Mt Monadnock

Jaffrey, NH

October 13th, 2015

We arrived at Mt. Monadnock to find the main entrance road closed due to repaving, so our hike begins instead at Gilson Pond. Looking across the water, we are treated to a perfect view of the mountain.

Monadnock view across Gilson Pond

From Gilson Pond we hike 2 miles up the Birchtoft Trail. Along the way, we stop and say hello to a red salamander.

Birchtoft Trail Salamander

The Birchtoft Trail finally brings us to the Cascade Link and Spellman Trail, where the real fun begins! Katherine, Jenna, Steven, Madeline, Sarah, and Maddy make their way up one of the trail's steepest slopes.

Katherine and Jenna Steven, Madeline, Sarah, and Maddy
Madeline, Sarah, Maddy and Harris There's no turning back now! Madeline, Sarah, Maddy, and Harris face the challenges that lie ahead.
View from Spellman Trail Climbing the Spellman Trail we look down at Gilson Pond, the starting point of our hike. It's the small one in the foreground on the left.
Summit view from Pumpelly Trail The Spellman trail brings us to the Pumpelly Trail, with great views of Monadnock's summit and the tiny little people on top.
Kat, Sarah, Harris, and a cairn Kat, Sarah, and Harris have a little fun with one of the cairns along the Pumpelly Trail which we found to be particularly alluring.

To the north, we enjoy fine foliage views as we make our final approach to the summit.
Group approaching summit
View from Pumpelly Trail
Group photo on summit Success!!! Here's our official group photo upon reaching Monadnock's summit. We're crouched low to keep from being blown off the mountain.
Group descending Smith Summit Trail
With a fierce wind blowing on top, it didn't take us long to start our descent down the Smith Summit Trail.
Group approaching Smith Summit Trail
Smith Summit Trail Greg enjoys the scenery as we continue down the Smith Summit Trail.

The Smith Summit Trail brings us to Monte Rosa, with great views of the foliage below and a nice look back at how far down we've come.

View below Monte Rosa Monte Rosa group photo with Monadnock summit behind us
Monte Rosa wind vane Greg and Sarah check out Monte Rosa's historic wind vane.
Sarah and Jenna descending Monte Rosa
Continuing our hike, Sarah and Jenna gingerly descend the path down from the Monte Rosa peak to the site of the Old Halfway House, where we're greeted by even more spectacular fall colors.
Halfway House site
Toad Proceeding east along the Parker Trail, Kat examines a tiny toad.
We pass through the deserted state park headquarters where our hike normally would have begun, but this time our van is still two miles away. So we walk down the freshly laid sub-pavement on the park's closed access road to reach the Hinkley Trail. Park access road
Park headquarters
Dusk is rapidly settling in as we arrive back at Gilson Pond's now-empty parking lot and complete our awesome nine mile trek. It felt like we were the last ones left on the mountain; a place we already miss!

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