Tag Archives: mountains

Mount Monadnock (Jaffrey, NH)

Date Visited: September 17, 2016

Location: 116 Poole Rd, Jaffrey, NH

Trail Height: 3,165 feet

Trail Difficulty: Moderate

Time To Allot For Visit: 3-4 hours (up and down)

Cost: $5.00

Parking: There are several parking lots with ample parking but it does get busy and fills up during the spring summer and fall months

Dog Friendly: No

Highlights: scenic views, pretty flowers and trees, pretty rocky structures, birds, views of Boston skyline

Mount Monadnock Web Site: Mount Monadnock

Mount Monadnock Trail Map: Mount Monadnock Trail Map



Standing at 3,165 feet, Mount Monadnock is considered one of New Hampshire’s “easier” climbs (according to alltrails.com).  But, before you lace up your hiking boots and pack up your car for the scenic drive to the majestic mountain in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, you may want to get a second opinion.

While it isn’t the hardest climb you will make, it also isn’t an easy climb, particularly for beginner climbers.  I saw more than a few climbers taking breaks on the side of the trail to the top.  But, it is worth all the hard work and time to get to the top when you see the views.

At the beginning of the trail, there is a reminder to not make or knock down the cairns on the trail.


The dirt trail at Monadnock starts off easy enough as a straight trail with a slight incline.  From there, the trail gets tougher.  The inclines become more drastic and the terrain turn rocky.

There are some pretty views on the way to the top.  About three quarters of the way to the top of Mount Monadnock, there is an area to sit or stand and take in the views of the surrounding area.  On a clear day, you can see the Boston skyline.  You may be able to see it in some of these photos.

The trail gets slighly easier after the first 3/4 of the trail.  But only slightly.  Keep in mind this was my first hike up any mountain.  So, it may be much easier for an experienced climber.  In any case, there are several areas to take photos as you inch closer to the top.

Finally, I made it to the top.  It took me about 2 to 2.5 hours to get to the top.  Bear in mind I had a camera with me that I had to make sure I didn’t hit against a rock (I always keep the camera by my side and not in my backpack or carrying case because you never know when you might need to take a photo at a moments notice) and again it was my first time hiking anything this size.  So, an experienced hiker without a camera would probably be able to complete the ascent in about an hour.

The views from the top are breath taking.  Be sure to take a sweater with you, even if it is a warm day when you go, because the winds at the top of the mountain are very strong.

I had enough trouble hiking up to the top by myself, never mind doing it with someone strapped to my back like this guy!


Due to the geoloical makeup of Mount Monadnock, there are some little ponds of water and colorful grass at the top.

Keep in mind, Monadnock is a very popular attraction and the trail does get busy quickly, especially during ideal hiking days.

If you’re lucky, you may run into Larry Davis.  Larry has been hiking Monadnock virtually everyday (rain, snow or shine).  he has easily logged in thousands, probably tens of thousands, of hikes up and down Mount Monadnock.  He also takes some beautiful photos from Monadnock on a camera with film.  He was nice enough to pose for a few photos for me.

I found some other cool things on the trail.  There is a flying insect of some kind that makes a clicking sound while it flies, signs of fall and some interesting rocks with names etched into them.  The names etched into the rocks are the names of the families that lived at the bottom of the mountain or the surrounding areas and some are said to still live there today.

Mount Monadnock also has comfort stations and a general store at the base of the hill so you can refill the calories you will surely burn hiking.

In short, Mount Monadnock is the perfect hike for beginners and experienced hikers.  Hopefully, I’ll see you up there soon!

Below are some videos from my hike at Mount Monadnock.  You can hear the wind blowing in some of the videos.



Pawtuckaway State Park (Nottingham, NH)

Date visited: December 12, 2015

As fall made one more last gasp, I took advantage of the unseasonably warm (50 degrees) weather and made my way up north to the picturesque Pawtuckaway State Park in Nottingham, New Hampshire.


Located about an hour and a half north of Boston, MA, Pawtuckaway is a 5,000 acre preserve with a camp site, lakes, a beach, a spectacular view of the Pawtuckaway Mountains and 15 miles of trails.  The parking lot is pretty big so parking shouldn’t be a problem if you get there early in the day during the spring and summer.  There were only 4 cars there when I went in December.   It costs $5 for adults and $2 for children ages 6-11.  It is free when it is not staffed (from 11/2 until 5/1).  The park hours are 8 am-7 pm.

The trails can be challenging not so much because of their inclines, which can be tricky at parts, but because of the rocks which are randomly placed throughout the trails.  They can come in handy, though, when you have to cross the puddles along the trails.


I arrived at Pawtuckaway early in the morning.  Mist and frost was still visible on the way to the lake.


Looking into the pond was like looking into a mirror.

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The views from the rocks trail on the Fire Tower make the long ascent (about 3 miles from the entrance) worthwhile.

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The fire tower is located a short distance (about a quarter of a mile) from the rocky ledge with all of the beautiful views.

While I preferred the views from the ledge, the fire tower offered views from every angle and both sides of the vista.

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There were also many pretty trees at Pawtuckaway.

There is also a beach at Pawtuckaway.  I got there just in time for the sunset.

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Pawtuckaway is said to have been derived from a Native American word meaning, “big buck.”  I didn’t see any bucks but I did some dogs!  From top to bottom Artie, Lulu (on the left), Rooster (on the right), Tucker and Duke.


Video from the fire tower at Pawtuckaway.  As you can tell by the audio it was quite a windy day.

Video from the rocky ledge it was less windy there)




Mount Greylock (Lanesborough, MA)

If you want to feel on top of the world, or at least on top of Massachusetts, there’s no place like Mount Greylock.


Clocking in at 3,491 feet and about an hour and a half west of Springfield, MA, Mount Greylock is the highest point in Massachusetts.  With its miles of hiking trails and scenic views, Mount Greylock is the perfect destination for hikers and nature lovers.  There is also a paved road to the summit with places to pull over to view the scenic beauty.

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There are also some cute and pretty attractions off the main trails.

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Even the views and flowers at the Visitor Center were captivating.

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Along the trails

But, the pinnacle of Mount Greylock is the tower that sits atop the summit.  First built as a tribute to the veterans of the first World War, the tower now serves as a memorial to all service members who have served the country.  When it is lit each night, the tower is said to be able to be seen from 70 miles.  The granite from which the tower was came from my hown city, Quincy (pronounced kwin-zee), Massachusetts.

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Mount Greylock State Reservation is a dog friendly park.  During my visit there were many dogs out enjoying the views.  DSC_0649

Izzy was patiently waiting for his mom outside the visitor’s center.


Peanut was getting ready for his big hike.


Max was tired from hiking the trails at Greylock.


This fella was enjoying some rays.

Most of the wildlife at Mount Greylock was hidden during the day.  But, I did see this grasshopper.


Mount Greylock is also a popular spot for paragliders.  In fact, several paragliders took off from Mount Greylock during the day.

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Mount Greylock is also a stop on the Appalachian Trail.  It’s a long way to Georgia.  Maybe I’ll try it sometime.

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