As a runner, it can be hard to find the time to do things other than run. Usually I’ll do my long runs on Saturday mornings, which means the rest of the day I’m probably disinclined to do anything else or passed out on my couch “napping” (for four hours).
But this self-imposed break has been a treat… I had time to take a motorcycle rider training refresher course. I went to Zumba… twice! And when my friend texted to see if I wanted to go for a hike, the answer was YES.
The criteria for this hike included a relatively short drive to get there, and views at the top. We did a little research and landed on North Pack Monadnock. I know it’s accessible via the Wapack Trail in Miller State Park, but I wanted to avoid crowds, so I selected Ted’s Trail to Cliff Trail for the approach to the summit. At 2,276 feet, and a round-trip hike of approximately 6mi, I knew we’d have a good few hours to get this hike done.
There’s a small parking area for maybe four cars off Mountain Road in Greenfield, NH (approx 70 Mountain Road, if you’re interested) across the street from the trail head.
The hike is easy to moderate… the original plan was to take Ted’s Trail up and Carolyn’s Trail down. Both are marked with yellow blazes. Ted’s Trail follows a river, so there were some water crossings (with bridges) and nice scenery. Carolyn’s trail is slightly easier on the knees on the descent (from what I read).
It ended up being a perfect day for hiking. It was in the 70s and overcast. It was pretty humid, but with the sun mostly hiding behind clouds, it was quite comfortable. That didn’t stop me from sweating like a beast, though.
Can we walk about the bugs? I was worried about ticks, but they were the least of our problems once we hit the trail. The trail was pretty soggy, so the mosquitoes were out of control. Even with Deet, we basically couldn’t stop moving or else they’d swarm us and dive-bomb our ears and eyes. We did get a brief break from them when we crossed right through this pretty waterfall.
As we climbed higher, we had some nice views… I’m not sure what of. I don’t know enough about the area to have been able to identify anything. On a clear day, apparently you can see all the way to Boston and Mount Washington. I didn’t really look hard enough.
Eventually we hooked up to the Cliff Trail – that junction had my favorite view. Then we proceeded another .5mi to the summit. The summit was… underwhelming. With the trees totally leafed in, the views were minimal. We stopped for a picture and grabbed something to eat before the bugs drove us nuts and we headed back down.
Rather than take Carolyn’s Trail, which wouldn’t have the views that Ted’s Trail did, we went back down the same way we came and took some pictures of the view. And some selfies… there was some goofing off… it was fun!
We only saw one person at the summit, and saw three pairs/small groups on our way back down the trail. I’m glad we took the less-traveled trail. I don’t love busy trails… the point is to feel like I’m in the middle of nowhere, and that’s hard to do when surrounded by people.
The total hike took us about four hours. I highly recommend it if you’re in the Greenfield area and want an easy-ish hike with views!
I don’t like to hike in summer. The heat, the air quality, the bugs… I probably won’t hike much again until fall. But I was so glad to get out for this hike!