The Monadnock Region of New Hampshire is brimming with summer activities waiting to be discovered, rediscovered, and enjoyed by all year after year. Thanks to the efforts of the Monadnock Conservancy much of the wondrous landscape will be enjoyed by generations of residents and tourists for years to come. There are mountains to climb by foot or bike, bike trails to explore, fruit to pick, pies to bake, fish to catch, and picturesque boating waters to explore. Here are the top 5 summer activities in the Monadnock Region in further detail.
1. Hiking: There are plenty of hiking trails to explore throughout New Hampshire. When hiking in the Monadnock Region we highly suggest taking the 3-4 hour roundtrip hike to the top of Mount Monadnock, the mountain for which the region was named. It’s an excellent way to start the hiking season. Experienced hikers can summit by way of the Spellman trail for a rocky and steep ascent while beginner and intermediate hikers may be better served by following the White Dot or Toll Road trails (several trails traverse the mountain to explore). The mountain attracts an average of 125,000 hikers annually. It is second only to Mt. Fuji in Japan as the most hiked mountain in the world. You will discover why Mount Monadnock is such a popular mountain to climb!
Other popular hikes in the region include Madame Sherri’s Forest in Chesterfield (a short hike featuring the remnants of a castle in the woods, which burned down in 1962), Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area (with a waterfall in three parts), and the Wapack Trail (an interstate hiking trail treating hikers to breathtaking views of the Monadnock skyline).
2. Biking: New Hampshire boasts hundreds of miles of bike friendly trails through paved scenic routes, rail trails, gravel roads, and challenging mountain terrain. While bike straps are working to gain popularity (designed to keep your pant leg free of grease and outside the moving parts of your bike) the bike trails in the Monadnock Region need little marketing to prove their widespread success. We’d like to point you in the right direction.
The Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail is your perfect introduction to like minded recreational enthusiasts in the region. You will share the 21.5 mile trail with walkers, runners, and horseback riders (and the occasional black bear) in the summer. The trail is enjoyed by cross country skiers, snowshoers, dogsledders, and snowmobilers in the winter. Mountain bikes are recommended for cycling the trail as you make your way through asphalt, ballast, cinder, crushed stone, and dirt trail surfaces (though a gravel bike might just do the trick). Be aware that some sections become quite muddy after heavy rain. The trail was used by the Connecticut River Railroad in 1877 and taken over by the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1893. It ran its course serving industry until 1983, It now provides a beautiful recreational respite for locals and tourists alike. You will bike past abandoned mills, covered bridges, historical landmarks, and quaint New England towns. What a day! (don’t forget to snacks)
The “Bike the Bridges” 12 mile loop in Swanzey is a sweet little road bike trip that will take you through four covered bridges, past the town hall (water and bathrooms available), and past Swanzey Historical Museum (where you can learn a little bit more about the town’s colorful history).
There are a lot of mountain biking trails to explore in the region including those at Mount Monadnock and Drummer Hill Conservation Area. You can reach the summit of the second most climbed mountain in the world by way of mountain biking (some have even made the trip with a road bike, but they would highly recommend a mountain bike in retrospect).
3. Apple Picking: You can pick your friends, you can pick your apples, and you can pick apples with your friends in New Hampshire. Amateur apple picking begins in late August at Alyson’s Orchard in the Monadnock Region. Peaches and blueberries are also available to pick starting in August. The way to your lover’s heart might be through their stomach. You can bake an apple or blueberry pie, after your picking adventure, and test the theory. You might need to call Alyson’s Orchard and make official arrangements to celebrate (depending on the quality of your pie of course). The orchard is well known for hosting beautiful destination weddings at five distinct ceremony sites. They are ready when you are ready to take that friendship to the next level.
There are several orchards, farms, and farm stands serving the region to explore including McLeod Orchards and Monadnock Berries. The blueberries, currants, and gooseberries are ripe for picking at Monadnock Berries and the farm opened for early season berry picking on July 10th this year! The berry farm also hosts destination weddings (better get to work on the gooseberry pie recipe if you know what’s good for you).
4. Fishing: You can enjoy some excellent fishing along the Connecticut River, tributaries feeding the river, lakes, and ponds throughout the region. Locals are very aware of the excellent fly fishing. The 27 mile long Sugar River runs through Sunapee, Newport, and Claremont before joining the Connecticut River. There is a section of the Sugar River in Newport reserved for fly fishing holding brook trout, rainbow trout, and brown trout. Many of the smaller lakes in the region prove very productive fishing for bass and perch. Fishing is popular on Spofford Lake, which produces quality small and largemouth bass, rainbow trout, and Northern pike. Lake Yellow Perch are fun to catch, tasty to eat, and are present in nearly all the lakes, ponds, and rivers in the region.
5. Kayaking & Canoeing: There are dozens of lakes and ponds to explore in the Monadnock region by kayak or canoe. The Monadnock Conservancy has partnered with landowners to preserve extensive shorelines throughout the region in their natural state. Thorndike Pond (a 265 acre pond) along with Whittemore Island (a 5.4 acre island accessible by boat in the pond) and Mountain Brook Reservoir in Jaffrey (a shallow marshy pond with exceptional views of Mount Monadnock) are a couple of house favorites. The reservoir is also popular with anglers, producing largemouth bass and yellow perch. The conservancy is a land trust that serves the towns in the region. They have successfully and permanently conserved 21,000 acres in the Monadnock Region since 1989 to the benefit and delight of the wildlife, flora, fauna, hikers, kayakers, canoeists, anglers, hunters, bicyclists, horseback riders, cross-country skiers, rock climbers, ice climbers, snowmobilers and snowshoers.
We are confident you will fall in love with the area. We look forward to helping you find your perfect home in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Contact Halliday Real Estate today!