Mount Monadnock is located in the southwest corner of New Hampshire near the town of Jaffrey. Monadnock is a solitary peak reaching 3,165 ft and is the second most climbed mountain in the world, next to Mount Fuji. For those who make it to the top, the reward is a stunning view that includes points in all six New England states and even the Boston skyline on a clear day.
There are five major trails leading to the summit:
- White Dot Trail: This is the most popular trail on the mountain. The trail head starts at 1,358 ft near the Visitor Center and continues up the mountain for 1.9 miles to the summit at 3,165 ft. It takes about 1.5-2 hours to ascend and 1 hour to decend. Being the shortest and most direct route to the summit, it is also the steepest.
- Marlboro Trail: Access to this trail is from outside the park itself. The trail head starts at 1,350 ft and continues up the mountain for 2.1 miles to the summit at 3,165 ft. It takes about 2 hours to ascend and 1.25 hours to decend. Very similar in length to the White Dot Trail, however, it is much less crowded since it is more difficult to access.
- Dublin Trail: The trail head starts at 1,457 ft and continues up the mountain for 2.1 miles to the summit at 3,165 ft. It takes about 2 hours to ascend and 1 hour to decend. This trail intersects with the Marlboro Trail about 5/6 of the way up before reaching the summit.
- White Arrow Trail: The trail head starts at the Halfway House Site at 2,150 ft and continues up the mountain to the summit at 3,165 ft. The Halfway House Site can be reached via the Old Toll Road or the Old Halfway House Trail, along with some other more complex routes. It takes about 1.75-2.5 hours to ascend and 1.25 hour to decend depending on the route taken. Total travel distance is still only about 2.2 miles.
- Pumpelly Trail: This is the longest direct route to the summit at 4.5 miles, and also the gentlest climb. This trail starts out near Dublin Lake and continues to the summit and connects to the Cascade Link Trail, the Spellman Trail, and the Red Dot Trail on the way.