It was this summer when me and my husband had been on a hiking kick and decided to end the season with a final hike to Mount Monadnock. On suggestion from my office colleagues we decided to go for a day hike to Mount Monadnock in New Hampshire. I thought the hike would be easy but I was totally bowled over by its toughness.
Mount Monadnock ,3165 feet high is around 78 miles northwest of Boston. So after driving for almost 2 hours we reached the headquarters at around noon. The drive was very scenic.My suggestion would be to reach a bit early to avoid traffic and huge line at the parking entry. Though the park has huge parking, it gets full pretty early ,specially on beautiful sunny weekends. There are many trails that lead you to the summit like oldToll Rd + WhiteArrow, Bald Rock Trail, Monte Rosa Trails etc.We decided to take white Dot + White Cross Trail.White Dot trail and White cross trail intersect at the bottom and top of the mountain and hence forms a loop hike.
It is always good to take White Dot trail on way up since its the shortest ,around 1.9 miles from headquarters to summit. Being said, its also the steepest trail. It starts of with a gradual accent but just after .6 miles, it becomes very steep. It becomes more like rock climbing than just walking on the trail. White Dot trail is a busy trail. We saw a lot of families with little kids, couples, school kids on our way. At some point climbing up became so tough that only thing that kept me going was the energy in the little kids who wanted to reach to the top at the earliest. As soon as long cairns started appearing
, we knew we were near the summit. After climbing up 1.2 miles we emerged above the dense tree line and were greeted by spectacular views of the valley. Luckily i had packed some sandwiches and some snacks with me so that we could lounge on rocks, click pictures and enjoy the panaromic views of the valley like other couples and famlies do. Though it was nice sunny day when we started, it got a little cloudy by the time we reached the top. Hence we could not see Mt. Washington and Boston from the bald top of Mount Monadnock. Do not forget to get insect or mosquito repellent as there were many black flies on the top.
On way down, we took white cross trail. The trail starts with a steeper climb down some rocks in the trees before coming out to an open area. My advice will be to wear good hiking boots since the trail is very rocky. I was wearing sneakers and I almost sprained my foot on way down. You will come to some wooden walking bridges in a sometimes muddy area near the end. It took us almost 6 hours to complete the hike including celebratory hugs ” We made it ! Yayyyyyy”
What to take to hike Mount Monadnock:
1) 2 bottles of water (per person) minimum.
2) Warm clothes in layer ( Gets chilly on the top).
3) Trail map.
4) Some snacks to replenish energy.
5) Some food to sit on the top and enjoy.
6) Bug spray.
7) Hat/ Sunscreen.
8) Good Company ( It does make climbing easier.).