Monadnock Trails

Monadnock Maps

About Monadnock

Monadnock Vegetation

Old Trail Descriptions

Hiking Information

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

Bald Rock

Bald Rock
Above: Bald Rock

Bald Rock Trails:

Bald Rock is on the ridge directly south of Grand Monadnock.  Bald Rock (2650 ft elevation) is a bald crag on a spruce forest covered ridge.  The ridge is speckled with declivities of open ledge along the Cliff Walk Trail which starts at the Parker Trails and follows the length of the ridge to Bald Rock.  On top of Bald Rock is a large glacial erratic boulder inscribed Kiasticiticus Rock.  Separated by the Dingle Dell is Inspiration Rock another open crag just northeast of Bald Rock.  Also nearby to the north of Bald Rock is the site of Dinsmore's Tavern of 1825.

Bald Rock is accessible from the summit by a fine hike down the White Arrow to Amphitheater to Smith Connecter as well as the White Dot to Smith Connecter.  A scenic route from the summit to Bald Rock is Pumpelly Trail to Red Spot Trail to the abandoned Smith Connecter to Bald Rock.  There are many side trails that access this ridge from the Half Way House Site.  April 2012 and still as of 2014 : There is a sign missing at the Half Way House Site for the Sidefoot, Hedgehog, Do Drop, and Noble Trails.  A popular route from State Park Headquarters is the Lost Farm Trail to Cliff Walk.  Another way to the summit via Bald Rock is the Parker Trail to the start of the Cliff Walk.  There are many trails to choose from on the current Monadnock State Park Map to hike Bald Rock Ridge.

The side trails that emanate up Bald Rock Ridge from the Halfway House site are not blazed and may be difficult to follow for novice hikers.  The Halfway House trails are much less crowded than the main trails to summit.  The side trails to Bald Rock Ridge are lightly beaten, shady, short spruce forested paths leading to sun splashed cliffs and ledges along Bald Rock Ridge.

What Cheer Point
Above: What Cheer Point

Cliff Walk is a very scenic route with lots of declivities of open ledge with views along the trail as you hike up.  The path is mostly along moderate grades with some steep spots.  With some rogue paths care should be taken to follow Cliff Walk for novice hikers to not lose one’s way.  The path is marked with white C's and white diamond trail markers nailed to trees.

There are number of side paths that connect the Cliff Walk with the Half-way House Site.  The Cliff Walk starts north from the Parker Trail .3 miles east from the Old Toll Rd.  The Cliff Walk shortly reaches a ladder climbing up a steep spot.  From here the Cliffwalk heads west then takes a dip then climbs north up a steep slope and goes around a hill then climbs a steep spot up to Hello Rock which has viewpoints SE and SW.  The forest changes from hardwoods to spruce then the Cliffwalk dips to the Hello Rock Trail junction, left, then heads up by the path to Matterhorn, on right, a sharp tall protrusion of ledge that you can stand on and has views, the shady unmarked entrance has some down trees on it.  A short distance further Point Surprise, a fine viewpoint, and Point Surprise Trail then the path to What Cheer Point, right, then further up there are several more viewpoints, namely Ainsworth Seat (now no sign, is a large open spot before Lost Farm junction) and Thoreau Seat after Lost Farm junction (signs).  Then above Thoreau Seat there is Emerson Seat, overgrown with trees, on the right.  The Cliffwalk shortly reaches the less used Do Drop Trail.  The Noble trail is the next left on the Cliffwalk which has a nice view to the summit, south and west 20 yards from the trail.  There are the Wolf Den’s side path to boulder caves on left then there is the Graphite Mine on the left.  The Cliffwalk then climbs steeply shortly up to Bald Rock.

Smith Connecting Trail offers superb close-up views of Monadnock on its way from Bald Rock to the Red Spot Trail.  The Smith Connecter descends north from Bald Rock is well marked by cairns and yellow paint blazes on open ledge down into spruce and some views toward Monadnock ahead then reaches the Amphitheater (to White Arrow and summit) junction known as four spots and continues through spruce woods before it opens with views up near the White Cross Trail (to summit).
The Smith Connecter to Red Spot Trail will no longer be on the State Park Map.  Use care to follow yellow spots leading shortly to the White Dot trail and continue up on open ledge to patchy spruce bush where there is a yellow blaze on the left, northeast which is the; Old Smith Connecter, is marked by yellow blazes on open ledges to the Red Spot trail.  The Smith Connecter continues east on open ledge of the upper plateau to the Red Spot Trail.  The Former Smith Connecter is a good route toward the Red Spot Trail with continuous views of the summit to the right.  The current Smith Connecter is a good route heading from the Red Spot Trail heading west with views facing the summit of Grand Monadnock. Taking the Red Spot to Pumpelly Trail is a scenic way to the summit.

Amphitheater Trail on descent from the summit and White Arrow Trail makes a good connecter trail east to Bald Rock and Cliff Walk or west to Black Precipice and Monte Rosa.  On descent look for "to Sidefoot" for Amphitheater Trail.  The White Arrow Trail junction is not marked with a sign and can be easily missed when ascending up the White Arrow Trail.  Amphitheater Trail leads around the Amphitheater (large valley surrounding Halfway House Site) from Four Spots across open bare ledge marked by yellow paint blazes to the Sidefoot Trail to the White Arrow Trail (no sign, is blazed) crosses a small drainage then crosses some ledge and into some spruce woods then heads down to Black Precipice and over to the Smith Summit Trail.

Little Mountain
Above: Little Mountain

Parker Trail is a hike through forest on gentle grades heading east from the Old Toll Rd. at .6 north of route 124 connects to the Cliff Walk, Lost Farm Trail and the State Park headquarters.  In about 50 yards where there is a sign for the Parker Trail a side path heads southeast to Little Mountain (Caution summer 2012: There are abundant ticks that will try to latch on you on Little Mountain).  From the sign the Parker Trail heads through a pass called the Notch (most noticeable when the trees are bare) and past a stone wall.  The Parker Trail then heads downhill on gentle grades to the Cliffwalk junction at .3 miles, in another .1 mile turn north for the former route of the Cliff Walk (which heads under cliffs in woods but has a very steep difficult spot especially when damp).  The Parker Trail continues east shortly past a tall glacial boulder called Hunter Rock at a stonewall crossing then shortly crosses a vernal stream and continues past the Lost Farm Trail at .7 miles.  The Parker Trail continues on easy grades through a hardwood forest to the south end of Jaffrey reservoir just before reaching State Park headquarters (follow signs) 1.4 miles from the Old Toll Rd.

Lost Farm Trail is a well worn well marked and easy to follow path leading from the Cliffwalk to the Parker Trail.  The Lost Farm is a longer route to the summit but a much less crowded trail than the main trails such as the White Dot Trail.  Starting below Thoreau Seat (sign at junction) the Lost Farm Trail heads in an easterly direction through spruce then shortly into hardwoods descends mostly along moderate grades through woods heading to nearby Mead brook then turns south along the west side of a stonewall heading down mostly easier grades to the Parker Trail.  For description in reverse see StateParkSideTrails.

Side Foot Trail parallels the White Arrow Trail and heads through a shady spruce forest until reaching the Amphitheater Trail.  The Side Foot trail is a less used alternative to the White Arrow Trail and accesses Bald Rock via side trails.  The Side Foot heads northeast from the White Arrow trail from the Halfway House Site, April 2012; sign is missing.  The Side Foot turns north at the Do Drop Trail, then on a northeasterly course passes the Noble and Do Drop Trails on right, continues up at moderate grades to the Amphitheater Trail then marked with white/yellow blazes on rocks heads to White Arrow Trail.

Noble Trail
Above: View from Noble Trail

Hedgehog Trail is now closed and will likely be removed from this website soon. This path is the shortest route down from Bald Rock; descends west from Bald Rock to the Sidefoot Trail.  It is a steep drop along a rocky path then the grade eases where it reaches the Graphite Mine Path (which heads southeast to the Cliff Walk and is brushed in at the entrance).  The Hedgehog trail levels off for a short distance and is less eroded on this stretch near a mossy area then heads steeply down a more eroded section to the Sidefoot trail.  Hedgehog is no longer maintained, is a well beaten path but in places may be difficult to follow for a novice hiker.  From the Halfway House Site the Hedgehog Trail (sign) starts right after the Noble Trail about .1 mile from the Halfway House Site.

Noble Trail offers nice views of the summit and southwest near the Cliffwalk.  This short path starts from the Side Foot (sign) about .1 mile from the Halfway House Site up at moderate grades with steeper spots (can be icy in winter) through spruce forest and then up exposed ledge with fine views toward the southwest as well as up to Monadnock's summit.  The Noble Trail then leads about 20 yards to the Cliffwalk near Bald Rock.  The Noble Trail is painted on rock at the Cliff Walk junction.  The Noble Trail is generally easy to follow (except in winter).

Point Surprise
Above: Point Surprise

Do Drop Trail is a short trail that leads steeply up through a spruce forest from the Sidefoot trail just above the Halfway House Site to the Cliffwalk, Bald Rock Ridge trail junction.  The Hedgehog Trail may be diffult to follow for a novice hiker.  The middle section of the Hedgehog trail is steep and can be icy in winter.

Thoreau Trail is a shady short path through spruce woods from Thoreau Seat joining the Hello Rock and Point Surprise Trail by the Halfway House Site.  The Thoreau Trail as well as the other connecters to the Cliffwalk is a lightly used short path with some novice hikers have reportedly had gone off course.  Thoreau Trail starts at the southeast end of the Halfway House Site (sign), heads uphill and enters spruce woods then diverges left from Point Surprise and Hello Rock Trails (signs for trails).  The grades are easy to moderate on a lightly beaten path through a shady spruce forest leading to the Cliff Walk by Thoreau Seat.

Point Surprise Trail leads on generally easy grades from the Halfway House Site through a shady spruce forest to the Cliffwalk by Point Surprise.  From the Halfway House Site the sign is at the southeast end of site, heads uphill and enters a spruce forest and trail junction.  Right is Hello Rock Trail, left is Thoreau Trail and straight ahead uphill is the Point Surprise Trail, there are signs at the junction.  This short path angles up the shady spruce covered ridge to the Cliff Walk where there are signs for the Cliff Walk and Point Surprise Trail.  Point Surprise Trail is a less used path and mossy in spots but easy to follow (except in winter).

Hello Rock Trail connects the Halfway House Site to the Cliffwalk by Hello Rock.  The Hello Rock Trail starts from the Halfway House Site, sign at southeast side of site, heads uphill and bears right (Hello Rock Trail sign is missing at the junction), south from the Point Surprise Trail then heads past Sunset Rock where the forest grown over the view.  Hello Rock Trail heads around the end of Bald Rock Ridge heading uphill and then downhill through a very shady spruce forest to the Cliffwalk just below Hello Rock.  Hello Rock Trail is a less used trail and care should be taken to follow path in spots.  If you go off the path backtrack and take the right course.

Below: Hello Rock-Southeast Viewpoint
Hello Rock

Monadnock Trails:


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, Bald Rock, Cliff Walk, New Hampshire Hiking, New Hampshire Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock

Jaffrey Weather Forecast, NH

The weather above is for the base of the mountain.