Well known for being the closest mountains to New Hampshire largest city, the Uncanoonuc Mountains (North and South Uncanoonuc Mountain) are known for completely contrasting each other. Uncanoonuc, a Native American named for the upper part of the female anatomy, was give to that two mountain because of the how symetrical they are to each other (especially before the towers went up on South Uncanoonuc). North Uncanoonuc (1324 ft.) is well known for it wilderness, conifer forest and expansive views of Goffstown along with limited views of Manchester. It can be easily summited on an evening after work because a total hike usually takes barely more than an hour.
North Uncanoonuc can be approach in two ways. The first is via the Class 1 North Uncanoonuc Trail. The one way 0.6 mile hike is steady and steeper in some areas and is blaze by white circles. It travels past a small cave at 0.1 miles and continues steadily and rather steeply up until it hit a great view opening at about 0.5 mile of Goffstown and on a clear day some of the distant northern mountains. At 0.6 miles the summit of North Uncanoonuc lead to limited (depending on season) of Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire. The second route is via the snowmobile/ATV trail. It is a very easy class 1 trail that travels 0.8 miles to the summit. It features good views of a distant Mt. Manadanock and the Wapack Range towards the west.
Getting ThereVIA NORTH UNCANOONUC TRAIL: From 114 in the center of Goffstown head south on Mountain Rd. which is just east of NH 13. Take Mountain Rd. almost a mile where it then bears left. Stay left and at 1.4 miles or just when the woods begin there will be a small gravel parking area (dirt road that has been blocked off) on your left. The trailhead lies just across the way.
VIA SNOWMOBILE/ATV TRAIL: From 114 in the center of Goffstown head south on Mountain Rd. which is just east of NH 13. Take Mountain Rd. almost a mile where it then bears left. Go past the North Uncanoonac Trailhead and at 1.8 miles a paved parking area will be on your left. The trail blazed in red will right out of the parking area.
Red TapeNo mandatory fees at any of the locations. However only Goffstown residents where allowed to use the beach during the summer months.
When To ClimbThese two mountains can be climbed at anytime of the season. Little is needed in summer except for typical hiking gear. Bring bug repellant in summer due to black fly season in June and West Nile season (though no known infected people in New Hampshire yet as of 2/03) in August and September. In winter, snowshoes would be highly recommended due to the fact that despite being less then 10 miles from Manchester, the mountains could have a lot more snow. I would advise not hiking in April due to mud season, especially it there has been a lot of snow the previous winter.
CampingThe Uncanoonucs are smaller mountains that can be easily hiked in a couple hours, therefore there is no need to camp in the area. However the town of Weare, located 8 miles north of Goffstown has a number of campgrounds nearby.
Mountain ConditionsCall 603-497-3003 (Goffstown Recreation Department) for more information on condition of the trails.
Downtown Manchester Pictures
Different pictures of Manchester from the summits of both South and North Uncanoonuc.
Summit Picture LogPost your summit mugshot here.
- Link to Uncanoonacs' Past
Great link to the Uncanoonacs' past as a ski area. Includes pictures and map of the mountain. A killer site to check out.