Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Wapack Trail...twenty-one miles of scenic beauty

The Wapack Trail may be one of the more under-rated hiking trails in the Monadnock Region and is a fantastic way to get out and enjoy our local scenery.  There are plenty of vistas looking out in every direction.

Four facts about the Wapack

  • At ninety plus years it is one of the oldest interstate trails in New England
  • Its twenty one miles long spanning more than nine peaks between New Hampshire and Massachusetts
  • There are seven miles of spur trails
  • The trail includes hiking through the defunct Temple Ski Area
There are brave souls who hike the entire twenty one miles in one day in early September.  For those of us not quite in such great shape...cough cough, we do it in sections :)  Paula and I often hike the most Northern section (that would be South Pack and North Pack) and it is a moderately challenging hike over two peaks.

Several weeks ago we decided to explore a little more of the Wapack and with our niece Casey and friend Paul we started in New Ipswich and hiked up the spur trail to Kidder Mountain.  Its a pretty easy three mile round trip hike that that only climbs 350' to the summit but the views at the top were quite nice and we did a little geocaching as well.

Then this past week Paul and I decided to get more ambitious and do a point to point hike on the Wapack starting at Berry Pasture Trail and then hike the ledges all the way to the base of Temple Mountain.  Its called Berry Pasture for a reason and when the blueberries are in season you can eat your way up the mountain.  This is also a trail that kind of smacks you in the face and makes you suck wind early.  800' of vertical in less than a mile is a pretty consistent upward climb.  Once at the top and heading North you are rewarded with views of Monadnock and a less intense path.

The last stop just before the old Temple Ski Area is an treeless area of bald rock sporting quite a few cairns and a handful of stone chairs to sit in and take a rest.

All in all this was an excellent hike and we have now covered about nine miles of the twenty one miles of Wapack but realize there is so much more to explore.  That's why this is such a great treasure to have here in Southwest New Hampshire.