“Go take a hike!” How is this supposed to be a mean thing to say? You’re telling me to go out into nature far away from paved parking lots and power lines, get some exercise, and see vistas that take my breath away? Sign me up!
To be more specific, sign me up for a hike in New Hampshire’s Monadnock Region, which is criss-crossed with hiking opportunities amid gorgeous scenery for people of all fitness and ability levels (including a few handicap-accessible trails!)
Hitting the New Hampshire Trails? We recommend a Hike Safe card before you go. Learn More here.
Goose Pond 2.1 miles : 2.1 miles
Chesterfield Gorge: .7 miles:
Ashuelot Rail Trail: 21.2 miles:
Sunset Rock: 1.1 Miles:
Clarence Jewett Trail: 1.3 miles:
Red Diamond Trail Loop: 1.6 Miles
Red Diamond and Ridge Line Trail: 7.3 miles
Lili Pond: 4.9 miles
Okay, what’s the difference between hiking and walking? Well, for one thing, walking usually doesn’t involve any clambering or scrambling. If you’re looking for a beautiful stroll along mostly flat paths, go to the “Easy” trails listed here. Want more of a challenge, with more varied terrain and greater vertical gain? Check out the “Intermediate” and “Difficult” trails.
Elisa Adams Gorge: 3.5 miles
Mount Caesar: 1.7 miles
Tippin Rock: 1.8 miles
To view more trails in Swanzey, visit the town website.
In addition to a variety of difficulty levels, the Monadnock Region’s many trails take you to an array of natural wonders, from the depths of Chesterfield Gorge, to loops around lakes and ponds, to the top of Mt. Monadnock—where on a clear day you can look out up to 100 miles in all directions, with views of all six New England states and the Boston skyline in the distance!
Gap Mountain North Trail: 2.6 miles
Shieling Forest: 2.3 miles
Casalis Forest Trail Loop: 3 miles:
Cranberry Meadow Trail: 4.6 miles
Wapack Trail and Marion Davis Trail: 2.7 miles
Raymond Trail: 2.8 Miles
Distant Hill: Handicap Accessible: 3 miles
Yes, this is a long list of links! The Monadnock Region has a lot of trails. And these are only scratching the surface. In addition to the opportunities listed here, you can also find great hikes in our area’s State Parks.
Monadnock State Park: Jaffrey
Pisgah State Park: Winchester
Rhododendron State Park: Fitzwilliam
Greenfield State Park: Greenfield
Miller State Park: Peterborough
Easy to Moderate:
Harris Center: Many options
Skatutakee and Thumb Mountains: 4.9 miles
Easy to Moderate:
Crotched Mountain Accessible Trails (Handicapped accessible): 2.2 miles:
Hiking is for everybody! If you’re looking for a trail that easily accommodates wheelchairs and strollers, check out Crotched Mountain’s 2.2 miles of accessible trails in Greenfield, or Distant Hill in Alstead, which offers a mile of accessible trails.
The word “monadnock” comes from the Abenaki language, and loosely translated means “mountain that stands alone.” That’s certainly the case for the Monadnock’s Region’s namesake. Mt. Monadnock, sometimes called Grand Monadnock, stands 2,000 feet above the surrounding land, and 3,165 feet above sea level. No other peaks approach its height for dozens of miles around, and its far-ranging views of New England in every direction are one reason Monadnock is one of the world’s most climbed mountains—more than 125,000 hikers climb it per year. Its history as a hiking destination goes back at least to 1725, when it was ascended by Captain Samuel Willard and a group of rangers.
Coming for a visit? Explore more about NH’s Monadnock Region.