Mount Monadnock

Hiking New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock was a highlight of our recent family vacation.  After my biggest month of training since we had Laurel, vacation was a planned easy week.  Museum hiking and strolling around Salem, Massachusetts dominated our schedule.  A special treat was sampling the fine libations at Salem Beer Works, while watching Danielson run away with the queen stage of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge.  We drove out to Gloucester and Rockport.  Score one for Gloucester’s coffee shop.  Rockport’s main drag seemed zoned for art galleries exclusively.

But we did hike New Hampshire’s Mount Monadnock with some friends we see during the winter.  In southern New Hampshire, Mount Monadnock is the highest mountain between the Berkshires and the White Mountains.  According to Wikipedia, Monadnock is an Abenaki word denoting a free-standing isolated mountain.  I plead guilty to having periodically confused Mount Monadnock with the nearby Pack Monadnock, whose summit is some 800 feet lower.

There are multiple approaches to the summit.  We followed the Marlboro trail to the summit.  At 2.2 miles one way, with around 1700 feet of vertical, it was a good distance for the kids: long enough but doable, and steep enough that they should have some bragging rights when they return to school next week.  In clear weather, the long walk above treeline would offer fabulous views.  Today, haze prevented us from seeing Boston.  It was well worth the trip, and I’d lie to get back there one day.