Monadnock Trails

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Old Trail Descriptions

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


Other Main Trails


Pumpelly Trail
Above: Along the Pumpelly Trail


Birchtoft Trail starts at scenic Gilson Pond camping area and from Dublin Road is a longer 3.5 mile route to the summit via the Red Spot and Pumpelly Trail.  The Birchtoft Trail is well marked with red tags, however, care still may be needed to follow Birchtoft at ski trail jcts. The Birchtoft trail heads west from the camp road following along the south shore of Gilson Pond.  The trail veers away from Gilson Pond along mostly easy grades passing some X-C ski junctions; 30, 29, 28 then about 1 mile from the camp road reaches X-C ski marker 27 and the Hinkley Trail junction which leads to Poole Road (south 1.2 miles).  Birchtoft Trail continues west past X-C ski junction 22 continuing on easy to moderate grades to Cascade Link junction (2.1 miles from parking) where Cascade Link leads south to State Park Headquarters then in 20 yards the Red Spot Trail leads west to the summit and Cascade Link heads north to the Pumpelly Trail.

Gilson Pond Loop is a path around the shore of Gilson Pond with views of the mountain.

Ravine Trail starts north from Gilson Pond Loop at the dam and goes through a valley of Hemlock forest along a small brook and ends at Gilson Pond remote campsites trail.

Red Spot Trail is less steep than the Spellman Trail and is much less crowded than the main trails from Headquarters. The Red Spot Trail is reached by Birchtoft Trail from Gilson Pond (2.1 miles from Gilson Pond parking) as well as Cascade Link (1.2 miles from headquarters) from Falcon junction via the White Dot trail.  The Red Spot Trail starts at the junction of Cascade Link and Birchtoft Trail, shortly passing the Cascade Link junction to Spellman Trail. The Red Spot trail heads uphill at a moderate grade reaching the Old Ski Trail in .4 miles.  The Red Spot Trail climbs up along woods that have been hit hard by recent ice storms.  The Red Spot Trail trail climbs past the Doric Temple with views east at a steep ledgy section (.8 miles from Birchtoft jct.).  The Doric Temple was named because the cliffs resembled a simple Greek temple from a distance.  There are some views on the trail (.9 miles from Birchtoft jct.) as Smith Connecter is reached (no longer on map but jct. is still marked on rock).  The grade eases over open ledge with views of the summit and in a short distance reaches the Pumpelly Trail 0.4 miles to the summit (1 mile from Birchtoft Jct.).

Marlboro Trail is a scenic direct path up the mountain starting at Shaker Farm Road.  Shaker Farm Road is a rough dirt road leading north from route 124 and is generally not maintained in winter.  The Marlboro Trail is also one of the oldest trails on the mountain although the route became lost in the 1920ís the route re-opened up a slightly different course soon after.  The trail begins at easy grades through a forest maturing from pasture then at a stone wall heads up on moderate to steep grades up the mountain and passes open ledges with views passing the Marian path that leads south to Monte Rosa (pay attention to markings on rocks) and the Marlboro Trail continues east up the mountain through spruce and ascending on ledges with views.  The trail gets steep before cresting a bare ridge where the grade eases with 180ļ views then joins the Dublin trail before reaching the summit.  The Marlboro Trail tends to be icy above tree-line in winter as it follows along a northwest gully.  The path is well marked with paint blazes and cairn rock-piles up the barren summit cone.

Dublin Trail has a new trail entrance a short distance south of the old entrance.  The Dublin Trail formerly known as the Farmers Trail and is one of the oldest paths on the mountain, and is considered one of the shorter easier trails to summit.  The trail is well marked by White Tags nailed to trees and by white painted D's higher up.  The Dublin trail starts on Old Troy Rd. may not be maintained for winter use and the road can be deep mud in early spring.  If anybody wishes to hike the old trail it has been wiped out by logging and is unrecognizable (I followed it using a GPS track).  The new current path passes through an area of young trees with noticeable logging on both sides nearby.  The path crosses a logging road and soon joins the original Dublin Trail.  The trail becomes more rocky and heads uphill through a forested ridge and the forest changes from hardwood to spruce a short way up.  The path can be muddy in spots.  The path starts to become exposed ledge with views to the north and west as the trail gets near the Marlboro junction.  From the Marlboro junction the path continues on ledge along a gully that can be icy in winter.  The path is well marked with paint blazes and cairn rock-piles to the open barren summit cone.

Pumpelly Trail offers a scenic route up Dublin Ridge and at 4.4 miles the longest direct route up the mountain.  The trail begins on East Lake Road by Dublin Lake is not well signed and there isnít a parking lot.  The path starts on private property (stay on trail).  The hiking is easy for the first mile then the path starts up the ridge heading up switchbacks.  The first views on the trail when nearing the crest of the first crag are halfway to the summit.  The path passes over a shoulder through spruce woods with some open ledge and views along the way then reaches the Cascade Link junction.  Then heads up by a Bare Crag is a short climb up from the Pumpelly to a fine viewpoint.  The Pumpelly passes by another crag called Town Line Peak.  Just past Town Line Peak is a path leading north to the peak and views beyond.  The Pumpelly heads south toward the summit down to the Spellman junction, where the Spellman heads east steeply down to the State Park, the Pumpelly then starts uphill across increasingly more bare ledge passing the Sarcophagus (looks like a large stone crypt) and nearby 2 acre Thoreau Bog (not visible from trail).  The Pumpelly Trail is marked by cairn rock-piles as the ridge becomes bare then reaches the Red Spot Junction, where the Red Spot Trail heads east down the mountain to the State Park.  The Pumpelly heads west and dips into a patch of spruce woods then heads steeply uphill with fine views of Mountain Brook Valley.  Then the Pumpelly Trail continues up the bare summit cone following cairn rock-piles in 4.4 miles.
From the summit: the Pumpelly Trail is painted in the rock (freshly painted 2010) but if the paint is faded the path is not well marked with cairns at the start, head ENE along the high ridge from the summit and in a short distance the Pumpelly trail is well marked with cairns.




Monadnock Trails website: Author, Creator, and photos by Frederick Pitcher 2013
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 Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, NH, Hiking New Hampshire


Jaffrey Weather Forecast, NH

The weather above is for the base of the mountain.