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Monadnock Trails; News, Weather
Fall 2015, Mount Monadnock: Autumn is a beautiful time of the year to hike Mount Monadnock with cool refreshing air as well as beautiful scenery, color, and clear blue skies. There can also be a chance that snow may fall this time of the year. The weather may be warm in the valleys but the summit may be brisk and cool. Hikers should come prepared for chilly windy weather on the summit. If you want to spend some time on top you may want to pack a windbreaker and fleece along for a hike of Mount Monadnock. In bad weather rain in lower elevations may be snow or ice higher up.
Now that it is autumn, it is much less buggy. In warm weather spells bugs may come out including bees, hornets, as well as mosquitoes. There are mosquitoes in New England that carry disease now. Insect repellent such as DEET can be used as a precaution. Mosquitoes may be more prevalent at dusk in warm weather. Monadnock higher up has a lot of exposure and the wind almost always blows, minimizing the bugs. A hard freeze usually ends bug season in the fall.
Mount Monadnock is very exposed to thunderstorms. If there are thunderstorms forecast for a given day it is advisable that you hike when the threat is less. For example: If thunderstorms are likely late in the afternoon than make sure you are finishing up by then. Thunderstorms can quickly pop up on the mountain. In summer, it is quite common for there to be a chance of thunderstorms. You may still hike Mount Monadnock but keep an eye on the sky. You may consult the rangers before hiking. Mount Monadnock offers expansive views of the surrounding skies except when it is mostly cloudy. If there are tall cumulus clouds building up or distant thunder you should immediately head down.
Hikers should also see current weather conditions linked on this web site before hiking to dress appropriately. The weather forecast is for the base of the mountain. It is more cool and windy high up the mountain.
Many people underestimate Mount Monadnock and anybody hiking should use care. Accidents, injuries, and rescues are quite frequent Mount Monadnock. The trails are very rough and rocky. There are also areas of smooth slick ledge. Lichen covered rock on side trails in humid summer conditions after rains may be slick. Use care and take your time hiking the rough trails of Monadnock. Most accidents occur on the way down the mountain.
Fall Foliage on Mount Monadnock:
Some scattered early bright colors can occur in late September unless it is a long summer. Early October there is typically bright color surrounding the mountain. Columbus Day weekend is typically when the foliage is at its peak around Mount Monadnock with spectacular color. Be prepared for an exceptionally busy park on Columbus Day weekend with parking lots filling up and crowded trails. If there aren't any significant windstorms brilliant color can hold through mid October. By mid to late October trees are getting bare but there can still be some bright foliage left particularly on the south side of the mountain. Generally by November the hardwood trees are mostly bare surrounding Mount Monadnock.
Above: Monadnock State Park Headquarters and Ecocenter
Mount Monadnock News:
Monadnock Grand Re-Opening of Visitor Center
(Concord, NH) – Monadnock State Park will have a ribbon cutting ceremony to reopen the restored Visitor Center on Saturday, May 3 at 9am.
The Visitor Center has not been renovated since 1988 and the new design represents a completely fresh look and feel. The new displays include a salute to Monadnock-inspired artists, writers, poets, dancers, and musicians. The displays are a fun way look at the past through photographic history of the mountain and its geology. A brand new wildlife section includes a mural from the previous Visitor Center that has been reconditioned.
“The renovated Visitor Center is a welcome improvement for the tens of thousands of visitors to Monadnock State Park,” stated Phil Bryce, director of New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation. “I commend volunteers and staff who made this happen and for their dedication and outstanding service.”
Above: A very icy Pumpelly Trail, April 1st, 2014
Ice Storm Messes up Trails on Mount Monadnock
Mount Monadnock, April 2nd 2014: A major ice storm hit the high elevations of Mount Monadnock this week. The April sun is rapidly melting the ice off the trees. There are trees down all over the place in the high elevations. Use care following trails. Usually the state park personnel and volunteers clear trails shortly after storms. There is still up to two feet of snow on Mount Monadnock and be prepared for slick icy conditions. Pack ice traction. Usually later in April the mountain can thaw but it may remain wintry.
Update on Trails-Late April: Many of the trees have been cleared. There may be a few trees down on trails. Of course, the snow and ice are now long gone.
Below: Some fog and extreme glaze icing high on the White Arrow Trail,
April 1st, 2014
Car Break-ins Occurring at Route 124 Old Toll Road Trail Head
Mount Monadnock, March 2014: Unfortunately car break-ins continue to occur around Mount Monadnock at lots not attended by rangers. This week I saw 3 piles of broken glass at the Old Toll Road Route 124 trail head! A ranger will be back on weekends by mid April and weekdays by May at 124. If you go to Route 124 Old Toll Road trail head make sure your vehicle is empty with nothing of value in it! There hasn't been any recent reports of car break-ins at State Park Headquarters. Over the years at Monadnock State Park headquarters on Poole Road car break-ins have not been a problem there.
Fall Foliage Image
Below: Along the Pumpelly Trail in June
55 Acres Protected including Royce Trail
Above: Royce Trail ascending Monadnock, August 21st, 2012
55 Acres Protected by Old Toll Road
Mount Monadnock, 2013 News: Thousands of future Mount Monadnock hikers will benefit from one family’s donation of a conservation easement on 55 acres on the mountain’s southern flank in Jaffrey to the Forest Society.
The property, off Route 124, is owned by four siblings whose grandfather bought the land in 1906: Ann Hamlen Goldsmith, Richard Hamlen, Katharine Hamlen Reed, and Charles Hamlen, who live out of state but vacation in Jaffrey.
The property abuts the Toll Road Trail, one of the most popular routes to the summit. The easement ensures that hikers will continue to see forested views from the trail. The property also hosts a section of the Metacomet to Monadnock Trail connecting the Mount Monadnock summit to the Gap Mountain summit. The easement includes an agreement to keep the trail open for hikers to use.
“This was one of the few unprotected sections of that trail,” said Brian Hotz, senior director of strategic projects for the Forest Society. “If someone wants to go to both peaks in one day, they can do that hike, and that’s the trail that connects the two.”
The Hamlen property easement is one more victory in the century-old effort to protect one of America’s most popular and iconic mountains. It started in 1915 when the Forest Society acquired it first 406 acres on the upper slopes and kept adding parcel after parcel. Today, more than 5,000 acres of the mountain and surrounding lands are protected. Other recent successes include the Forest Society’s purchase of 362 acres Jaffrey in 2012 and the subsequent 55- acre easement nearby on the southeast shoulder.
“We’re always happy to see one project leading to another project, and the Hamlen property is a perfect example of that,” Hotz said. “For us, it’s often the case when we pursue a purchase of property, it reminds people of our desire to see more land conserved around Monadnock.”
Forest Society press release (October 30, 2012): Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.
Monadnock Climate and Conditions
The weather conditions on top of Monadnock average about 10 degrees cooler than the valleys below not including wind chill. A rainstorm may be snow or ice higher up on the mountain. Mount Monadnock generally has better and more fair weather than in the northern mountains of the northeast which can be obscured by clouds and fog as often as the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. In spring and fall be prepared for brisk cold conditions on top and bring a windbreaker, gloves and fleece. In the summer the afternoons can be hot, be sure to bring at least 2 quarts of water. Allow at least 3-4 hours to hike directly up and down the mountain, if storms are likely there isn't any shelter and the mountain is very exposed so choose another day. In winter do not wear any cotton and be prepared for sub-zero wind chills and icy trail conditions. For more information about hiking safety and weather, click; Hiking Safety.
Trails can be muddy and hiking boots are recommended and not white sneakers. Sometimes a cold windswept rain, snow can occur high on the mountain. The upper 300 to 400 feet of the mountain is above tree-line, can be brisk and is fully exposed to severe weather. Be prepared for such conditions if hiking with just a chance of bad weather. It can be hot hiking in summertime on the mountain and it is advisable to carry 2 quarts of water per person on a hike of Monadnock. Check the weather before hiking.
Summer 2012: Forest Society made improvements to the White Arrow Trail and more
A wet area just below tree-line on the White Arrow Trail has recently become problematic with flooding. The Forest Society on their trail days volunteer events improved drainage and lifted the rock steps.
Since the work was completed the White Arrow trail has fared pretty well and has not flooded even in the wake of hurricane Sandy.
The volunteers hauled up picks, shovels, pry bars, axes, lumber, a chain saw, straps and other outdoor accoutrements. The volunteers pulled up stones with bare hands and various tools; felled a spruce tree, stripping the bark and cutting it up to create bridge pylons, bashed rocks into gravel with a sledgehammer, and hooked a mechanical grip-hoist to a pine tree so two teenage sisters could haul a 1 1/2 ton granite stone out of the mud.
The volunteer effort has helped out since the state doesn't budget to maintain the park.
The forest society also built a bridge over a vernal stream on the Monte Rosa Trail.
August 2012: Car Break-ins are occuring at Marlboro Trailhead
There have been recent break-ins at the Marboro Trailhead located on Shaker Farm Road. Car windows have been broken with rocks and items have been reported stolen. There have also been car break-ins in nearby areas as well.
If you hike, do not leave anything visible of value inside.
There are no rangers supervising at the Marlboro or Dublin Trailheads. At Monadnock State Park headquarters and at Rt 124, Old Toll Road trailhead the parking areas are staffed with rangers (Rt 124, Old Toll Road trailhead is not staffed in winter).
Road to Marlboro Trail is in very poor condition, July 2012 Update:
Shaker Farm Road is more like a rough trail than a road plus it has giant potholes. The road in sections is muddy. Last year I went 2 mph and I didn't bottom out my sedan. For those with higher profile vehicles it is a good idea to take it very slow and not beat your vehicle. The road is single lane in sections. These conditions are typical for Shaker Farm Road to the Marlboro trail as the road receives very low maintenance. I last drove it in 2011 and it has not been improved as of spring 2012.
Cell Tower Proposal draws Debate:
To Improve Very Poor Cell Service but,
The Tower will be in Close View from Mount Monadnock
A proposed 125-foot AT&T communications tower on Mountain Road that developers say would improve cell phone service in the area received mixed reviews at a public hearing before the Planning Board on Tuesday night.
Foreseeing the project’s regional impact, town officials say they notified municipalities within a 20-mile radius of the proposed location for the cell tower, 617 Mountain Drive, of the public hearing. Such notification is required under State Statue, RSA 12:K and Local Ordinance Section VIII. Towns as far north as Stoddard and Antrim, as well as nearby Rindge and Peterborough, were among those contacted.
While some residents and town officials spoke in favor of the plan Tuesday night and the enhanced cell phone reception it would bring, others expressed concern about a foreseen negative impact on views surrounding Mount Monadnock, for residents as well as the thousands of hikers that flock to the area each year.
The wireless communications facility proposed for 617 Mountain Road, land owned by David H. Jeffries Living Trust, could improve AT&T’s coverage in Jaffrey and Troy, according to AT&T’s application to the Planning Board. Board members voted unanimously that the project has regional impact Tuesday night. They have yet to vote on the approval of the application; instead, board members opted to continue the public hearing until the board’s next meeting on June 12.
The AT&T facility, as proposed, would consist of a 125-foot tower located at a ground elevation of 1,552 feet, up to 12 panel antennas, an equipment shelter and a 50-foot by 50-foot compound to contain the tower and shelter. A driveway extension would also be constructed from the existing driveway off Mountain Road and a backup emergency generator would be installed at the facility.
The location of the tower is outside Jaffrey’s Mountain Zone protection area for Mount Monandock, according to the board, but some abutters who spoke at Tuesday’s public hearing noted individual aesthetic concerns. AT&T conducted a balloon test on April 11 to provide town officials and abutters with an indication of how tall the cell tower would be and its visibility from nearby neighborhoods. But as some abutters expressed their dissatisfaction with the results, Planning Department representatives from Rindge and Troy questioned why they hadn’t been notified about the balloon test prior to it taking place.
Nancy Beiter of Gilmore Pond Road in Jaffrey said she and her neighbors could see the balloon very clearly on April 11. The site was alarming, she noted, explaining that many thought the tower would have lights flashing all night.
Beiter and other abutters in attendance Tuesday asked that a second balloon test be conducted, so that photos indicating the tower’s visibility on Gilmore Pond Road could be reviewed. Images had not been taken at that location during the first test.
Fellow Gilmore Pond Road resident Hal Danser told the board that he does not believe a 125-foot cell tower is the right move for Jaffrey. “AT&T doesn’t want to pay another carrier for service over the mountain for their customers,” Danser said, referring to AT&T’s current roaming service agreements, “and, importantly, they want to rent out space to other carriers and make money.”
Danser proposed that the board limit the height of the cell tower to just above the current tree line, which would allow just AT&T to operate there.
But not all residents in attendance Tuesday viewed the proposed cell tower with apprehension. Clay Hollister of Halfway House Road said, “Cell service is a way of life with us now.” He added that it is no longer considered just a luxury, but rather, in many situations, a safety requirement.
“This is, I think, a really good thing,” Hollister said, referring to AT&T’s proposal.
While Hollister said he recognized residents concerns about views of and from Mount Monadnock being obstructed, he did not foresee negative long-term effects. “It will become part of the horizon,” he said, “and we would actually get decent service.”
Attorney William Dodge of Downs Rachlin Martin — which has offices in Vermont, New Hampshire and New York — represented AT&T on Tuesday, after filing the application with the town of Jaffrey in mid-April. In addition to reviewing the specifics of the application at the public hearing, Dodge spoke to residents concerns about the impact of the tower in their neighborhoods. He noted that balloon test results showed the tower’s limited visibility in the area due to the natural vegetation and topography of the land.
Within the next couple of weeks, Dodge affirmed AT&T’s plans to do a second balloon test at the request of residents and town officials. He added that AT&T is looking to move forward as soon as possible with the project, in the hopes that the communications facility on Mountain Road can be built this year.
More than 400 Acres on Monadnock Protected
More than 1,000 Donors Help Forest Society Add Largest Amount of Protected Land to Monadnock Landscape in Nearly a Century
Thanks to the generosity of more than 1,000 contributors, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has conserved 418 acres along the slopes of Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey and Marlborough.
“We are so grateful to the many individuals, businesses, and organization that have helped us reach our goal,” said Forest Society President/Forester Jane Difley. “This is our largest addition of conserved lands on Mount Monadnock since our first purchase of 650 acres in 1915.”
With their forests and wetlands, the protected parcels enhance the varied wildlife habitat that the region is renowned for. These lands include several wetland complexes that provide important waterfowl nesting and feeding areas, as well as habitat for amphibians and reptiles. The waterways also serve as key travel corridors for mammals and birds.
The recently conserved land also includes footpaths, trails, and Class 6 roads that are heavily used as hiking trails, including part of a cross country ski trail that begins at the state park headquarters.
“The mountain isn’t exactly as it was when Henry David Thoreau hiked it more than 150 years ago, but he would certainly recognize much of the mountain and its trails today,” said Monadnock State Park Manager Patrick Hummel. “I think he would be very pleased with the protection and preservation efforts that keep Monadnock intact.”
The Forest Society owns more than half of the mountain’s 6,900 conserved acres and holds conservation easements on more than 1,000 additional adjacent acres. The organization leases approximately 1,000 acres to the State of New Hampshire to be operated as Mount Monadnock State Park.
The organization’s campaign was buoyed by generous donations from private foundations, state grants, and the Town of Marlborough. Thanks to the advocacy of Eastern Mountain Sports and JetBoil, the Conservation Alliance kicked off the campaign with a $25,000 donation. The NH Land and Community Heritage Program (LCHIP) contributed $125,000 toward the purchase of the Stowell tracts; the State Conservation Moose Plate Grant program contributed $30,000; the Town of Marlborough donated $25,000; and an anonymous donor contributed $50,000.
“Thanks to the generosity of these contributors and many others, the Forest Society was able to conserve land with tremendous natural and recreational significance,” said Difley. “Now we’ll be able to ensure that important sections of active hiking trails remain open to the public, and that visitors to the region can continue to enjoy views of the undeveloped mountain.”
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.
Monadnock State Park Ranger Shot
While on Vacation near Sedona, Arizona
The deaths of Jim Johnson and Carol Raynsford due to a violent act in Arizona shocks friends and all who knew them.
James Johnson was an avid hiker of Mount Monadnock, worked as a park ranger, and also was a volunteer at Monadnock State Park, who adopted the Marlboro Trail to maintain.
In Flagstaff, Arizona two friends from New Hampshire who were fatally shot at a scenic lookout in northern Arizona loved nature and often visited the Grand Canyon state to hike and camp.
The bodies of James Johnson and Carol Raynsford were found in their sedan Friday in a Sedona tourist area well known for its views of red rocks.
Investigators said Tuesday they believe the same man who fatally shot a New Hampshire couple near a scenic northern Arizona resort town also killed a sheriff's deputy several days later in Phoenix.
Ballistics experts confirmed that the rifle casings found at the scene near Sedona on Friday and in the parking lot of a Phoenix medical building on Sunday came from the assault rifle used by Drew Ryan Maras, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said.
Arpaio described Maras as a U.S. Marine Corps reservist who briefly attended Arizona State University, recently lost his maintenance job in nearby Peoria and was living out of his van.
The 30-year-old may have been depressed, had lost contact with his family, believed the world was going to end this year and showed an interest in UFOs, the sheriff said.
The deaths of the New Hampshire couple had baffled authorities over the weekend. The bodies of James Johnson of Jaffrey, N.H., and Carol Raynsford of Nelson, N.H., were found in a sedan at a remote highway turnout. Investigators said they found six shell casings on one side of the car, and two on the other side.
Johnson and Raynsford frequently hiked and camped together and were in the area to look for a house for Johnson, said Raynsford's friend, Jayne Kelly. They had planned to head home at the end of the month
Investigators still don't know why they were targeted. Officials have said there was no evidence that the two were robbed or that they had provoked the shooter.
"I don't think we will ever know the motive," Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher said.
Maras fatally shot sheriff's Deputy William Coleman on Sunday after the officer responded to a burglary call at the medical building, Arpaio said.
Coleman knocked on Maras' van to rouse him. Maras responded by opening the vehicle's sliding door and firing 29 shots, authorities said. Other deputies got off 41 rounds and killed Maras.
By Monday, investigators had begun to draw a connection between the two shootings, which took place 85 miles away from each other.
Maras used a variant of an AR-15 assault rifle and shot unique military grade ammunition that has a steel core, giving the slug more penetrating power, investigators said.
He served with the Marines from 1999 to 2003, completing infantry training with a specialty as a rifleman before joining a reserve unit in Chicago, Marine Maj. Shawn Haney said.
Authorities said he had no serious criminal violations. A search of Arizona court records showed just a 2004 citation for driving with a suspended license. But that case was dismissed.
Coleman, 50, was a 20-year veteran. He is survived by a wife and two young children, ages 4 and 7. He also has grown children in another state. He was assigned as a patrol deputy and had previously worked the sheriff's lake patrol unit.
Detectives in Yavapai County found numerous casings from a .223-caliber rifle on both sides of Johnson and Raynsford's car. Some callers reported seeing the car parked at the turnout on Thursday. Authorities believe the two might have been in Flagstaff, Winslow, Sedona and Cottonwood before they were killed, based on gas and store receipts found in the car.
Johnson and Raynsford, both 62, were looking for a house for Johnson and planned to head home at the end of the month, said Raynsford's piano teacher and friend, Jayne Kelly. The pair belonged to a nonprofit group that adopts and preserves parts of a 48-mile hiking trail from Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire.
"They both loved nature equally," Kelly said. "They would go off to different places – often to Arizona – and just hike and camp in the most rustic style and love it."
Friends of Raynsford remembered her as a talented jazz and folk singer who performed at local clubs in a band. Raynsford also studied acupuncture, practiced Shiatsu massage and had friends and family in Arizona. She had been friends with Johnson, a former park ranger at Monadnock State Park, for several years.
"When I first heard the horrible news of her murder, I envisioned the violence of what she must have experienced," friend Gordon Peery said. "But I also felt she was so comfortable with her spirituality that she may well have radiated peace and forgiveness as she transitioned to the next realm."
Jane Difley, president of the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, called Johnson a tireless volunteer whose work benefited many.
"No doubt Forest Society volunteers and staff alike will continue to be inspired by his hard work and dedication," she said. "Not only will we all miss Jim, but I wouldn't hesitate to say that Mount Monadnock will miss him as well."
Coleman, 50, was a 20-year veteran. He is survived by a wife and two young children, ages 4 and 7, Arpaio said. He also has grown children in another state. He was assigned as a patrol deputy but had previously worked the sheriff's lake patrol unit.
Monadnock State Park was closed for Tropical Storm Irene
Tuesday, August 30, 2011: Monadnock State Park was closed, as well as, all of New Hampshire State Parks were closed from 6:00 PM Saturday August 27th through Monday, August 29th.
The state parks were closed due to the state of emergency declared because of Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.
Monday the 29th, the state park manager Patrick Hummel reported that hiking trails were being evaluated and some trails, or the park may not immediately re-open.
The damage to the trails were not bad.
As of Tuesday August 30th Monadnock State Park is open.
Someone is Cutting Paths
September 7, 2011: Someone is cutting paths on Monadnock.
There is a new short path cut to an outcropping near Bald Rock. The pathway leads over soft reindeer moss that can get crushed to a small outcropping with views just above the spruce to Gap Mountain and Pulpit Rock.
This web site does stir interest in Monadnock but does not approve cutting any new paths on Mount Monadnock.
The Forest Society would likely also disapprove any new trail without a significant purpose on Mount Monadnock.
The newest trail cleared on Mount Monandock is the Old Halfway House Trail which opened up about 15 years ago and took several years to get approved. The Old Halfway House Trail was cleared to be an alternative to the road walk up the Old Toll Road.
Another new trail; the Hinkley Trail extension marked in 2010 goes over an existing ski trail.
As far as maintenence goes: the main trails on Mount Monadnock are large and wide, similar to the Appalachian Trail standard of 4' wide and 8' tall. On Monadnock the main trails are wide largely due to the volume of hikers on them.
The standard on Mount Monadnock side trails are that they are narrow, clear, and single file while leaving the vegatation largely intact along the sides of the trails.
Old or abandoned trails should not have clear junctions with maintained trails and may be brushed in. Limited improvements to some old trails may help people exploring some beautiful and outstanding hiking on Mount Monadnock. Anyone who attempts to make improvements to these old trails should make sure they don't clear the wrong way. Recently, it was noticed someone cut an old trail wrong.
Trail maintenance really should only be done by a few approved volunteers. That is what I am told as a volunteer.
I did mention that some of the current trails on Monadnock needs some clipping and it is a lot of work.
I have mainly been concentrating my work on current trails such as Smith Summit, Smith Connecting Link, Cliff Walk, Pumpelly Trail and Cart Path to name some.
These trails are lush, green, and beautiful but have a clear pathway and require some annual maintenence.
The policy to these trails are to not cut too much but keep them clear as well as beautiful.
To re-state: the author of this web site absolutely does not approve the cutting of any new paths!
It is doubtful the Forest Society would approve any new paths.
There is enough to see on Mount Monadnock without cutting a new path to some little outcropping.
Bears have been sighted on Monadnock
August, 14 2011: In the news recently bears sightings have been reported and caught on camera in southern New England, the region, even the city of Nashua, NH.
There have been bear sightings around the Old Toll Road, and other places on Mount Monadnock, as well.
I have seen a bear on the Old Toll Road early in the morning on a weekday, in late July.
Bears do cover a large territory so the odds of seeing the bear in the same spot is small.
I often hike when there are few people around. I have often seen Wild Turkey and occasionally White Tailed Deer, as well as Porcupines while hiking Mount Monadnock.
Winter is the best time to see animal tracks in the snow.
In winter, the white snow shoe hare also can be seen on Monadnock.
If you are concerned about running into a bear hiking Mount Monadnock, the trails are usually busy with hikers which will keep wildlife away.
If you do want to see wildlife; stay away from busy trails, or hike on off-peak times and keep quiet.
Bears seem to be more common now throughout southern New England as well as Mount Monadnock in 2011.
There is Limited Parking available
at 124 Old Toll Road Trailhead in winter
November through mid April: Monadnock State Park has chained off most of the parking at the Old Toll Road trailhead due to that area getting muddy.
There may be extra parking available for a few weekends in November.
So even if it 60F degrees and no snow the parking may be very limited at 124.
Also in late April with school vacations the lot will be chained off during the week which may disappoint many visitors who want to hike from that trailhead.
Only on weekends in late April the Old Toll Road Parking area should be fully open.
At Monadnock State Park Headquarters the parking lot is fully open all year and all winter.
Dublin and Marlboro Trailheads are not maintained in winter.
Pumpelly Trail from Dublin Lake also has limited parking and it is a long 9 mile hike which should be taken into consideration now that the days are short.
Anybody who has questions or concerns about parking should call Monadnock State Park at 603-532-8862.
NH Fish and Game Called to Three Rescues in one Week
June 24, 2011: Three times in one week, rescuers from the N.H. Fish and Game Department were called to Mount Monadnock to fetch hikers.
June 22nd, 2011, Wednesday: Conservation officers went up the mountain about 9 p.m. to search for a pair of hikers who lost the trail they were on due to darkness and heavy rain, according to a news release from Fish and Game.
Steven Collazo, 29, of Killeen, Texas, and Kirsten Lomas, 25, of Leominster, Mass., turned back before reaching the mountain’s summit, but lost their way coming down a steep section of the White Cross Trail known as the “staircase,” Fish and Game officials said. Collazo and Lomas, who didn’t have flashlights with them, were located by rescuers about 11:30 p.m. “The hikers were found soaking wet and ill prepared to spend the night in the torrential rainfall,” according to the release. The hikers and rescuers made it to the state park headquarters shortly before 1 a.m., officials said. Monadnock State Park Assistant Manager Sue Tirrell provided logistical support to Fish and Game officers during the search.
NH Fish and Game urges hikers to prepare before heading out on the trails for unexpected weather conditions and bring emergency supplies for an extended stay in the wilderness.
June 19th, 2011: Sunday, a hiker was helped off the mountain after suffering heat exhaustion. It wasn't even that hot on Sunday. It was in the 80's in the valleys with low humidity. The hiker must not have had nearly enough water. Anyone hiking Monadnock in warm weather should bring at least 2 quarts of water.
June 20th, 2011: Monday evening on Mount Monadnock New Hampshire Fish and Game Conservation Officers from the Region IV Office in Keene coordinated a carry-out of an injured hiker. Isabel L. Krakoff, age 19, suffered a lower leg injury while hiking the Marlborough Trail. Krakoff was taking part in Staff Training with several other camp staff from the Sargent Center in Hancock. They were preparing for a summer Adventure Camp being held at the Sargent Center. They began their day hike at 10:30 a.m. At approximately 1:00 p.m., Krakoff injured her lower left leg which required her to be carried down the mountain. Conservation Officers along with Krakoff's fellow staff members carried her down via the Marian Trail to Mossy Brook Trail to Cart Path to the top of Old Toll Road which is a 1.5 mile carry out. The group completed the descent at 8:30 p.m. and Krakoff was transported to Monadnock Community Hospital in Peterborough.
Monadnock Trails Week
Volunteers Help Restore Popular Mount Monadnock Trails
Last week, volunteers came from all over New Hampshire, as well as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, to help the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests restore the trails on Mount Monadnock. The work was completed as part of the Forest Society’s sixth annual Monadnock Trails Week.
“This year’s event was a great success,” said Forest Society Land Steward Program Specialist Carrie Deegan, who coordinated the event. “Thirty-six volunteers put in almost 500 hours of work on the mountain over five consecutive days.”
The most intense efforts involved the construction of new drainages and water bars on the Dublin, White Arrow, and White Dot Trails. Many of the Dublin Trail drainages were created from spruce logs found on site, which had to be cut, peeled, and moved into place, involving significant teamwork and coordination. Much of the work along the White Arrow Trail involved moving and setting large rocks as stepping stones or drainage channels.
Deegan reported that the total work accomplished for the week included 78 cleaned and repaired drainages, 14 new check steps, 11 new water bars, 17 new rock steps, four hazard tree removals, two miles of new trail markings, and one view clearing.
“This work is a significant help to Monadnock State Park staff, who strive to maintain the nearly 40 miles of trails on the mountain, many of which see extremely heavy use in season,” she said.
The Monadnock Trail Week initiative was started by the Forest Society in 2005 to help restore the heavily used trails on the mountain.
Mount Monadnock is one of the most-climbed mountains in the western hemisphere. In 1915 the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests conserved its first tract of 406 acres on Mount Monadnock, beginning a long-term effort to protect the natural integrity of the mountain and its surroundings. Since then, the Forest Society has acquired more than 5,200 acres at Mount Monadnock and Gap Mountain in the towns of Dublin, Marlborough, Troy, and Jaffrey. The Forest Society leases much of this land to the State of New Hampshire to be operated as Monadnock State Park.
The Forest Society is currently working on a project to conserve another 400 acres that would ensure continued access to some of the mountains’ most well-used trails.
Founded in 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society’s mission is to perpetuate the state’s forests by promoting land conservation and sustainable forestry. For more information, visit www.forestsociety.org.
Monadnock Trails Week, July 9-13, 2011 (Sat thru Wed)
Join conservation professionals and other volunteers from the Forest Society and NH State Parks in restoring hiking trails on New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock! Come for one day or several, alone or with friends! No prior experience is necessary. We will be restoring trails, building waterbars, and constructing footbridges. *When: July 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 All workdays run from 9AM – 3PM.
*Where: Mount Monadnock (meet at Park HQ at the end of Poole Rd in Jaffrey, NH at 9AM)
nbsp; *What to bring: old clothes, work gloves (if you have them), a bag lunch, and plenty of water. Trail tools will be provided!
How to sign up: email Carrie Deegan at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 224-9945.
New Efforts are in progress for Monadnock's Alpine Vegetation
May 27, 2011
Mount Monadnock’s alpine plants are getting a little support.
On the White Dot Trail just 20 yards below the summit there are signs requesting hikers to keep hikers off the revegetation area and stay on the trail. This spot recieves the most traffic of anywhere on the mountain.
On top of the mountain, my first day seeing the signs this week, I witnessed a few people hiking across the area. It is also right by an area where people climb up when they can't climb the south cliffs. It is good to protect Monadnock but being realistic it will likely only minimize traffic. Improvements to the White Dot Trail may keep people from wandering off the trail.
The summit on a very busy day has been described as more crowded than a crowded beach with every available spot taken. Being realistic this area will likely stay barren unless they close the summit area. Take note: on weekdays the mountain are generally less crowded except when there are large groups on top.
Antioch University New England is cautioning hikers to be careful about fragile alpine plants on Mount Monadnock.
Students and faculty from the university’s Monadnock Ecological Research and Education Project hiked the mountain Friday to post signs about the fragile plants, university officials said in a statement.
The popular White Dot Trail was the focus of the effort. “The White Dot Trail gets tens of thousands of hikers annually, so the area is really impacted due to trampling,” said Peter Palmiotto, a professor in the environmental studies department at Antioch and the project’s director. “It’s significant because there hasn’t been any education on the fragility of alpine plant species on Monadnock ... the state is limited by resources.”
Project participants also plan to start revegetation experiments on the mountain this summer, department officials said.
Break-ins Have Recently Occurred
When Rangers aren't Present, May 2011
There were a few recent incidents of car break-ins with smash and grabs recently at 124. Rangers are present 7 days a week for most of the day at 124 now but if you are hiking late after the ranger leaves you are advised to not leave any valuables in your car. It is best if your interior is not cluttered or have anything showing of value such as GPS, wallet, or CDs. You might even want to leave your car unlocked so your glass doesn't get broken. At State Park Headquarters rangers are present all day, 7 days now, as well. At the unattended parking lots such as the Marlboro or Dublin trail heads you should leave nothing of value!
A New Map of Mount Monadnock is Available for Sale
A new map of Mount Monadnock is available for sale, including many points of interest. Mike Bromberg has put together a Monadnock map that has more detail than the basic free map available at the Monadnock State Park, or on this site. His map covers the whole area in detail, includes mileage on the map, the Monadnock reservation boundaries, as well as Gap Mountain. His map was created using GPS technology includes trail descriptions on the back. His map is a complete map of Mount Monadnock which is better than the 2 section cut up map that is currently made by the Appalachian Mountain Club. The map by Bromberg does have an inset which includes a close-up of the Halfway House Trails. The map is available for $9 including shipping from 3 Ring Cartography is also available for $8 at the Monadnock State P ark and at stores.
New Pages on Mount Monadnock Vegetation
Recent additions to this web site are some new pages created on Mount Monadnock Vegetation. These pages cover the varied vegetation communities from hardwood forests, to spruce forest, to sub alpine rocky bald. These pages may be of interest to anybody with an interest in Mount Monadnock, or vegetation of Monadnock, or anybody doing research. These new pages were just released May, 2011 and are now available on this site. The Monadnock vegetation pages and Monadnock Fauna replace the single page covering Monadnock's Flora and Fauna.
For more Mount Monadnock News see: Recent and Past Monadnock News
Below: Monte Rosa
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.
Tags: Monadnock Trails, Monadnock Mountain, New Hampshire Hiking, New Hampshire Trails, Maps, Mount Monadnock, Jaffrey, Hiking New Hampshire, Mt Monadnock, NH