Top Walkers

  1. Daniel Weeks

Walk Preparation

information courtesy of

You enter the state park, walk past the Visitor Center, and start up the mountain on the White Dot Trail, marked by signs, white dots on stones and, above tree level, by cairns (piles of stones), which are especially useful in winter when the white dots may be covered by snow.

The hike is exhilarating, the view from the summit worth the climb. But it is not an easy hike. The trails are not smooth paths, but mostly broken rock (stones the size of auto tires or larger). In some places you must climb rock slopes (no tools or ropes needed, though.) You must be agile, strong-legged, with strong ankles. (The chance of a turned, strained or sprained ankle are high.)

Remember: Though there is parking, rangers,  bathrooms, and a store at the Monadnock State Park Headquarters, there are no services on the mountain! No water, food, shelter, or communications (some phones may work).

Wear sturdy shoes, have sunblock for the hour or two above tree line, and carry extra clothing for the windy summit: at least a light jacket/windbreaker, perhaps also a sweatshirt or sweater. If the temperature is comfortable (mid-70°sF/ 20°sC) at the base of the mountain, it will be chilly because of the wind at the summit. If it's cool at the base, it will be cold at the summit. Don't spoil the pleasure of your time at the summit by not having sufficient clothing.

Carry at least one quart/one liter of drinking water per person, preferably more. Also carry snacks such as trail mix, nuts, fresh or dried fruit, candy bars, fruit juice and, if you wish, a picnic lunch. There are no services on the mountain: no food, no water, no shelter, no communications (although your mobile phone may work.)

Carry a trash bag and plan to carry out everything you bring to the park. Monadnock is a carry-in, carry-out park. There are no trash receptacles anywhere in the park! Whatever you bring in with you, you must take out with you, even banana peels, apple cores, etc.