04.05.13 "And take off your hat for me to Monadnock, the most high-bred of our mountains."- James Russell Lowell, 1890 Mount Monadnock continues to transition out of Winter and into Spring and despite the date on the calendar and conditions in States south of us, snow and ice are still largely present on the mountain's trails. Despite the warmer temperatures forecasted for the coming weekend and into next week, hikers coming to Monadnock are still encouraged to wear layers and be prepared for colder temperatures above treeline. Monadnock's summit is mostly exposed bare rock with pockets of snow present. However, MicroSpikes or similar spiked traction devices are also still needed on many trails in the lower and middle elevations of the mountain. Gaiters will also be helpful in warmer temperatures as the trails are going to be wet and muddy and feature melting snow before long. Winter conditions on the ground are still surprising some (lots of) under-prepared and ill-equipped hikers. Some more 50+ degree days next week and rain will likely continue to help the trails move beyond winter into the next season...Mud Season! Speaking of which, as usual, the Town of Dublin has closed Old Troy Road until Mud Season ends and the gravel road hardens, which means there is no vehicle access to the Dublin Trail. Thinking of trying to drive there anyways? Take note that most local tow companies will not come to pull you out of that road if you get stuck. They don't seem to care for instances where their tow trucks also need a tow truck. Due to mud and ruts, I would also not plan to drive down to the Marlboro Trail on Shaker Farm Road for the next few weeks either. Congratulations! My new nephew, Edward Elias Hummel, was born at 7:38 this morning. Congratulations to Ed and Laura! Alden James Zboray was born last night at 7:51pm to a former Monadnock State Park Manager. Congratulations Andrew and Lindsay on baby #1! I look forward to seeing both Alden and Eli in hiking boots, discovering and exploring New Hampshire State Parks before too long. This Month in Monadnock History For this week's moment in Mount Monadnock's history, we are going all the way back to April of...2012. It was 1 year ago when the Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF)successfully completed their most recent land conservation campaign on our Grand Monadnock. The Forest Society protected two more tracts of land at the base of Monadnock, totaling 418 acres. It was the largest SPNHF land acquisition on the mountain since 1915. The organization’s campaign was buoyed by generous donations from private foundations, state grants, and the Town of Marlborough. Thanks to the advocacy of Eastern Mountain Sports and JetBoil, the Conservation Alliance kicked off the campaign with a $25,000 donation. In addition to numerous private donations from the general public, the NH Land and Community Heritage Program (LCHIP) contributed $125,000, the NH State Conservation Moose Plate Grant program contributed $30,000; the Town of Marlborough donated $25,000; and an anonymous donor contributed $50,000. The Stowell Tract, 359 acres in Marlborough on the north side of the lowest ends of the Marlboro Trail, was outright purchased by SPNHF. The Royce Tract easement, owned by former Monadnock State Park Manager Charlie Royce, is located on the north end of his property, just south of the Monadnock State Park Headquarters area. Thank you to all who contributed, including smaller, but just as meaningful donations from the general public. Last year's campaign helped to widen protected lands on Mount Monadnock to nearly 6,000 acres total, combined between the three land owners of Mount Monadnock's parcels: The Society For The Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the State of New Hampshire, and the Town of Jaffrey. All of the land and trails collectively make up Monadnock State Park. Park Manager Travel Quiz As noted in the Weekly Report on 03.22.13, I was away and unable to post a report last week. Combine the names of the two pictures below to reveal where I traveled to: I am happy to be back home in the Granite State, despite the comfortable 70 degree weather we were lucky to have and enjoying a week filled with theme park rides and roller coasters (I was cut in line at the Hollywood Tower Hotel ride by Scottie Pippen of all people, which is especially frustrating to a life long NY Knicks fan like myself). We'll see if there is more mud than snow in next Friday's Report. Until then, happy trails!