Tags: Monadnock Trails, Monadnock Mountain, New Hampshire Hiking, New Hampshire Trails, Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock, NH, abandoned trails
About Monadnock Trails
Mt Monadnock has a web of paths that weave up and down and around the mountain. The main trails are heavily used, rocky, eroded and with bare ledge are easy to follow. The side trails are generally easy to follow, except in deep snow conditions. The abandoned trails can be difficult to follow, most aren't blazed, and cairns may, or may not mark the way. Some old trails have been cleared and some haven't and can be bushy. Some are vague faint paths or can be blind in places and others may be well marked and clear. Hikers may lose their way and may have to bush-whack up or down the mountain. Hikers should have a map and compass and know how to use them. Hikers should be familiar with the mountain and current trails before seeking the old trails. Hikers explore Monadnock State Park at their own risk.
Maintenance or unauthorized cutting of any closed trails or clearing any new trails for personal use in Monadnock State Park is stricly prohibited by NH State Law!
In the early 1900ís (1900-1909) there were over 100 trails on Mount Monadnock. They were built primarily by the guests of two local hotels; the Ark on the southeastern side and the Halfway House in the south west.
From the Ark side of the mountain the trails had whimsical names like the Spooky Woods, Porcupine Ledge and the Pine Path just to name a few.
On the Halfway House side the quests laid even more trails with names even more fanciful than those at the Ark; the Sphinx 1910, Sweetwater, Paradise Valley Trail, and the Tufted Spruce.
These trails have long been abandoned partly because of the work required to keep them open and partly because they were repetitive of each other and very close to each other.
Many trails still have the names of their makers; Smith Summit 1898 and Smith Connecting trails by Scott A. Smith of Providence RI a longtime guest of the Halfway House, the Noble 1897 by George Noble, also of Providence and long-time guest at the Halfway House hotel, and the Parker Trail by George and Mrs. Parker who were guests of the Ark. The scenic and beautiful Marion Trail built by Alfred Tolman Wright and daughter Marion.
With 37 trails equaling about 40 miles of trail on the caurrent map there are still plenty of options on Monadnock for many hours of great hiking.*
Old Monadnock Map
Below is a link to an old Monadnock Map from the Annals of Grand Monadnock published in 1936. The Halfway House trails look like a jumble of trails, many without names. Many trails south of Poole Road have recently been destroyed by logging and, other than Old Keene Road and a ski trail loop, can no longer be followed. Old Trails around state park headquarters have significantly changed and many of the old courses have reverted completely back to forest. Downed trees caused by recent ice storms have further compounded the difficulty in following those trails.
Below: Looking west from the slopes of Mount Monadnock
*Lee Willette wrote this section
Monadnock Trails website: Author, Creator, and photos by Frederick Pitcher 2014
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