Monday, May 20, 2013

Mount Monadnock

The Monadnock Region is a beautiful place to explore for several reasons.  There is something for everyone, but the highlight of the region may be the mountain whose name it bears. Monadnock is said to be the local Abenaki word for "mountain that stands alone" and from the top, it can be seen that few other large peaks are nearby.

Mount Monadnock is 3,165 feet tall.  While it may not seem very tall, as far as mountains go, it can be a challenge to climb and physically demanding.  But for someone who is prepared, it can be a very rewarding climb.  Many paths of various distances and grades all lead to the summit, where you can see in all directions for as far as the eye can see.  Pictured below are Jack and Eduardo (both 5 years old) with Gabriela (8), who are enjoying a well-earned picnic lunch.

Located in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, Monadnock is about a half an hour from the Bridges Inn, depending on the trail.  There are several trail heads, some of which are located within the State Park.  Park headquarters is located on a road between Route 101 in Dublin and Route 124 in Jaffrey.  On the Dublin side, it is called Upper Jaffrey Road.  From Jaffrey, it is Dublin Road, and headquarters are on Dublin Road.

The White Cross and the White Dot Trails run to the summit from headquarters.  Both trails are under four miles round-trip and considered to be strenuous routes to the summit.  Bald Rock awaits hikers, offering a glimpse at things to come.  Parts of the trail may require using your hands to climb.  This trail should give you a good work-out.

Just north of headquarters on Dublin Road, you'll find Gilson Pond.  The State campground is here, as well as the Birchtoft/Red Spot Trail.  This trail is three and a half miles, beginning quite gradually and then quickly ascending the mountain.

Over on Route 124 in Jaffrey, there is another State Park Ranger station.  It consists of a small shed and a parking area.  All of the State facilities will charge five dollars per adult.  This trail here on Route 124 runs past the site of a former hotel, so it is called the Old Halfway House Trail.  There is a network of trails; the main trail follows the white arrows.  It is three and a half miles to the summit and back.  Some people have hiked it in less than three hours.

The children in the photo hiked the white arrow/Old Toll Road, which may be the most popular trail.  The first half is easy because there is the option of a forested trail or a dirt road.  However, the second half quickly begins to start feeling like you are climbing a mountain.  The trail is mostly covered in boulders and stones, and some places are rather steep, but it is possible for those who push themselves.

The Dublin Trail is a little over four miles, running in a line up the mountain's north face.  Since it is not a State facility, there is no parking fee.  It is also a less crowded trail, which is important because Monadnock can be quite busy during the nice weather, especially on the weekends.  The Dublin Trail is moderately difficult, but worth the effort.  A small parking area can be found on Old Troy Road in Dublin, near Dublin Lake and Route 101.

Also ascending the mountain from the Dublin Lake area is the Pumpelly Trail.  It is the most challenging trail. The summit is four and a half miles, so it is nine miles round-trip and would take an entire day to hike.  The trail is noted for its views, particularly during foliage season, as well as interesting geological formations.  There is also a notable absence of other people.

Finally, there is the Marlborough Trail.  It can be reached from Route 124, on Shaker Farm Road in Marlborough.  Each way is a little over four miles, because the parking area is a distance from the base of the mountain.  There is a lot of tree and plant life to be seen, and rocks to be explored.

A stay at the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House coupled with a hike up Mount Monadnock makes for a memorable get-away.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Making Improvements - Coombs Bridge Room

Any building as big and old as the Whitcomb House, which was built in 1792, is always going to need something. When Susan bought it in November 2006, she knew there would be projects ahead, but what a journey it has been!

We have done extensive landscaping, repairs to the slate roof, painting inside and out, ceiling and floor repairs/replacement, a new bolier (furnace), plumbing enhancements, electrical upgrades, re-wallpapering the double parlor, and the list goes on. A winter project involved washing and repairing windows of which we have about 60!

In the Coombs Bridge Room, in addition to repairs to the windows -- replacing glass, repairing wooden frames and sashes -- we hung new wallpaper. The general consensus is that the room is cheerier now.

Our guests love the light, welcoming appearance!

Cozy wicker table and chairs with coffe maker, complimentary bottled water, chocolates, etc.
This is not new; just looks more inviting!
BEFORE - This is how Coombs used to look, shown with bathroom

AFTER - This is how Coombs looks now, shown with bathroom    

Consider a stay in the Coombs Bridge Room. All our rooms and rates can be found on our website