Monadnock State Park
GOOD FOR: Ages 9-12

Source:Outdoors with Kids Boston (AMC Books)
Address:Mountain Road, Jaffrey, NH
Hours:Dawn to dusk daily
Fee: Adults, $4; children ages 6–11, $2
Contact:; 603-532-8862

Bathrooms: At the campground
Water/Snacks: Water fountains in the picnic area and at the campground; snacks and drinks at the park store

USGS Monadnock;; AMC’s Southern New Hampshire Trail Map

With a steady uphill climb that's not too steep, Mount Monadnock makes a great first summit for older kids.

Visitors to Mount Monadnock can camp overnight at the park's campground.
Photo by: Jerry and Marcy Monkman

The bare summit of Mount Monadnock offers 100-mile views southeast all the way to Boston and northeast to the White Mountains of New Hampshire. One of the most-climbed mountains in the world, Monadnock is unlikely to be sparsely populated when you visit, but that won’t hinder your fun.

Older kids, more so than younger ones, will likely enjoy the challenge of the climb. Many young children often climb the mountain (or attempt to), but only you know what your child can handle at any given age. All hikers on Monadnock should wear proper hiking shoes and carry at least 2 quarts of water.

Forty miles of hiking trails crisscross the park, heading toward the summit from all sides. Speak to the rangers when you arrive; they can offer suggestions and tips. Dublin Trail and White Dot Trail are two of the most popular routes. For a different route, try White Arrow Trail, which offers a rocky scramble in its 4.6-mile round-trip to the summit. From the parking lot, take Old Halfway House Trail, a well-packed trail that is fairly level until it joins Old Toll Road just before the Halfway House site—a hotel once stood in what is now a meadow. White Arrow Trail starts across the meadow. Follow its rocky, wide path 1.1 miles to the summit—kids will enjoy the adventurous trek over the rocks and will be rewarded with views and a nice rest atop the summit. After enjoying the view and the company, head back the way you came.

Remember: The summit of Mount Monadnock is above treeline, and the weather can be harsh. Plan accordingly; even if the weather seems mild at home, it can change drastically at the summit.

Plan B:

Turn your day trip into an overnight at the park’s Gilson Pond Campground. Call 877-nhparks (877-647-2757) to make reservations.

Where to Eat Nearby:

Jaffrey has a number of cafés, restaurants, and markets if you want to purchase picnic supplies.


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