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Monadnock Trails; News, Weather


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Mount Monadnock News Page 1, see: Monadnock Trail News and Weather

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 itís a low cost operation that doesnít 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 canít agree. Now thereís 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, snacks, 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.  The new store is rather generic and does not display any of the old trail signs, markers and maps.

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 itís a low cost operation that doesnít 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 canít agree. Now thereís 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 25ís 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 Doyleís 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.
September 7, 2011: As of all summer 2011 there hasn't been any reports of problems with hornets.  Anybody hiking Mount Monadnock does so at their own risk.

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.

Below: Bald Rock from nearby Inspiration Rock

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.

Below: Smith Connector (section no longer on current map)

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 Web site:
A Mobile I-Phone Version of this web site is in the works.

An I-Phone friendly web site is now being worked on and right now.  This is a test page for mobile I-phone friendly web pages: Monadnock Trails Mobile.  Some links may link you back to the main site.  I also made the Places of Interest Page on my main site a little more I-Phone friendly: you can click the image next to the place but you have to scroll across for more info.

Mount Monadnock News Page 1 see: Monadnock Trail News and Weather

Below: Monte Rosa


Monadnock Trails to visit:


Monadnock Trails website: Author, Creator, and photos by Frederick Pitcher 2015
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.


Tags: Monadnock Trails, Monadnock Mountain, New Hampshire Hiking, New Hampshire Trails, Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock, NH

Jaffrey Weather Forecast, NH

The weather above is for the base of the mountain.