Miller State Park – June 28, 2011
Miller State Park offers both a series of hiking trails, as well as a paved auto-road to the summit of Pack Monadnock Mountain. Two trails and the windy mountain road guarantee that everyone will enjoy great views from the top, which can stretch to Boston’s skyscrapers on a clear day.
After parking at the base of the auto road I began my hike up Pack Monadnock on the Marion Davis Trail. Climbing up through the thick green forest, I found myself skipping down the trail, jumping from each perfectly placed rock to the next. Being the oldest of all the NH State Parks, the trails at Miller State Park have been around for a long time and have developed some really unique features over the years. Staircases made of tree roots and rocks guided me up the inclines, and passing tree trunks made it feel like I was waking through forested doorways.
Hiking under a thick canopy of trees the entire way, I was a little surprised when I emerged from the trail to the wide-open views of the summit. Finding a picnic table, I settled in to enjoy the cool breeze and the panoramic views that made for the perfect lunch setting. Watching the heavy cloud over roll by I couldn’t think of a more peaceful place to be.
Before heading back down, I made use of the Summit Loop trail, and circled around the top of the mountain. The views are amazing of course, but walking the trail I was more distracted by the wildlife. Blue jays buzzed in and out of the trees, and the frogs would freeze on the side of trail as I approached, relying on their camouflage to keep them hidden.
Leaving the summit, I began down the Wapack Trail to make a loop and take me back down to the parking area. Although the Marion Davis and Wapack trails mirror each other, and are both equally 1.4 miles long, they offer much different scenery. On the Wapack trail, following the ridgeline, the sun lit up the trail, and the trees opened up giving me a view of the sunset almost the entire way down.
Whether driving or hiking Miller State Park provides access to a summit with great views for everyone to enjoy.