The Most Popular New England Hike.

Probably the most popular hike in New England is Mount Monadnock.  At an elevation of 3,165-feet, it is located in Jaffrey, NH and is deemed a family friendly hike because of its level of hiking as well as its accessibility from nearby cities and towns.   It takes about 1 1/2 hours to get to Monadnock headquarters from Boston.  If you decide to start from headquarters, there is a $5/person entrance fee.  The fee goes to maintain all the state parks in NH so your money is well spent.  And for all you dog owners out there, dogs are not allowed in Monadnock State Park.  Leave your pooches at home!


Our handy dandy map of all the Monadnock trails including White Dot and White Cross.

Chris and I were able to enjoy this hike with our friends Gail and Dave during the last weekend of September.  It had been years since any of us set foot on the mountain.  We thought it would be a nice easy hike as we were planning to eat ice cream and apple pick later in the day.  The best and most popular way to ascend Monadnock is via the White Dot Trail and descend via the White Cross Trail.  It is a total of about 4 miles round trip.

The White Dot Trail is the shortest direct route up from headquarters and it is steep.  We knew what we were getting into but others on the trail that day did not.  Many families were huffing and puffing, often taking breaks (in the middle of the trail mind you! No trail etiquette there).  It was very entertaining for us as we passed them on the way up.  For about a mile or so, you’re on good sized path under treeline. After that, the trail becomes steep with open ledge and rock.  It’s fairly easy if you keep the momentum going.  We did encounter many who were slow and didn’t know how to negotiate the rocks.  I did hear a comment or two how people felt like they were Spiderman.  Once at the (very crowded) top, we enjoyed the views of Wapack and surrounding mountains.  We couldn’t see Boston as it was a bit hazy.  We didn’t stick around the top too long as it was just too busy.  We ate lunch, picked up some litter (someone ate a whole can of Chef Boyardee Ravioli?!) and started our descent on the White Cross Trail.


A USGS marker.


Fall foliage is upon us!


The White Cross Trail is a lot less steep than that of the White Dot Trail.  It was definitely easier on the knees and not as energy consuming.  We did encounter people here and there but it wasn’t as many as on the White Dot.  What irked me on the trails besides the amount of people, was the amount of litter.  There were plenty at the summit.  We picked up as much as we could but there was a whole roll of toilet paper on the White Cross.  We didn’t end up taking it as it was questionable and just hung it on a tree.  I guess many have not heard about the pack in and pack out rule!


The crowds of people on the summit.


All in all, it was a good hike.  Great (albeit hot and humid) weather and views of the area.  It took us about 4 hours to hike the 4 miles.  Not too bad given the situation.  If we were to do it next time, I think we would take the trail less traveled on.



© Elizabeth Tran 2011-2017