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This great loop provides a quick ascent of Mount Monadnock, and a safe descent with beautiful views.

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3,128' 953 m


1,359' 414 m


1,805' 550 m


1,803' 550 m



Avg Grade (7°)


Max Grade (25°)

Dogs No Dogs

Features Birding · Views · Wildlife


This great hike to the peak of Mount Monadnock begins with a short direct hike to the peak on the White Dot Trail, then follows a less steep path down, enjoying beautiful views on the Pumpelly Trail and Cascade Link Trail.


Leave from the Park Headquarters and hike up a long, but steady first 0.8 miles of the White Dot Trail. Just after the turn off for Falcon Spring, the trail will hit a steep section of light scrambling as you climb across exposed rock face. At about 2,500 ft (1.25 mi), the trail will flatten back out for 0.3 miles before another steep portion of trail brings you to the peak of the mountain.

The top of the mountain is a great location to enjoy the 360 degree views while you eat your lunch and enjoy some people-watching.

On your way back down, you'll be following the Pumpelly Trail. The trail can be a little difficult to spot, but leaves the peak pretty much directly east (left of the trail you came from if you're looking back from the peak). Follow the trail over rocky terrain across the ridge for about 1.4 miles. You'll pass the Red Spot Trail (after 0.3 mi) and Spellman Trail (another 0.4 mi) on your right before reaching Town Line Peak (2884 ft; another 0.2 mi). 0.5 miles after Town Line Peak (for the total 1.4 mi) you'll make a hard right to join the Cascade Link Trail.

Follow the Cascade Link Trail down until it rejoins the White Dot Trail (you'll make a left back onto trail) which will take you back out to the entrance of the park.

History & Background

Fire on Monadnock - By 1800, farms had spread to the base and partway up the slopes of Monadnock. The first of two intense fires to burn over the mountain occurred around 1800, and may have been accidentally caused by a campfire or brush fire gone out of control, or by a lightning strike. As legend has it, a second fire was ignited by local farmers around 1820 to drive out the wolves that had been preying on sheep in the pastures around the base of the mountain (however, some historians doubt that the fire was set deliberately, as wolves had apparently already been extirpated from the area at the time). The fires raged out of control, sweeping away the forested slopes, and even incinerating the soil's organic matter. Subsequent rains washed the residual soils down to barren rock.

Philosophers - Over the years, a number of famous writers have been included among Monadnock's devotees. These include Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Each as a "seat" along Cliff Walk Trail.


Land Manager: Monadnock State Park

Shared By:

Ben Rosenberg with improvements by Ryan Tipple

Trail Ratings

  4.7 from 6 votes


  4.7 from 6 votes
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in New Hampshire


4 Views Last Month
3,741 Since Jun 5, 2018
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Looking north at the Pumpelly Ridgeline from the Summit of Mount Monadnock.
Mar 8, 2017 near Dublin, NH
Hiking white dot trail in Mt.Monadnock, NH. Steep and Rocky condition
Oct 13, 2019 near Dublin, NH
Looking east at the Wapack Ridgeline running along the horizon.
Mar 8, 2017 near Dublin, NH
Storm clouds rolling in from the north at Three Quarters Ledge on the White Dot Trail.
Mar 8, 2017 near Dublin, NH
Close to Monadnock summit.
Nov 1, 2020 near Dublin, NH
Gorgeous day on the White Dot trail
Sep 22, 2019 near Dublin, NH


Current Trail Conditions

Add Your Check-In


Feb 21, 2021
Alessandra Seiter
Jun 14, 2020
Mark Donelan
did white cross on way up instead of white dot 5.8mi — 6h 00m
Feb 23, 2020
Patrick Smith
5.4mi — 3h 24m
Oct 13, 2019
Chris Nelson
summited via white cross, went down via pumpelly and cascade link.......took the wrong turn and ended up going down 1/2 of birchtoft to hinkley and… 8.4mi — 6h 25m
Oct 12, 2019
Stefan Beyer
Sep 29, 2019
Stephen Chuang
Sep 8, 2019
Sim Dy
5mi — 5h 00m
Jul 5, 2019
Owen Hughes

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