From the peak of Mount Monadnock, the foliage rolls down to the 40-odd towns and villages surrounding it. Learn more, plus our picks for the region’s best scenic route, photo op, fun for kids, and where to eat and shop.
By Yankee Magazine
Aug 13 2018
With Mount Monadnock looming in the background, the lovely little town lake in Dublin is too tempting a picture to pass up.Photo Credit : Dave White
For those of us who live in the southwestern pocket of New Hampshire, we know we’re home when we see our mountain, our Monadnock, on the horizon. It rises only 3,165 feet, modest enough compared with many in the Whites, or Maine’s Katahdin. Yet Monadnock’s prominence stems from what’s not around it. It stands alone, with no other geological formation to distract the eye—it’s an only child who receives undivided love. Each year, some 125,000 hikers scamper up its well-worn trails. They come in part because Monadnock is accessible (Boston is only 65 miles away), but also because of what they’ll see: On clear autumn days, the view takes in all six New England states in one single, circling gulp.
From the peak, the foliage rolls down to the 40-odd towns and villages that claim kinship with Monadnock while offering beauty on a smaller scale: a lush center green in Hancock, a lively general store front porch in Harrisville, a sloping field of apples in Walpole. Just beyond lies a wealth of streams, lakes, ponds, waterfalls, and tree-lined back roads connecting other tree-lined back roads. Nature is not something one goes to in the Monadnock Region, like some exhibit. It’s there, embedded in the very fabric of life. If you come here, do what the locals do: Take your time, drive slowly, stop often. When you do, chances are you, too, will discover the secret of Monadnock’s hold. —Ian AldrichLearn more in “Peak Perfection,” our guide to where to find peak foliage color in New England from mid-September until the end of October.
Scenic Route Follow the 1.3-mile toll road up the other Monadnock—Pack Monadnock, in Peterborough—and soak up the 360-degree panorama you’ll find at the top. nhstateparks.orgPhoto Op Route 124 between Marlborough and Jaffrey offers a stop-the-car view of Monadnock.Refueling Stop Duck into the Harrisville General Store for a coffee, or sit down to a grilled cheese with tomato and the most delectable kale salad you’ve ever tasted. harrisvillegeneralstore.comFun for Kids At Alyson’s Orchard in Walpole, pick-your-own apples, wagon rides, and freshly made cider are all a part of the family-friendly itinerary. alysonsorchard.comShopping Break Crafters, artisans, foodie stops, and one impeccable bookstore round out the scene in downtown Peterborough’s Depot Square. shoppeterboroughnh.com