reservation boundaries, as well as Gap Mountain.  His map was created using GPS technology includes trail descriptions on the back. His map is a complete map of Mount Monadnock which is better than the 2 section cut up map that is currently made by the Appalachian Mountain Club.  The map by Bromberg does have an inset which includes a close-up of the Halfway House Trails.  The map is available for $9 including shipping from 3 Ring Cartography is also available for $8 at the Monadnock State P ark and at stores.


New Pages on Mount Monadnock Vegetation

Recent additions to this web site are some new pages created on Mount Monadnock Vegetation.  These pages cover the varied vegetation communities from hardwood forests, to spruce forest, to sub alpine rocky bald.  These pages may be of interest to anybody with an interest in Mount Monadnock, or vegetation of Monadnock, or anybody doing research.  These new pages were just released May, 2011 and are now available on this site.  The Monadnock vegetation pages and Monadnock Fauna replace the single page covering Monadnock's Flora and Fauna.

Marlboro Trail and Dublin Trail Road Conditions, May 27, 2011 Update:

Today I was on Shaker Farm Road to Marlboro Trail and it is very rough. Shaker Farm Road is more like a trail than a road plus it has giant potholes. The road in sections is a bit muddy and was recently quite muddy from the rains. I went 2 mph and I didn't bottom out my sedan. For those with higher profile vehicles it is a good idea to take it very slow and not beat your vehicle. The road is single lane in sections. These conditions are typical for Shaker Farm Road to the Marlboro trail as the road receives very low maintenance. Old Troy Road to Dublin Trail is typically in better shape than Shaker Farm Road. Poole Road to Monadnock State Park is access by a paved road and Old Toll Road parking area is accessible by NH Route 124.


Bigfoot lawsuit: NH sasquatch lost!

Updated: May 27, 2011:
An amateur filmmaker from New Hampshire, who likes to dress up like big foot and scare hikers atop Mount Monadnock, was suing the state, claiming his free speech rights are being violated.
Jonathan Doyle says he had been putting on the big foot suit for months until a park ranger told him he needed a hundred dollar permit and an insurance policy to use the park for entertainment purposes.
The ACLU supports his lawsuit, saying it’s a low cost operation that doesn’t require government regulation.
Visitors to a New Hampshire state park got a little scare when a man in a Bigfoot costume jumped out in front of them as part of a film. The guy in the suit and the park he makes videos in just can’t agree. Now there’s a lawsuit.
The bigfoot impersonator was reportedly being an annoyance on the mountain according to rangers.
Requiring entertainment ventures for permit and insurance isn't unprecedented. Diana Eno has been paying for permits and insurance for 10 years. Diana Eno performs an annual mountain dance. Anyone who is entertaining on the mountain and inviting the public must have a permit and insurance.
The case did not make it to trial. It is unknown if Jonathan Doyle will appeal.


Park Store Closed Until Spring now Re-opened, Spring 2011

Please Note: The Monadnock park store was temporarily closed and is now re-opened, as Park Headquarters is undergoing renovations. On weekdays, in winter, there aren't rangers collecting fees and normally the camp store isn't open.  There are maps, guides, some gear, t-shirts and more at the store.

The park store was like a Monadnock trail museum.  There were many old trail signs, markers and maps.  Recently much of that was removed.  Hopefully there will a display of Monadnock artifacts in the renovated store.


Development at Base of Monadnock

Nearly 20 years ago the four towns surrounding Mount Monadnock established a "Mountain Zone" zoning ordinance to minimize the impacts of development close to Monadnock.  A developer acquired a 60-acre parcel of land located within Jaffrey's Mountain Zone near the Shattuck Golf Course and proposed to concentrate more than 40 single family homes on 17 of the parcel's 31 acres of build able land.  The Town of Jaffrey engaged in a process that eventually authorized 28 single family homes on the same 17 acres.  To the Forest Society and a group of abutting landowners, this proposal contravened the very purpose of the Mountain Zone.

These landowners and the Forest Society challenged the Town's approval of the development in court.  The municipal decision to approve the development was upheld by the Cheshire Country Superior Court in 2008 and more recently by the New Hampshire State Supreme Court.  Each court granted considerable deference to the Town of Jaffrey in reviewing the development approvals.

A large concern for the Forest Society today is how the landscape located within the Mountain Zones of each of the four towns will actually appear when these lands are built out over the next 25 years.  Will the Mountain continue to stand alone, or will it have new neighbors on every surrounding acre of land that is not otherwise conserved.*  Most likely there will more be development surrounding Monadnock over the next 25 years but hopefully not as much as a worst case scenario.

The courts sided with the Town of Jaffrey's approval process and private property rights.  The only other ways to outright protect the mountain zone is by conservation easements, generous donations by landowners or by funds raised to protect the land.

*Source: Forest Notes, Forest Society


Marlboro Trail and Dublin Trail Road Conditions in April:

For those who would like to hike the Dublin or Marlboro Trails; the roads may be rough and muddy. It is early spring and Old Troy Road and Shaker Farm Road may not be in good condition.  You may fill your wheels with mud and throw your tire balance off.  To avoid this Monadnock State Park is open year round accessed by paved Poole Road.  The Trail head at route 124, the Old Toll Road is open but has limited parking on very busy days such as holidays.


Bigfoot lawsuit: NH sasquatch is suing!

An amateur filmmaker from New Hampshire, who likes to dress up like big foot and scare hikers atop Mount Monadnock, is suing the state, claiming his free speech rights are being violated.
Jonathan Doyle says he had been putting on the big foot suit for months until a park ranger told him he needed a hundred dollar permit and an insurance policy to use the park for entertainment purposes.
The ACLU supports his lawsuit, saying it’s a low cost operation that doesn’t require government regulation.
Visitors to a New Hampshire state park got a little scare when a man in a Bigfoot costume jumped out in front of them as part of a film. The guy in the suit and the park he makes videos in just can’t agree. Now there’s a lawsuit.
Jonathan Doyle, an artist and filmmaker, says he wasn't really scaring anyone. He said everyone involved in this knew it was in good humor and that he wasn't really some sort of elusive man-ape.
Doyle says he paraded around in what was clearly a Bigfoot suit and later interviewed folks who saw him in the suit. All of the people in his video clearly knew it was a joke. In fact his lawyers point out the park never received any complaints about this.
But Doyle says when he returned to the state park to film again, they gave him the boot. The park told him he would need a $100 permit 30 days in advance and a $2 million insurance bond to come back and film.
Well, Doyle felt that wasn't right. At his friend's request, the ACLU is now backing Doyle in this lawsuit, filing paperwork this week. They say forcing Doyle to get the permit is a violation of his freedom of speech.
Fox 25’s Shannon Mulaire Skyped with Doyle today. He's out of town, but he says he thinks the park was trying to get rid of him because they thought his stunt was tacky.
Both sides apparently agree that there's no need for a trial because there are no facts in dispute. What they do disagree on is whether the rule requiring Doyle to get a permit steps on Doyle’s First Amendment rights. New Hampshire maintains the rule is constitutional.
Nonetheless, the lawsuit continues. Doyle isn't seeking a lot of money here, just attorney's fees, and nominal damages and to be allowed back on Monadnock without having to obtain that permit.

*Source: FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com


Monadnock Places and Names Spark Debates

There has been some debate about some of the brooks and places on Mount Monadnock as of recently.  Anybody who browses this web site will notice that I get into a great deal of detail on mountain.  Sometimes what I may cover may contradict a few old maps or text.  Sometimes mistakes can be made and the State Park Manager, past and present, have a very busy job and cannot proof read every detail of every potential publication that comes across their desk.  My first draft prior to going online had lots of mistakes.  I spent a lot of time cleaning it up and rechecking it, over and over, before I ever went online.  This web site is a current and live document as opposed to a book printing that can't be changed once it is printed.  I can tweak or update it at any time.  I have been researching the places and trails on this mountain for years and years and I am satisfied with what I provide online.
I had a recent debate about the location of the Doric Temple that it is further away from the Red Spot Trail, so I decided to research the area. Making numerous visits, I covered every angle surrounding it, and it was difficult terrain, not somewhere where you would say check out the Doric Temple. The marking was not right on spot on the old 1930 map and misinterpreted by Baldwin. He describes it as a rocky crag. A jumbled rock pile absolutely makes no sense for a Doric Temple. Unless someone blew up the Temple I doubt that is it. I know where that crag is. It is within eyeshot of the real Doric Temple; that most prominent double cliff right by the Red Spot Trail. You can see the roof-line from the Ark. You can see the sight line from White Dot Trail columns between spruce. You can also see right by the Red Spot Trail a cliff resembling Doric Architecture. It should be a cliff with columns and similar roof, see what Doric is; WikipediaDoric. I find absolutely nothing Doric about a rocky crag. He did not get the location of the Half Way House Reservoir right and he is off here as well. His book is very good overall, though. A new reprint of the original Monadnock Guide (described as the official guide to Monadnock) is now on sale as of 2011 and is a treasure trove of Monadnock information despite only a few details. I think the Doric Temple is a very interesting Place of Interest on the mountain, having numerous facades resembling Doric Architecture, and a fun area to explore. You could hypothesis that it grew in, or spruce burned away in a fire leaving scrubby birch. It would be still be visible especially when the birch are bare, but it is just jumbled rock. I think it would be a really big coincidence having 2 Doric Temples nearby, go hike the Red Spot Trail, and see the double cliff for yourself, you will see it right there. See my images for the Doric Temple and Halfway Reservoir on my Points of Interest page.
Monadnock Brooks also have had some debates recently.  On my web site I have done considerable research in finding names to places and brooks.  I had a recent debate on Poole Brook with someone who is publishing a Monadnock map; that it is a continuation of Ark Brook beyond Ark Pond.  It may be said that Ark Pond is just a water hole along Ark Brook.  Poole Brook may be considered a source of Ark Pond.  Poole Brook/Ark Brook has been also called Cascade Brook as the brook cascades and flows along Cascade Link.  On the 1916 E. J. Harling Map the brook is referred to as Poole Brook.  E. J. Harling knew the mountain as well as anybody.  The Poole family largely underwrote Monadnock State Park Reservation and ought to be remembered with more than a road.
Another brook that has two names is Ainsworth Brook, A. K. A. Sawyer BrookAinsworth Brook is named on the Allen Chamberlain Trampers Guide Map, 1930, which is considered the original hiker's bible of Mount Monadnock, as well as, in other early A. M. C. maps.  The brook was later named Sawyer Brook on some later A. M. C. Maps.  The Ainsworth heirs donated the first primary tract of land to the Town of Jaffrey. From the summit south of the mountain was granted, stipulated for public pleasure, creating Monadnock park (Town of Jaffrey Reservation).
I research and sometimes multiple reference details of Mount Monadnock, have a library of information on Monadnock, and also knows others who know the mountain, and knew some old-timers on the mountain. I created this web site to share with the world the beauty of Mount Monadnock as I know the mountain. There are a few places I named; Bruin Cliff (a spectacular cliff where I saw a bear), Chamberlain Falls (in memory of Allen Chamberlain, author of Annals of Grand Monadnock) but everything else should be historically accurate. Anybody who wishes to make a correction; feel free to Contact Author.



Early Season Snow causes a number of hiker falls and Rescue

A snowfall which occurred Friday, October 15th, 2010, melted over the weekend and caused slick trail conditions.  The slick conditions caused a number of incidents and a rescue that was reported in the news.  The White Dot Trail can be quite hazardous in such conditions.  My best advice to give if you are going to hike Monadnock in such conditions is to use great care hiking the mountain.  From my own experience of hiking the mountain 1200 times I listed a number of ways to make it safely up and down the mountain in slick conditions:

    Try to find steps or handholds
    Perhaps grab on to trees
    Use a trekking pole
    Get down on all fours and scramble on slick spots
    Take it slow and cautious
    If it looks slippery, it likely is
    Use proper footwear

Following the above should help make for a more safe hike if conditions are slick such as in summer in wet humid conditions or in wintry conditions.  One exception to taking it slowly is in winter with adequate snow some hikers may glissade or slide down the trails.  If the mountain is icy I strongly advise to use crampons which provide the best traction in solid ice.  It is always harder to descend the mountain with icy or slick conditions than to ascend with such conditions.  Hopefully this advice will help people have safe hikes and less accidents in any season on Mount Monadnock.


New Map for Monadnock Cross Country Ski Trails

The new layout for the ski trails is completed.  A ski loop southeast of Monadnock State Park Headquarters has been re-opened after being closed due to logging activity.  I hiked it in September and it is a bit bushy and brambly because the forest is gone.  The State Park Manager will check out and clear in October as necessary.  The loop starts at the south end of the second parking lot at X-C Marker 12 along Old Keene Road to Brook's home site and X-C Marker 10 then heads north.  Ski Trails south and east of this marker are still closed and aren't clear because of logging skid tracks complicate the way.  The ski trail heads north along what was once known as the Pine Path and most of the Pines are now gone to Poole Road at the Hinkley Trail.  The ski trails are now well marked with blue diamonds.  Click Monadnock Cross Country Ski Map to see the current map.


Police Ticketing Vehicles in No Parking Zones

It is autumn on Mount Monadnock which is one of the most popular times of the year to hike.  On the weekends parking lots fill up and people are resorting to parking along roads where it is posted no parking.  This can restrict emergency vehicles such as fire engines and ambulances from getting through.  At the Marlboro Trail parking area, along the narrow dirt road this has become a problem and police are ticketing vehicles.  At the Pumpelly Trail there is no parking lot and there is on street parking only on one side of the road.  Please be advised to park only at posted parking areas only.


Gilson Pond Campground is Now Open

Gilson Pond Campground is now open as of July 9, 2010.  It is a nice new campground including new tables and everything.  Gilson Pond Campground is the first new campground in the NH State Park System in over 40 years!  This new family camping area at Monadnock State Park and is located just down the road from the park headquarters area at 585 Dublin Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452.  The new campground has 35 campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers and RV's plus 5 remote hike-to sites.  A new bathhouse with showers and playground complete this facility.  There are several trails leaving the area that lead to the summit of Mount Monadnock or shorter hikes around the state park.  Mount Monadnock can be hiked from the campground via Birchtoft Trail from Gilson Pond.  The new Hinkley Trail extension connects to the State Park and all the trail that emanate from headquarters such as the White Dot, White Cross and Parker to Lost Farm Trails.  Reservations are being accepted for Gilson Pond Campground, the headquarters camping area is no longer available for family camping.  Monadnock State Park Headquarters camping area will be open for winter camping.  Campground Rates for 2010 are $18 to $25 per night.


Update: Hornets Nest Sting Hikers, July and August 2010

Along the Monte Rosa Trail there is a hornets nest and a number of hikers have gotten stung by hornets.  Hiking the Fairy Spring Trail may be a better and safer alternative.  Hikers hike the trails at their own risk and it is a good idea to use caution hiking the Monte Rosa Trail.  In July 7+ hikers got stung on Monte Rosa Trail.  There hasn't been a problem with hikers reporting getting stung lately as of September.  Be aware there may be a nest along the Monte Rosa Trail.
Correction: I had an earlier July story reported to the ranger that it was a bee's nest and it was at the Fairy Spring/Monte Rosa junction, however, I have since got a more credible report directly from a ranger who hikes the mountain and got stung by black and white hornets known as Bald-Faced Hornets.


Ice Storms on Monadnock Create Mess of Downed Trees in Woods

After the ice storm in late March 2010, the State Park had quickly cleared the maintained trails.  Hiking on the mountain you may see many spruce trees, in the high elevations, down and snapped.  In the lower elevations especially around State Park headquarters you can see much damage to the hardwood forest from the ice storm of December 2008 making for two winters in a row of severe icing.  Anyone now venturing off-trail on Mount Monadnock will find more downed-trees due to back to back ice-storms to complicate the way.  Venturing off-trail in the State Park Reservation from headquarters to Hinkley Trail, to Cascade link may be really bad.


Click image: Bald Rock from nearby Inspiration Rock image


Trails are being blazed with Markers

The hiking trails as well as the Cross Country Ski Trails are getting blazed.  The Cliff Walk has been marked with orange disks.  The Ski Trails have been marked with blue diamonds.  The Great Pasture Trail was recently marked with yellow markers and soon more trails may be blazed so people will not as likely get lost on the trails.


Ice Storm Update: All trails are now Open

All the trails are now open.  High on the mountain a severe ice storm created quite a bit of damage in March 2010 to the spruce.  The State Park has cleared the trails in the wake of the storm and did not close the park.

The December '08 severe ice storm had created significant damage throughout southern New Hampshire.  The ice storm caused a complete closure of the state park the winter of 2008-2009, however the Halfway House Trails from 124 were not hit bad.  The severe damage to the forest is still quite evident hiking in Monadnock State Park Reservation, although now the trails are cleared.  The trails in the state park reservation on the southeast side of the mountain and cross country ski trails were severely impacted as well as other trails accessing the mountain.  All hiking trails as well as the cross country ski trails are now open.  The ski trails were cleared during volunteer trail week sponsored by the Forest Society, July 11th-15th 2009.  The White Cross Trail from Falcon junction to Spruce Link is closed see: Monadnock Trail News below.


Some Current Trails are Abandoned or Changed

Monadnock State Park 2009 has now closed / abandoned a few more trails.


The White Cross Trail from Falcon Spring junction/White Dot Trail (lower junction) to Spruce Link is now closed, a 2.2 mile course to the summit.  Spruce Link to White Cross is now the White Cross for a hike 2.1 miles to the summit with the White Dot Trail being 1.9-2.0 miles to summit.  The reason for this is to simplify search and rescues because searchers would have to check 2 trails instead of the current 3 courses to the summit.  Another reason is to keep Falcon Spring from being polluted by hikers on the path directly over the spring.  Some people drink from it, which isn't recommended.  White Cross via Falcon junction is closed and likely wont be re-opened.

The Smith Connecter from White Cross Trail across White Dot Trail to Red Spot Trail has been removed from maps.  This is a lesser used trail but a fine open hike with continuous views of the summit leading to and from the Red Spot and Pumpelly Trails.  This area is one of the remaining areas of the plateau not to be reforested.  Some hikers hiking the White Dot Trail end up going the wrong way according to the rangers.  This is a trail that has been used by hikers accessing the summit when rangers have closed the summit, in one case resulted in hikers that had to be rescued.  The Smith Connector from White Cross to Bald Rock will remain maintained.

Many trails have been abandoned / closed in the past on Monadnock.  Some have faded to obscurity and some can still be followed.  See Monadnock's Abandoned Trails Page.


Hinkley Trail to be extended
from Poole Road to Birchtoft Trail

The State Park has extended the Hinkley Trail to the Birchtoft Trail along an existing cross country ski trail.  The purpose of this is for hikers that descend to headquarters but need to get back to Gilson Pond Campground.  The rangers will direct them to the Hinkley Trail to Birchtoft back to Gilson Pond.  The Hinkley Trail would serve as a connecter trail much like the Parker Trail if someone heads down the wrong way between headquarters and the Old Toll Road.  The current signs for the Hinkley Trail from Poole Road is set well back from the road and hikers will need to scan the woods to find the Hinkley Trail sign but once on the trail it is well marked.


Click image: Smith Connector (section no longer on current map) image

New Monadnock Trails 2010 Map

On this site there is a new Monadnock Map that is updated to the current layout of trails.  There have been some recent changes to the trails.  The 2010 Map covers all the currently maintained trails as well as many points of interest on Monadock.  An AbandonedTrailsMap that was posted recently that included a number of abandoned trails is no longer linked from this site.  There is still some abandoned trails information available on the AbandonedTrails page.  The reason for this is to keep it more simple for inexperienced hikers so they don't get lost.  The State Park Rangers rangers also objected to the map, saying that I should change it.  Many hikers don't explore Monadnock much, anyway.  The primary tracts of land were granted for public pleasure.  There is much more to see in a hike of Monadnock than the summit.


Monadnock Trails Website:
A Mobile I-Phone Version of this website is in the works.

An I-Phone friendly website is now being worked on and right now it is just text only.  If you have a I phone you can view it although it is linked back to the site.  This is a test page for mobile I-phone friendly web pages: Monadnock Trails Mobile.  I also made the Places of Interest Page a little more I-Phone friendly: you can click the image next to the place but you have to scroll across for more info.


Monadnock Trails website: Author, Creator, and photos by Frederick Pitcher 2011

Use of the information on this site is the sole risk of the user.  The author is not responsible for the trails or anyone's ability to follow them.  In addition to the trails there are certain places in this website described that are off trail.  Anyone exploring Monadnock does so at their own risk.

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Tags: Monadnock Trails, Monadnock Mountain, Bald Rock, Cliff Walk, New Hampshire Hiking, New Hampshire Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock