Mount Monadnock stands alone above southern New Hampshire at 3165 feet. In fact, it's name is Native American for "stands alone". It has a bare rocky summit due to forest fires between 1801 and 1815 and is reported to be one of the most climbed mountains in the world at 125,000 people per year since Mt. Fuji got public transportation to assist travelers (buses up to about 2300 feet ) to its summit. The First Recorded Ascent was July 31, 1725 by rangers from Lancaster, MA who were hunting Indians per the book "50 More Hikes in New Hampshire". Due to the unique topography (and difference in size with all other peaks in the area) Monadnock can be seen from Boston's Hancock Tower on clear days - a distance of 70+ miles.
This mountain was a favorite of Ralph Waldo Emerson who wrote a poem about climbing it as well as Thoreau who used to camp there frequently. There are many trails to the summit from all directions ranging from steep to gentle. These include the White Dot Trail, Monadnock-Sunapee Trail, Marlboro Trail, Red Spot/Old Ski Trail, Cascade Link, Spellman Trail and Pumpelly Trail, to name a few. For a description of them, please click here.
Due to the large number of trailheads that originate from different areas around Monadnock be sure to follow the "Getting There" section of the trailheads listed.
Directions to the trails can be found here. To get to the longest trail at about 9 miles roundtrip, the Pumpelly Trail, take New Hampshire 101 to the east end of Dublin Lake. Turn south on Lake Road and go .5 miles to the trailhead. There is no trailhead marker but the trail starts at about the point on the road you come the closest to Dublin Lake. Park on the shoulder.
No red tape or passes required. However, please note that the start of the Pumpelly Trail is on private land and please respect it.
Good info from nartreb
The main entrance to the state park (the trailheads of white spot, white cross, cascade link, etc) has a large parking lot. Admission is $3.00 per person over 12 years old. Note these routes are often crowded.
Pets are not allowed on the mountain.
Monadnock State Park
Monadnock State Park