Monadnock Trails Report 10.13.12

After spending two weeks in a land with very few trees and coming back to Monadnock, I was in a Columbus Day weekend management haze, being thrown into the fire of the traditional busiest weekend of the year. It was only earlier this week, after I and the staff survived what turned out to be a very manageable weekend, that I was able to fully realize and enjoy the midst of the Fall in New England. October is my favorite month of the year. Even through some of the most stressful days at Monadnock, I look forward to candlelit evenings at home watching beloved classic monster movies with a New England Fall brew in hand. Nights spent with the likes of Boris Karloff, Lon Chaney (Sr. and Jr.), and Bela Legosi lead to day hikes where I can see Autumn “…in her flaming dress of orange, brown, and gold fallen leaves.” Throw in Halloween, playoff baseball, and the usual start of hockey season and you have a great month.

October may also be the month where Monadnock feels the most loved. Our mountain has its most visitors, admirers, and likely its most amount of photographs during the Fall foliage season and for good reason. While this year’s foliage is not necessarily a banner year, it has still been scenic. The mountain’s foliage is a bit past peak at this point and the rest of the Region can be considered at the tail end or just past peak.

A fair amount of rain has fallen on Monadnock this week and the mountain has experienced some cold and windy days, which has blown many leaves onto the trails. I would have to think many of you subscribers were on Monadnock today, which has been the busiest hiking day of 2012. My current estimates are that over 2,000 hikers will have enjoyed a cold, but beautiful day on the mountain. A snow-capped Mt. Washington is currently in view from the summit as I type, a mere 105 miles to our North.

Saturday night and Sunday looks like rain will be coming back again, likely taking more leaves down with it. The weather will break by Tuesday with temps climbing back into the upper 50’s during the week.

This Week In Monadnock History

We usually reach back far into the Annals of Monadnock’s history for this section, but let’s look at some recent history. Oct 11-13, 2008; my first Columbus Day Weekend as Park Manager, turned out to be the busiest weekend at the Park in a decade. Our staffed entrances welcomed through over 7,000 hikers during the course of a beautiful weekend, with a likely additional thousand of unaccounted for hikers on the back trails. Park staff handled a number of rescues that weekend, including two with the aid of a Medevac on that Sunday. Its all in a weekend’s work for the Monadnock Park Staff!!

I haven’t had a chance to get any foliage pictures of Monadnock this year, but here’s two shots from my 2011 photobook.


Thanks for reading,

-Patrick Hummel
Park Manager


Additional Resources and Information



Patrick Hummel, Mount Washington State Park

As the Park Manager of Mount Washington State Park, I oversee and manage the operations of the 60 acres of the summit of Mount Washington; the highest peak in the northeast US at 6,288'. Our Park is staffed 24/7, 365 days a year and is sometimes referred to as the "Home of the World's Worst Weather". Previously, I served as the NH State Parks Volunteer Program Manager and before that, the Park Manager at Monadnock State Park, home to the most climbed mountain in the Western Hemisphere. IG= @topofthenortheast

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