04.19.13 "For Boston, for Boston we sing our proud refrain. For Boston, for Boston , 'tis wisdom's Earthly fame. For here all are one and our hearts are true. And the towers on the heights reach the Heavens' own blue. For Boston, for Boston 'til the echoes rise again!" -T.W. Allen The staff at Monadnock State Park have all of those affected by this week's events in Boston in our hearts and thoughts. Spring continues to progress here at Boston's favorite mountain. While the majority of snow and ice has evaporated from the trails, there are still pockets of winter leftovers to be found on many of Monadnock's paths. The summit and exposed ledges are largely free of snow and ice with the exception of occasional spots. The White Dot and White Cross trails are the furthest along in thawing out of winter. Hikers considering any other trails on Monadnock should still bring along their light spiked traction as it could still be needed in some sections. As the mountain continues to dry out, there will still be puddles and areas of mud present, even on warm and clear days. For Monadnock's health, stay on trail! Your boots will get dirty and wet, so be prepared and take caution, especially descending the mountain. Warm layers should also be brought along for your hike, as even through April, the conditions at the summit can be cold, windy, and can change suddenly. We are expecting showers and thunderstorms in the Monadnock Region to move in later today, continue overnight and possibly into Saturday morning. We could see some clearing as Saturday progresses, although I expect for a windy day above treeline. Campers planning to stay with us on Saturday or Sunday evening should be ready for cold temperatures bottoming out in the mid 20's. Overnight temperatures will gradually rise into the mid 30's after the weekend. The forecast is clear, as of now, for Sunday and Monday and we'll see temperatures into the upper 40's at the base of the mountain through the weekend. Look for some potential rain in the forecast again by midweek. Happy New
Even for year-round outdoor enthusiasts like myself, a change in seasons, especially to warmer weather, can bring about thoughts and ideas regarding goals and aspirations in your outdoor adventures.
Have you included Monadnock in any of your goals?
Are the White Dot, White Cross, or White Arrow trails consistently your paths of choice? Mount Monadnock contains 37 hiking trails to choose from. Why not go and explore Monadnock trails you have yet to experience?
How about hiking with a person or group you have never hiked with?
Sure, you may have climbed Monadnock, but have you camped Monadnock? Even if you live closely, why not spend a night at one of Monadnock's campsites? Monadnock State Park's Gilson Pond campground offers a variety of campsites, many with tent platforms (some without), a handful of sites with electric hook ups, and convenient access to the less traveled Birchtoft Trail and Pond Loop Trails. More information can be found on the State Park webpage.
Trying a new approach to your Monadnock hike can be eye opening. Is the summit typically your goal? Consider expanding your experience to include other features or landmarks. Or, better yet, plan a hike on a network of trails that excludes the summit all together. You may find a whole new perspective and tranquility on Monadnock's slopes that you didn't know was available.
Another idea you can take from the Monadnock Park Manager's page is to find a quiet outlook or peaceful place in the woods next to a trail and just sit quietly, letting your mind at ease, and absorbing the views and sounds of the nature around you. Often, a stretch of time immersing my mind into Monadnock's being is the most enjoyable part of my hike.
Have you ever visited Monte Rosa, Bald Rock, Black Precipice, Sarcophagus, or the Wolf Dens? Have you ever sat at Thoreau Seat or Emerson Seat? These are all landmark locations on Mount Monadnock's trails that you may have missed out on. Include them in your upcoming hike or visit.
Try leaving your smartphones turned off, or pledging with your group that everyone leaves their phones off, while you are out hiking or camping. Sometimes, we have to disconnect in order to reconnect.
One of my goals on Monadnock this year includes reading Henry David Thoreau's Monadnock journals while I am on the mountain. I read his Mount Washington journals while on Mount Washington last year and it provided a new feeling and appreciation for the mountain and Thoreau.
If a new Monadnock goal is not on your agenda, consider applying the same thought to another New Hampshire State Park. Much like Grand Monadnock, our New Hampshire State Parks offer so much variety and so many opportunities.
Visit a NH State Park you have not been to before or camp at a State Park campground that you have yet to enjoy. Perhaps try a new activity with your friends or family like kayaking, bird watching, or snowshoeing.
If you need help or more information on planning a trip or a new adventure this Spring or Summer, give us a call or find out more information on the Parks webpage.
There is so much inspiration and variety out there when enjoying time in nature, especially our State Parks. Why not explore? Come out and discover more of your New Hampshire State Parks.
I hope to see you all at Monadnock this year, if I haven't already. If you want to share ideas or have questions, use the comment feature below!