Monadnock Trails

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

Past Hikes


Ainsworth Seat
Above: Ainsworth Seat (sign is now gone)



Past Hikes by Author:


My past hikes will give you an idea of what kind of conditions may be on top of the mountain, in a particular time of year.  Conditions can change especially in winter so pay attention to the weather.  The mountain can go through freeze thaw cycles and go from snow covered to ice.  The summit averages 10 degrees colder than the base, and above tree-line the mountain is quite exposed to the elements.  Follow the weather before hiking and be prepared!  For more information go to Trail News+Weather page.

Visit My Recent Hikes

My Past Hikes:


Wednesday, April 28th, 2010: Today I head up the Old Toll Road with snow falling and snow dusting the woods.  At the Halfway House Site I can barely see Little Monadnock Mountain and I can see up to Monte Rosa.  The snow continues moderately as I hike the White Arrow Trail and head up above tree line with fog and windswept snow.  The summit resembles the arctic being barren, foggy with 40 mph winds and blowing snow although it isn't as brutal as the arctic with a temp of 28 degrees F.  I head down over a foggy Bald Rock with windswept snow down the Cliff Walk as it continues to snow.  The ground, rock and trees are all covered with snow making for a wintry look.  I reach my car at 124 and have to clear an inch or two of snow.  It is nice spring hiking Monadnock with the snow falling and not have to worry about driving home.  Spring should come back strong and the snow should quickly disappear with warm temperatures this weekend, but today is a very wintry day on the mountain.


Monday, April 26th, 2010: Today I head up the Old Toll Road and I can smell the fragrance of the spring forest.  You can't bottle a fragrance that nice.  I can hear the gobble gobble of wild turkeys in the woods.  The bugs aren't bad as long as I hike.  I take the Fairy Spring Trail up Monte Rosa.  It is brisk on top with a wind out of the east on this overcast day.  I hike the Amphitheater Trail to the White Arrow to the summit.  There are only a few other hikers on top.  I can see Stratten Mountain in Vermont and Mount Greylock in Mass so it looks like the weather should stay good for a while with a low pressure system moving in.  I hike down over Bald Rock and the Cliff Walk.


Monday, April 12th, 2010: Today's weather conditions are ideal; sunshine in the 50's with a cool breeze which will help me rack up some miles.  Another plus is that the bugs aren't really out yet.  Today I am doing a long hike of Monadnock; 10-15 miles.  I do a long 9 mile hike up the mountain including Mead Brook, Inspiration Rock, Bald Rock, Cliffwalk, Monte Rosa and Marlboro Ridge to the summit making a long story short.  The views are expansive from the summit with very little haze.  Snow-capped Mount Washington is visible 105 miles away.  I do a Pumpelly Trail hike to the Pumpelly Trail Half-way view for an extra 1.5 miles round trip from Cascade jct. The elevation is lower but I can still see a white Mount Washington in the distance.  There are only a few patches of snow left on the Pumpelly Trail and the snow is pretty much gone from the mountain.  I head back to Cascade Link junction and up the nearby bald crag.  I take the Cascade Link down.  Higher up I notice a lot of spruce trees down from the recent ice storm and lower down I see the devastation to the hardwood forest from the ice storm of the previous winter.  I head down the Harling Trail and notice the new sign is missing.  I take X-C Ski Trail from junction #16 to #20.  I notice that the ski trail is a very lightly used moss covered corridor through the woods; a nice finish to my 14 mile tour of Monadnock.


Wednesday, March 31st, 2010: Today I am doing a short hike on this misty day.  The White Arrow Trail is fairly icy as I hike up and much of the snow has melted with patchy snow on the ground.  There is no new snow or ice.  Above tree-line visibility is about 200 yards with fog enshrouding the ledge and rock.  On the summit winds are blowing northeast 35mph.  It is misty with occasional drizzle as I hike to Bald Rock.  Another week of thawing which is likely and there shouldn't be much ice and snow left.  I take a side trip to Little Mountain and there is about 1 mile of visibility with fog.


Wednesday, March 24th, 2010: Today I am doing a short morning hike and there is a fresh coating of snow in the higher elevations of Jaffrey.  Light snow falls as I start up the Old Toll Road and lets up as I get up to the White Arrow Trail.  The White Arrow Trail is fairly icy as I hike up but I am able to bare boot to tree line.  At a ledge at tree line it is slick and icy so I put on my crampons.  Visibility is about 400 feet with fog enshrouding the ledge and rock.  On the summit winds are blowing NW 40-50 mph.  I hike down below the cloud ceiling which is about 2900 feet and I can see the scenery below.  I take my crampons off on Bald Rock and I find that the rock is covered by a skimming of ice.  I hike down the Cliff Walk Trail and with a coating of snow that covers up the icy spots so I use care.  I head down the Noble Trail to the Side Foot Trail to the Old Toll Road.


Tuesday, March 16th, 2010: Today I notice the mountain nearby is very white high up.  There was recent flooding rains in southern New England.  Above 2200 feet the spruce trees are smothered in ice. The ice is tree crushing along the Smith Connecter where there are many trees down.  It is a spectacular scene.  I take shots with my cellphone because I don't have a camera.  I use crampons on the White Arrow Trail above tree line.  I am the first up and there are no tracks.  It is icy and slick.  On the summit ice is a foot thick.  I hike over the Pumpelly Trail and the spuce trees are so ice smothered they look like up side down icicles or stalactites.  The ice is soft with mild temps.  On the way down I notice the ice is melting off the spruce trees rapidly.

Below: Pulpit Rock
PulpitRock


Wednesday, March 10th, 2010: Today I do a short hike of Monadnock it is a cool morning with temps around 23 degrees in the area and will be a mild day when the sun rises higher.   I head up the Old Toll Road to the White Arrow Trail.  The trail is fairly icy because many people have hiked this trail and have slide down the trail.  After hiking the past few days with a breeze which was nice however today the wind is light.  Above tree line the views are clear to the Green Mountains of Vermont.  The summit hasn't melted in the past week and is fairly icy but I hike with bare boots.  I can see Mount Washington crystal clear without haze 105 miles away.  I head down via White Arrow Trail to Amphitheater to Bald Rock.  I take the Noble Trail down and nobody has hiked that trail in the past week although a snow shoe hiker goes off the trail as the trail enters the spruce woods.  I did a lot of hiking the past few days and I find 15-25 inches of snow on the mountain off the beaten path.  The weather has been real fine.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010: Today the forecast is for temps in the 40's in the valleys.  I start my hike early around 6:45 AM at headquarters.  I head off the White Dot trail right after the hikers hut and follow Mead Brook Trail which was abandoned 70 years ago and there are no tracks in the snow (see abandoned trails).  There is dense knee deep snow so I put on my snow shoes and head up to Inspiration Rock.  I head to Bald Rock to the Cliff Walk.  I take the Point Surprise Trail to the Halfway House Site to the Royce Trail down to the Cart Path and up Point Discovery.  I go to Dutcher Point and up the Great Pasture Trail.  In the open it is very white with complete snow cover.  I take the Smith to Malboro Ridge.  There is 18 to 30 inches of snow on the mountain.  Combined with the heavily snow laden spruce trees it is almost like bushwhacking the mountain.  I hike down the White Dot to the Smith Connecter to Inspiration Rock and Bald Rock.  I head back down the Dingle Dell to Mead Brook Trail covering about 8 miles today breaking trail most of the hike.  The main trails are getting packed by many hikers and snow shoes are optional but for my hike without snowshoes I would have been at least knee deep every step on my tour around the mountain.


Monday, February 22nd, 2010: Today the forecast is for temps in the low 40's in the valleys.  I start my hike around 7:30 AM heading up the Old Toll Road.  I head to the Halfway House Site then take the Royce Trail to the Cart Path and up the Great Pasture Trail.  It is a superb sunny day with mild temps, light winds and expansive views.  There is about 6-12 inches of snow on the ground and it isn't very icy although main trails are well beat out.  On the exposed summit there is light winds so I put on my windbreaker.  I hike the Pumpelly Trail to a Bald Crag just short of Cascade Link.  I take the Smith Connecter to Inspiration Rock and take the Cliffwalk down.  High clouds start to cover the sky as I head down.


MonadnockMountain
Above: Pumpelly Trail


Tuesday, January 26th, 2010: Today the forecast for the region is temps in the 40's with a cool front approaching.  I start my hike early because I want to hike 10 miles today.  The White Arrow looks icy but I take the Royce Trail to the Cart Path.  I hike up some abandoned trails up the mountain and there is 6-12 inches of dense snow with bare patches.  On top it is 27F degrees with a south west wind blowing about 30mph.  I hike a few extra miles along the Pumpelly Trail and along the exposed ridge it is mostly bare ledge and snow in the spruce patches.  I can see Mount Ascutney, Vermont and Mount Kearsarge.  I take the Smith Connecter to the White Dot Trail to the Old Ski Trail and it is not too icy.  A snow shower falls as I go over Inspiration Rock.  The Cliff Walk is well trod as go to all the viewpoints by the trail such as Noble, Lost Farm, What Cheer Point, and The Matterhorn.  The Parker Trail is wet after the January thaw.  I go to Little Mountain and head down the Old Toll Road.  Without passing a single hiker, I hike 10+ miles this January day.


Tuesday, January 19th, 2010: Today the forecast for the region is for 1-3 inches of snow with valley high temps in the 30'sF.  I start my hike at 9:30 AM heading up the Old Toll Road with snow falling.  I stop and have an apple at the Halfway House Site, to cool off because I am dressed in winter Gortex.  On top it is blowing about 25mph with a SSW wind and visibility about 50 feet and a balmy 26F degree temp.  All I see is snow, frosted rock and windswept snow on top. Descent from the top of the White Arrow is tough to see with snow blowing in my eyes. The White Arrow Trail is well beaten and broken in yesterday Martin Luther King Day.  I head over Bald Rock and down the Noble Trail in about 14 inches of unbroken snow.  As I hike down the Old Toll Road I see no tracks in the few inches of fresh snow, nobody else even hiked halfway up from 124.  I take a side trip to Little Mountain and the nearby scenery is visible with fog around.  Occasionally the white cliffs pop out of the fog above.  The driving on 124 can be bad in snowy conditions which it was this morning but a bit better now.


Tuesday, January 12th, 2010: Today the forecast for the valleys is for a high temps in the mid 20's with a cold front coming through.  I start my hike at 11:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road.  The White Arrow Trail is well beat out and not icy at this time.  Yesterday I hiked some of White Dot and that trail is packed powder and is good to slide down the mountain on.  The trails toward Monte Rosa are less beaten with about a foot of snow generally on the mountain.  On the summit it is a brisk 13F degrees with winds about 35mph and light snow showers and good views but are cut off by snow in the distance.  As I hike down to the Cliff Walk the snow shower clears out and it is now mostly sunny.  In the snow smothered spruce forest it is shady and the Cliff Walk is well beat out.  The side trails only have been hiked by a few.  On Little Mountain I get a glimpse of cloud covered Stratten Mountain VT.  It is a breezy 18 degrees but I am well dressed.


Monday, January 4th, 2010: Today the forecast for the valleys is for a high temp of about 32 degrees.  I start my hike at 9:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road.  The weather is a mix of clouds and sun with a breeze.  The weather is much nicer than last week and the snow is deeper covering up the ice making it less icy and slippery. The forest is plastered with snow from the recent storm.   The snow is 1-2 feet deep, and waist deep in sheltered open spots at tree-line. On top it is a bit brisk. The view is clear to the Green Mountains of Vermont although the tops of the distant mountains are covered with clouds.  As I hike down it looks more like snow and a few snow flurries fall making for a winter scene.


Tuesday, December 29th, 2009: Today is forecast for a cold windy day with a wind advisory by the National Weather Service with temps falling through the teens in the afternoon in the valleys.  It is an extreme weather day, weather I haven't hiked in a few years.  I hike up the Old Toll Road from 124 and there is a brisk wind blowing.  I take the Cart Path to Point Discovery then to Monte Rosa Trail to the Ledges Trail with views that face south-southeast out of the brunt of the northwest wind up to Monte Rosa.  The view down the Great Pasture Trail can only be momentarily enjoyed as an arctic gale blows straight up the trail.  I take the Smith Summit to the Amphitheater Trail over to the White Arrow Trail.  Conditions are mostly sunny with blowing snow.  The evergreen spruce woods offer protection from the wind and there is snow in the air.  The White Arrow Trail is icy in spots and I have to be well covered up in the wind.  On the summit the temperature is 0 to -1 degrees Fahrenheit and steady 60-70 mph winds with blowing snow.  For the first 30 to 40 yards I have to hike into the gale to get down the White Arrow Trail.  I have my face covered and I still have to block the hurricane force blowing snow from my eyes with my arm.  The blowing snow looks like smoke rising from the lower ridges as I descend the White Arrow Trail.  I head down the Cliffwalk Trail which offers some shelter from the wind and offers southeast views out of the northwest wind.  The mountain is fairly icy, I slipped several times but I didn't use crampons.  When I reach my car it is 4 degrees F.  Winter has just begun.


Monday, December 14th, 2009: Today the forecast for the region is mild with temps in the 40's.  I start my hike at 10:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road.  I hike a round about way up the mountain taking the Cart Path to Point Discovery and Dutcher Point and take the Great Pasture Trail to Monte Rosa.  I pretty much have to break trail with only one other set of tracks in the area in the dense foot deep snow.  It is fairly icy on the Great Pasture Trail once you rise out of the spruce woods.  I take the Smith Marlboro Link to the Marlboro Trail.  Above tree-line the Marlboro Trail is icy and coming from the northwest doesn't get the December sun.  I put on my crampons to get to the summit.  The summit is icy and the views are hazy with some low clouds hanging around.  I hike down and over Bald Rock which is a bit icy.  Smith Connecter has snow drifts to break through which is typical after a recent snow with little hiker traffic.


Tuesday, October 6th, 2009: Today the forecast for the region is temps in the 60's after a cool morning in the 40's.  I start my hike at 11:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road.  The weather is perfect t-shirt and shorts cool hiking weather.  On top it is a bit brisk.  The foliage is peaking to the north and almost peak south of the mountain. The view is clear to the Green Mountains of Vermont with partly cloudy skies.


Thursday, October 1st, 2009: Today is forecast for cool conditions with snow above 2000 feet in the White Mountains.  I start my hike at 8:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road to White Arrow Trail.  The exposed summit cone is foggy and the wind is blowing with snow flurries and sleet.  The fog breaks with some views of the nearby valleys with some early season fall color showing up.  I head down and it starts snowing, mixing with rain and big snowflakes as I head to Bald Rock and back to snowfall on Bald Rock but not sticking to the ground.  I head down the Do Drop Trail and the precipitation lets up and it is overcast.

Tuesday, September 22th, 2009: Today the forecast for the region is temps in the 70's with mild and humid conditions.  I start my hike at 10:00 AM heading up the Old Toll Road to White Arrow Trail and break a sweat.  The exposed summit cone is foggy and the wind is blowing.  On top the temperature is 59F with a brisk wind.  The fog breaks with some views of the nearby valleys with some early season fall color showing up.  After a side trip to Inspiration Rock I head over Bald Rock and down the Cliffwalk there is some haze in the distance but there is some color starting to come out below the cliffs.


Tuesday, July 28th, 2009: Today the forecast for the region is temps in the 80's with sunny and humid conditions.  I start my hike at 8:00 AM when the air is a little cooler.  There is some valley fog that backs into the Cliffwalk but clears out by the time I get to Bald Rock.  Above tree line there is a nice south breeze to cool and dry up.  On the summit the visibility is very good with Stratten Mountain and the Green Mountains visible as well as Mount Kearsarge.  It is a fine mid-summer day for a hike.


Tuesday, June 16th, 2009: Today the weather is starts murky but is forecast to clear to partly cloudy skies with highs about 70 F in the lower elevations.  Cascade Link isn't steep but it is bare ledge and slippery.  I use care to get to the Pumpelly Trail.  As I hike up the mountain the fog begins to clear.  I can see the verdured and azure landscape dappled with a smattering of ponds below me.  I hike down Monte Rosa, up the Cliffwalk, Bald Rock and then down the mountain.  I had a great tour of the mountain on a day that started foggy then turned out nice.


Monday, May 4th, 2009: Today the weather is a more normal forecast for mid spring than last week with temps in the 60's in the valleys.  The black flies are coming out in the lower elevations.  It is great spring hiking weather cool and overcast but not brisk with a front and rain south of New England.  There are still not a lot of people on the mountain.  I can see Mounts Kearsarge, Ascutney and Stratton in the hazy distance. There is only a light breeze above tree-line.


Tuesday, April 28th, 2009: Today the forecast is for record heat with temps above 90 degrees in Nashua and Keene.  I hike up the Old Toll Road for a mid-day hike.  The snow and ice is gone from the White Arrow Trail and is pretty much gone on the whole mountain.  It is rather hot but the low 20% humidity keeps me from breaking much of a sweat.  I try to drink a decent amount of water which helps in hot weather.  The air quality must be good because I can see a hazy distant Stratton Mountain in Vermont . There is a nice breeze above tree-line.


Monday, April 20th, 2009: Today the east wind makes for a cool day and brisk on top, forecast is in the 40's for the region. Summit temp was 36 degrees with 35 mph winds at about 10:30 AM.  There isn't much snow or ice left anywhere on the mountain, even in high shady spots.  The views are pretty clear yet overcast, the Green Mountains are visible as well as the White Mountains.  I see some white but not the cone of Mount Washington.  The weekend crowd may get warm weather with highs in the 80's in the area.


Monday, April 13th, 2009: Today I had an awesome 13+ mile tour of the mountain including some off-trail hiking.  April is a nice time for a woods walk before the bugs come back.  There isn't much snow or ice left on the mountain.  On top Mount Washington is visible as well as all the distant peaks and the Boston Skyline.


Tuesday, March 24th, 2009: The snow cover is getting thin on the mountain, the trails and mountain are now very icy and potentially hazardous.  Tuesday was a cool, sunny and breezy day with a perfect blue sky; good for hiking.  The views were stellar with Mount Washington's white cone visible, 105 miles away as the crow flies.  On the exposed ridges it is brisk.  There are still not too many people hiking the mountain, there was only one other hiker on top while I was up there, and of course I had the side trails all to myself.


Monday, February23rd, 2009: The snow is deep on the mountain, about 2 feet deep.  The White Arrow Trail had only been hiked by one hiker so far.  It was a wintry day with 18 degree temps and 40 mph winds on top.  I was well dressed for the weather.


Tuesday, December 23rd, 2008: Today my first hike of winter started out cold in the valleys with temps of -13F degrees below zero in Keene, NH and in Nashua -3F degrees below zero.  In the morning, on the trail, temps were in the single digits with light winds.  The snow conditions are powder snow with 1 foot of snow with snow drifts of 20"-30" deep.  I covered about a 6.5 mile circuit which doesn't sound like much but I broke out all the trails with my 30" pair of snowshoes making for a strenuous hike.  In fact, perhaps, nobody in the last two days has even climbed to the summit, no tracks were in the new snow to the summit via: the White Dot, White Cross, Marlboro or Dublin Trails, I suppose everybody is busy.  I saw old tracks descending the White Dot from the windswept summit although as soon as I got into the new snow there were no tracks.  I saw sporadic blow-down, although the trails are generally in good shape.  I had a great first hike of winter having a fine tour of the mountain including Point Discovery, Dutcher Point, Monte Rosa, Marlboro Ridge, White Dot, Smith Connecter, Inspiration Rock, Bald Rock, Cliffwalk, and Little Mountain.  See my Points of Interest page and PhotoGallery.  Snow coated the fir trees and with crystal clear far-flung views along the way made for a spectacular hike.  Mount Washington NH, Killington Peak VT, Mount Greylock, Boston and Blue Hill MA were all visible.  I am glad I was winter hiking having the whole mountain to myself and not at the mall and dealing with all the traffic before Christmas.

There has been a thaw and rain since I did this hike which is typical of winter; conditions change.


Monday, December 15th, 2008: I did a short hike of Monadnock due to the threat of afternoon showers.  The parking lot and road was ice covered and I immediately hiked up with my crampons on but by the time I reached the Parker Trail the road was dirt and I took off my crampons.  I took the White Arrow which is now quite icy and I use my crampons to hike up.  The ice cascade higher up was washed out and now is a cascade of water. It was icy at tree-line but icy in spots above tree line.  The winds are blowing near hurricane force out of the south at what I call windy corner on the White Arrow nearby the summit.  The temperature is a balmy 46 degrees with dense fog.  I hike down via Amphitheater and Smith Connecter which is icy in spots and up Bald Rock which is typically icy on the northern exposed ledge this time of year.  The ice is melting but more winter weather is on the way.


Monday, December 8th, 2008: I did a short morning hike of Monadnock.  It was a cold morning.  The temperature was 0 degrees with winds 35+ mph making the wind chill -30 degrees below zero.  The skies and visibility was quite clear with Mount Washington visible 105 miles away as the crow flies.  Proper attire is necessary for this hike.  The White Arrow Trail is quite icy about a quarter mile up from the Halfway House Site to tree-line and crampons may be a good idea to stay on the trail.  There is a coating to a few inches of snow on the mountain.  There is icy spots above tree-line otherwise just rock and snow.  Temperatures have been fluctuating and there has not been yet a significant snowfall on Monadnock as of Monday, Dec. 8th although that may soon change.


Monday, November 3rd, 2008: was foggy with temperatures right around freezing with a little ice coating the rocks.   November 4th was a sunny mild day; a day for shorts and t-shirt.


My Past Hikes Fall'13 Winter '14
Visit My Past Hikes 1
Visit My Past Hikes 2
Visit My Past Hikes 3
Visit My Past Hikes 4


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.

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


Jaffrey Weather Forecast, NH

The weather above is for the base of the mountain.