Leaf Peeps and Trail Sweeps: Monadnock State Park

By Jonathan Rager, Interpretive Ranger at Monadnock State Park. Photo credits by Stamati Anagnostou, also, Interpretive Ranger at Monadnock State Park.

The gentleman below is deeply fascinated with this leaf. He often ponders and looks for leaves that are full of colorful personalities, much like himself and his fellow intern. Here we have a rarity. Jonathan Rager, caught in action, leaf inspecting! Stamati Anagnostou waited patiently for the right shot… Days, weeks, months? Either way, Alas, we have it here for your viewing pleasure Dear Readers.

As I escape this odd introduction I then transition into a more serious endeavour at Monadnock State Park. We have many folks gazing at foliage on their hikes and staff that is ensuring a safe environments and precautions necessary for this wonderful experience to happen.

Here we are in the foliage-laced month of October, and my how the time has certainly passed.  The weather is getting colder and the crowds are getting larger on the summit of the Grand Monadnock, but what brings so many people to this wonderful destination? Autumn has a certain way of enchanting our spirits and getting us to get out or up, in the instance of Monadnock. The way our senses connect with the poly-chromatic mountain-scapes leaves us in awe.

Understand however, as we approach Columbus Day weekend, there may have to be flexibility to your tranquility to hiking Monadnock. Optimal leaf viewing brings many from all over to bask in the enchantment of the New Hampshire outdoors. This mountain will have many other hikers which also ups the risks for an accident. When hiking dress for the weather, bring plenty of water, utilize trail etiquette, and understand that when many folks hike, patience must be at its pinnacle. If overwhelmed, take a deep breath and relax, you are enjoying a beautiful autumn day.

Autumn also seems to open up a festive portion of the year, at least that is certainly the case for myself, and fellow interpreter from Stamati. We have been hosting “Monad-Talk: A night of Magic, Mirth, and Merriment,” and have had a great time at the Gilson Pond Area on Friday nights at 8pm. “From my perspective, it’s fun to sit with folks and have a chat and it’s not too formal,” comments fellow interpreter Stamati. We have also been able to hone in on our musical skills as Stamati continues to get better on guitar and I, banjo.

Jonathan’s Gems:

1.Music-  Autumn provides oppurtunities of creative bliss, bring an instrument and become inspired.

2. Gilson Pond Hilltop Area- The site of “Monad-talk,” and a wonderful area to picnic if camping in the Gilson Pond Area, come check out the quiet side of Monadnock!

3. Harling-Hinkley Loop: Travelling up the hustle an bustle of the White Dot Trail can be grueling sometimes. Why not venture off the beaten path for a shorter loop? The Harling-Hinkley Loop provides a 2.1 mile hike with a change of scenery. Reccomended for folks who want a shorter jaunt but still want to enjoy the splendors of Monadnock. Please be sure to refer to a park map for the route you will be taking.

4. The People & Social Experience:  When you hike up Monadnock you are not only hiking Jaffrey’s most climbed mountain, you are also encountering people from all over with different ambitions of climbing with stories to share.

5. Foliage: “Leave” it to nature to amaze us by putting on a different outfit for the seasons!



Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

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