Monadnock Trails

Monadnock Maps

About Monadnock

Monadnock Vegetation

Old Trail Descriptions

Hiking Information

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

Mount Monadnock 1946

Above: Cliff Walk in Winter

Mount Monadnock

Old Monadnock Trail Description:
Excerpt from 1946 A. M. C. White Mountain Guide,

page 429-434

Mt. Monadnock, in the towns of Dublin and Jaffrey, about 10 miles from the Massachusetts boundary, is an isolated mountain 3,165 above sea-level and from 1,500 to 2,000 above the surrounding country.  The upper 500 ft. consist of open rocks bared by ancient forest fires.  There are six well-marked paths to the summit.  Numerous links connect the main south side trails, and ramify through the woods on the slopes.  The main trails to the summit are here described.

Reservations on Mount Monadnock

The public reservation on the mountain now comprises about 4,100 contiguous acres.  These lands have been acquired by the State, The town of Jaffrey, and the SPNHF, and are administered by them co-operatively.  They now extend from the Jaffrey-Troy highway on the Dublin side.  Persons desiring to camp on the mountain should apply to the ranger, Memorial Road parking place, for assignment of a site.

The White Arrow Trail

This is one of the older routes to the summit.  It begins near the Half-Way House and is a broad clearly defined way, though rough, rocky, and steep.  It is marked throughout with white arrows on rocks.  There is a spring at tree-line, right.  Just below the summit is a stone rain shelter.  It is not suitable for camping.

The Half-Way House, about 2,100 ft. above sea-level, is reached by a toll-road, (1$ per car; free to trampers), 1 ¼ miles long, leaving the highway from East Jaffrey to Troy 5 miles from the former, 4 miles from the latter, and 6 miles from Fitzwilliam depot.  Numerous trails radiate from the hotel.  Cars may be parked at the foot of the mountain road.  Fee 25 cents.  Free parking at the hotel.

DISTANCE.  Half-Way House to summit 1 miles.

The Dublin Path

The Dublin Path on the north side of the mountain leaves the road from Dublin to Troy opposite the cellar of the abandoned Darling Farm (sign) 4 ½ miles west of Dublin Village, which is 6 ½ miles from the RR station at Peterborough.  Ample parking by the roadside.  The path itself is about 2 ½ miles long; the upper ¾ mile over the open ledges, is marked by small cairns. It is much traveled and easily followed.  A spring in spruce woods 1 mile above highway is un reliable.  Another spring 1/8 miles above tree-line is more dependable.

The Pumpelly Trail (DR & WC; SPNHF & AMC)

Follow the highway west from Dublin Village on the south side of Dublin Pond 1 mile to a wood-road on the left opposite a deep cove of Dublin Pond (sign).  Follow this south to the summit of Oak Hill.  To this point, and for a ¼ mile, it is a bridle-path maintained by the Dublin Riding & Walking Club.  The trail (blazed) leads thence to and up the steep north end of the Dublin Ridge.  There is a spring on the south side of  the trail near the foot of the steep pitch.  The trail zigzags upward until it emerges on the open shoulder of the mountain about 2 miles from the summit.  For the first ¼ mile on the ridge the trail winds in and out among rocks and low scrubby spruces and firs, always following the top of the ridge.  About 1 mile from the summit, it comes out upon bare, glaciated rocks, whence for the remaining distance it is marked by large cairns.  From a saddle (elev. 2,700), ¼ mile north of the central and dominating summit on the ridge, a line of cairns leads left, the Cascade Link, a direct descent toward The Ark and Jaffrey.  From the bridle-path section to Cascade Link junction the trail is maintained by the SPNHF; thence to the summit by the AMC.  Just before descending into a small ravine which separates the ridge from the summit mass (5/8 mile south of Cascade Link junction), the little used upper portion of the old Pasture Trail leads south of the Jaffrey side.  From the top of the zigzags to the summit the trail traverses the Derby and Masonian Reservations of the SPNHF.  Over the ridge it is a rough scramble.

DISTANCE.  From the road to summit 4 ½ miles (3 to 4 hours).

White Dot, Harling, and Pasture Trails

The White Dot Trail is marked with dots of white painted on the rocks.  A number of other trails are also thus marked.  It is the steepest trail on the south side of the mountain and not materially shorter than any other.  It begins at the old forester’s cabin near Falcon Spring (elev. 1,860) and was cut in 1900 as an extension of the Pasture Trail.  The Harling Trail cut in 1914 also connects at the cabin.  At the spring the Pasture Outlook trail enters on the west, also the Falcon Link, a few rods higher up, both connecting with a section of the former Red Cross Trail.  Another forester’s cabin is on the Pasture Outlook Trail.  The White Dot is steep and laborious for a ½ mile above the cabin.  It then emerges on the open plateau where a spur trail leaves on the right to the Pumpelly Trail.  The White Dot main trail leads toward the summit.  Owing to the steepness it is used mostly on the descent.

The Harling Trail begins on the highway leading from Jaffrey to Dublin just north of the second brook north of The Ark.  For ½ a mile it follows a logging road across a partially cut-over-land.  Half a mile from the highway the logging road veers to the right, but the trail proceeds west on the trace of an old wood road, small cairns marking the way.  The Hinkley Trail from The Ark to Cascade Link crosses just west of the next brook (sign).  In another ¼ mile a wall, the east boundary of the State reservation, is reached.  Here the Pezet Link, a short cut to The Ark, comes in on the left and a branch of the Hinkley Trail on the right.  Crossing the wall the trail begins to climb through the forest.  The Red Oak Trail enters shortly on the left and, 3/8 mile beyond, the ski trail and Cascade Link cross (sign), within 100 yards of the old cabin.

The name Pasture Trail (a portion of the first trail to the summit cut from the southeast in 1897) is at present applied only to the section between the Maple Tree and Falcon Spring.  It is a much traveled route, at first through woods; then as it rises on the mountain-side, it crosses bits of open pasture with views east, again entering woods.  About mid-way its course the Red Oak Trail (a link to the Harling Trail) enters from right and nearby Split Rocks Trail (a link to the ski trail and Fire Line) enters on the left.  A third of a mile north the ski trail is crossed and shortly the Fire Line enters left, and the Cascade Link right.

DISTANCES.  Highway to the old cabin via Harling Trail 1 ¼ mile.  (1 3/4 mile from The Ark).  Maple Tree to cabin via Pasture Trail ¾ mile.  (1 ¾ mile from The Ark).  Cabin to summit via White Dot 1 ¼ mile.

Cascade Link (AMC)

This trail was cut in 1919 by the Worcester Chapter of the AMC.  It affords a direct approach to the central portion of the Dublin Ridge from Jaffrey.  (See Pumpelly, Harling, and Pasture trails.)  Its southerly end (sign) is on the Pasture Trail just above its junction with the Fire Line, and near the old cabin.  For ¼ mile, it passes a brook (Hinkley Trail junction on right) (sign) and the cascades from which it takes its name.  Thence it follows the east bank of the brook closely, crossing the ski trail twice, and rising 300 feet in ¼ mile, to a wall.  About 1/8 mile beyond the wall the Cascade Link turns left over a knob of the ledge (wide view).  It is blazed thence through woods to a small brook which is crossed and followed closely along the east bank.  This stream has its rise close to the boundary between Dublin and Jaffrey, from which at point prominent cairns lead over open ledges to a saddle on the Dublin Ridge (elev. 2,700 ft.) where the Pumelly Trail is intersected ¼ mile north of the eminence over which the town line crosses.  It is a picturesque route with many broad outlooks, and furnishes a good descent.  Reported obscure, May 1, 1946.

DISTANCE.  Pasture Trail to Pumpelly Trail 1 ½ mile (1 hour 30 minutes).

Marlboro Trail

One of the older trails to the summit, dating to 1850 or earlier.  Its beginning is opposite the cellar of the old Davis place on the road at the west base of the mountain (sign).  Parking near cellar.  It follows a wood-road for ½ mile to the open pastures across which it is cairned to an east and west wall, whence it is clearly blazed up the seep nose of the ridge to the open ledges.  Thence it is plainly cairned and blazed to its junction with the Dublin Trail ¼ mile to the summit.

DISTANCE.  Highway to summit about 2 miles (2 hours).

Ski Trail

Laid out for the N. H. Forestry & Recreation Dept. in 1933 by Duke Dimitri von Leuchtenberg, Austrian ski expert, and opened for use Feb. 22, 1935.  Total drop is nearly 1,100 feet.  The upper end is at the Switch-Back, near tree-line, on the abandoned Red Cross Trail.  The lower end is near the ranger cabin, Memorial Road, camping and parking ground.  Its entire length is through woods, and because of direct connection and convenient location is maintained by the NHFRD and used extensively by summer trampers.


Monadnaock Quadrangle, USGS.

Map included in this book (scale 1: 40,000).  Map by Allen Chamberlain (1: 20,000), which may be obtained from the AMC, 5 Joy Street, Boston.

For chart view from summit, see Appalachia, Vol. XV, No. IV, p. 446, by E. G. Chamberlain.  Also available separately, price 15 cents.

Monadnock Mountain

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