Since 1990 the dream of a hiking trail from Mt. Wantastiquet, across the river from Brattleboro, to Mount Monadnock,near Dublin, NH, has been pursued by a small group of dedicated hikers. Beginning with the Ann Stokes Loop, completed in 1999, major links have been completed. It is now possible to hike from Brattleboro to Pisgah Park and from Pisgah Park to Keene. Pisgah itself is a mecca for hikers, skiers and snowshoers in the tri state area. The sections of the trail from Keene to Monadnock and Pisgah to Monadnock are still “in process”. Maps of the smaller contributory trails, as well as maps of the Brattleboro-Pisgah, through Pisgah and from Pisgah to Keene are found in this section.
Mine Ledge and Mt. Wantastiquet Trails
Indian Pond on the Ann Stokes Loop is connected to the Connecticut River and downtown Brattleboro by the Mine Ledge and the Mt. Wantastiquet Trails. The Mine Ledge Trail goes right off the Ann Stokes Loop Trail at the point where Indian Pond comes into view. A short distance up this trail a left turn will bring the hiker to a rock ledge on the pond, one of the true beauty spots in southwest New Hampshire. The trail up onto the ridge from this point is steep and features loose and slippery rocks. Care should be taken in this section. After about a quarter of a mile the trail flattens out for trek along the ridge. After less than a mile the trail swings right and dips down into the col between the ridge and the summit of Mt. Wantastiquet. At this point great care must be taken when close to the cliffs to the south of the trail. Down into the col and up to the summit is an additional 15 or 20 minutes.
The Mt. Wantastiquet Trail follows the gravel road, quite rough in places, for about two miles downhill to a parking lot at the end of the travel section of Mountain Road (which comes in from the south). Following mountain road down to Route 119 and then a right turn across the bridges brings one to downtown Brattleboro at the Brattleboro Co-op in about 10 minutes.
These sections of the trail can be seen as the trails on the Pisgah-Brattleboro map to the west of Indian Pond.
Bear Mt. Trail and Bear Mt. Connector
The connecting link on the Wantastiquet-Monadnock Trail from Pisgah Park to the Daniels Mt. Loop at Moon Ledge goes over, from east to west, the Bear Mt. Trail and the Bear Mt. Connector. To connect with the Bear Mt. Trail from the Kilburn Trailhead at Pisgah Park (3.4 mi. south of Chesterfield and 3.9 mi. north of Hinsdale) one must follow Route 63 north (right) about 150 yards to an old road leading into the woods (signed). Follow this old road, using care to take a sharp right turn a short distance up the road to avoid a family cabin. Take a sharp right as you re-emerge unto the old road and continue following the road. The trail bears left off the old road and at 0.3 mi. crosses a snowmobile trail at an angle and continues west. Upon reaching a hemlock grove one sees the blue marks indicating the State of New Hampshire Bear Mt. Forest. Shortly thereafter there is a west view with a bench provided. The trail goes briefly south and uphill before again turning west and descending into a small ravine. Follow this ravine south and shortly begin a short ascent to the west, crossing the Bear Mt. height-of-land in open hardwoods at 0.8 mi. It then descends northwest, gradually at first, and then more steeply, into a ravine. The trail bears left at the top of a steep rocky drop, descends into a second ravine, crosses a stream, and turns right on an old road. It descends moderately, re-crossing the stream, and at 1.3 mi., shortly after another stream crossing, it turns sharply left and descends by switchbacks to the crossing of a large strea. It turns left on an old road, then bears right and descends to Plain Road at 1.6 mi; the Bear Mt. Connector leaves from the west side of Plain Road.
The Bear Mt. Connector can be reached by road from Hinsdale (4.6 mi.) by taking a right onto Plain Road at the blinking light just west of the center of Hinsdale. The trailhead can also be reached from Route 63 in Chesterfield by going west on North Hinsdale Road. The latter road is closed in the winter for much of its length.. From the parking spot the trail ascends north and west to an old road at 0.1 mi, turns right on this road and shortly bears left uphill through a logged over area. It swings to the west and ascends, steeply at times, to the left of cliffs above. At 0.3 mi. a switchback around a rock outcrop requires caution. At 0.5 mi. the grade eases briefly before resuming the steeper climb to a shoulder of Daniels Mt. A short walk through a grassy scrub oak forest leads to the Daniels Mt. Loop. The Moon Ledge viewpoint is immediately to the left at this point.
These sections of the trail can be seen on the "Western Sector Map" just to the west of Pisgah Park.
|Wantastiquet-Monadnock Greenway and Trail (Western Sector Map)|
|Wantastiquet-Monadnock Greenway and Trail (Keene Connector Map)|