Get outside…

to Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey, NH. This park is about a 1.5 hour drive North West of Boston. Once clear of stressful city traffic, the remaining and relatively short drive through scenic New Hampshire was a welcome change from stressful highway driving. Depending on the route you take, there are different stores and restaurants along the way, use google maps to see what is around you. Like some other NH State Parks, this campground is open all year, in winter the shared and common water spigots are off and there is no electric at the sites. The comfort station was absolutely top notch, I was pleasantly surprised by how nice it was and actually went inside to warm up around 9pm on a cold winter evening while camping. This building is heated all year, has showers, bathrooms, a dish washing station and a water bottle filling station. As far as camping goes, it is apparently a busy place. There were about 6 parties tent camping in winter, so I can only imaging summer camping is busy. Note: As the NH website specifies, pre register for hiking and camping.

The campground:

The Headquarters campground has 10 tent sites, 10 group sites, and 1 pavilion. Another camping area is Gilson Pond, visit the linked NH State page for more camping details

The Hiking

Before I hiked up to the top of Mt. Monadnock, I spoke to the super friendly store attendant and the on site ranger to gain insight. Additionally, before even leaving home, I looked up the trail maps on the park website. Another resource you can use to ascertain trail conditions is to look at the most recent alltrails app comments. The fastest way up is white dot, and the less steep way up and down is white cross, and yes it was less steep and only 0.2 miles longer. If you are unsure of your abilities, take white cross up and down. There are many other trails around the park with much less elevation gain, so if you are not up for the elevation gain there are other options. With the trail head at around 1400 ft., and the top of Monadnock at 3165 ft., the elevation gain is about 1765 ft. To put things in perspective the top of Mt. Washington at 6288 ft. from Pinkham Notch visitors center 2032 ft. , has an elevation gain of about 4256 difficult feet. It is said Mt Monadnock is one of the most hiked mountains in the world, enjoy – I did.

Find the link to the trail map below.