|Approaching summit of Mt. Monadnock, NH.
|Tough Mamma hiking with Baby in an Osprey hiking pack.
So WHY is it so frequently visited?
To discover the answer, I took to the hills with my friend Ingrid and her adorable baby daughter for a day of hiking the second most frequently climbed mountain in the world.
Adventure: Mt. Monadnock, Jaffery, New Hampshire
Getting there: This mountain is in southern New Hampshire. The trailhead was less than 2
hours from my house in Exeter, NH. I took Rt. 101 West and switched to 202 West in Peterborough, NH. From there, I took 202 W six miles to 124 W. Stay on here for 2 miles and follow signs to Mt. Monadnock State Park.
|And I thought it was going to be easy.
Red Dot Trail!
One of the nice things about this mountain is that there are multiple points of assent. There are even trails from the nearby campground. I'd love to go back and take another trail. Perhaps that is one reason why this is so often climbed?
Difficulty: I don't know why, perhaps it was the lower elevation compared to other mountain hikes (3,166 ft), but I had expected Mt. Monadnock to be a walk in the park. Instead, I discovered a perfect day hike - combining interest through varied terrain including packed dirt trail, large boulders, and slab climb. I'd rate it as a moderate trail in White Mountain standards, but there are a few challenging stretches (see bouldery rock trail photo above).
Recommendations: I completely recommend that you hike Mt. Monadnock. A few pieces of advice...
- If possible, go on a weekday - Ingrid and I were lucky enough to go on a Friday. Even with this, the summit was crowded and the White Cross Trail was packed. I can only imagine how nuts this popular mountain gets on weekends and holidays. Be patient and consider taking one of the less used trails like the Red Dot to avoid the crowds. Another recommendation would be to get there early. We started our hike at 10 am and the parking lot was already crowded.
- Don't be fooled into thinking it's going to be easy or short. Bring appropriate footwear, at least 2 liters of water per person and snacks. You'll be sweating!
|White Cross Trail.
- Instead of taking your lunch break on the summit with the crowds, take a break along the equally open and expansive ridge line. We had a nice long break at the junction of the Pumpelly Trail and the Red Dot Trail. This gave us gorgeous views with privacy.
I discovered that one of the reasons Mt. Monadnock is so frequently climbed is that it's a really wonderful mountain! In just a couple hours, I got gorgeous views of green rolling hills, lakes, and the White Mountains in the distance. The hike is moderately challenging and fun. I can't wait to go back!
|Pooped after a long day on the mountain!
*Mt. Monadnock, Wikipedia, 2013 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Monadnock
Please leave comments and questions below.