My favorite trails at Mount Monadnock

Did you know that Mount Monadnock is one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world? It’s an easy fact to believe when you’re on the summit; especially on a nice summer day, the top of this little peak is covered with folks picnicking and relaxing after a trying hike up.

Monadnock holds a special place in my heart, as it’s the first hike Chris & I ever did together. Since then, we have come back multiple times, by ourselves and with friends, and have found certain trails to stand out as our personal favorites.

Here is our choice for the best route up:

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Lost Farm Trail to Cliff Walk to Amphitheatre Trail to Smith Summit Trail

This combination of trails has become our go-to due to the fact that this side of the mountain is significantly quieter than the frequented White Cross & White Dot trails. Although these trails are great if you want to get to the summit as quickly as possible, they’re steep and crowded, which is not our top choice for hiking.

The Lost Farm Trail is blanketed in trees and mellow in elevation gain. Chris and I like to check out the abandoned stone walls along this trail. You can find the entrance to this trail at the back of the parking lot. Essentially, walk opposite to where everyone else is going. The Cliff Walk trail is when you get your first peek of Monadnock’s expansive views, walking along the edge of, well, some cliffs. Bald Rock is a great mid-way stopping point if you’re in need of a snack or water break, or just want to take your time and relax for a bit.

It’s along the Amphitheatre Trail that you can find what Chris & I believe to be the best view of Monadnock’s summit. On a clear day, you can just barely make out all of the dots of people climbing the final rocks to the top.

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The view of Monadnock’s summit from the Amphitheatre Trail. This photo was from my first ever hike!

The final push along the Smith Summit Trail is the most challenging portion of this hike. Some climbing is required to get over larger rocks, especially is you’re short like me. But this section is over quick, I promise! In just a few short steps, you will be rewarded with great views at most any time of year:

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Late summer on the summit
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This photo was taken in October after peak foliage season, so the colors were beginning to fade
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Same view, different season

On the way down, I recommend opting for the White Arrow Trail instead of the Smith Summit Trail (some steep sections might be tricky to get down), or you can choose a whole other set of trails if you want to turn this into a loop.

Have you hiked Mount Monadnock? What are your favorite trails to explore? Let me know in the comments!

Happy Trails,

Kait

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