Trails Week – Paying It Forward

Aug 2, 2013

Credit Carrie Deegan via NH Forest Society

Mount Monadnock is allegedly the most-climbed mountain in the western hemisphere. Recently, I attended Monadnock Trail Week event from July 12th to 16th at Mount Monadnock State Park in Jaffrey, Marlborough and Dublin. The Forest Society and N.H. State Parks staff invite volunteers to help restore degraded sections of the heavily used hiking trails during this annual five day event.

In 1915 the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests conserved its first tract of 406 acres on Mount Monadnock, beginning a long-term effort to protect the natural beauty of this mountain and its surroundings. To date, the Forest Society has acquired a total of 4,500 acres at Mount Monadnock and 1100 acres on nearby Gap Mountain in the towns of Jaffrey, Dublin, Marlborough and Troy. Hiking trails on the Forest Society’s Monadnock and Gap Mountain Reservations are managed as part of the adjacent Mount Monadnock State Park.

This year, trail improvements were planned for the White Dot and White Cross trails and refreshing blazes along the Pumpelly and Red Spot trails. These are among the more heavily-traveled trails on the mountain. Elsewhere, small groups of volunteers constructed footbridges on the Parker and Fairy Springs trails and removed downed trees and cleared drainage features to keep the water moving off the “treadway” which is the actual trail surface.

Monadnock Trail Week is a great opportunity to be outside and learn new skills. Volunteers are instrumental in helping to keep one of New Hampshire’s most storied mountains in top condition. Volunteers suggest this is one annual opportunity to give back to the mountain.