The 50 mile Wantastiquet-Monadnock Hiking Trail (WMT) can now be hiked over its whole length from Brattleboro, VT to Mt. Monadnock, NH. Well-known public lands along the trail include the Mt. Wantastiquet, Bear Mt., Pisgah and Mt. Monadnock State Parks, the Horatio Colony Preserve, the Cheshire Rail Trail, and the Forest Society's Gap Mountain and Monadnock Reservations and the Madame Sherri Forest.
The WMT is the culmination of 25 years of planning, negotiations and trail building begun by members of the Chesterfield Conservation Commission and the park staff and Friends of Pisgah Park. The Wantastiquet-Monadnock Trail Coalition, the enlarged group now overseeing the trail, also includes the Forest Society, the State of New Hampshire, the Swanzey Rail Trail Advisory Committee, Antioch New England, Colony Memorial Trust, the City of Keene, the Monadnock Conservancy, Pathways for Keene and the Southwest Regional Planning Commission.
***NOTICE, 8/14/2020: The "South Trail" on Gap Mountain and the South Trail Parking Area on Gap Mountain Road in Fitzwilliam are currently CLOSED for forest management activity. The "North Trail" on Gap Mountain, and the North parking area on Bullard Road in Jaffrey remain open. Please respect this trail closure for your safety and that of the timber harvest crew.*** This notice will be updated once the forest managmeent activity is complete.
Bypassing Trail Closure on Gap Mt.
The MM and WM Trails will be closed for roughly two months starting in mid-August 2020. The following describes a bypass that through hikers could use.
For through hikers, the best approach would be to avoid hiking Gap Mountain and circuit the mountain as follows. From the junction of Rt 12 and Quarry Rd. the route below is about 5 miles as opposed to about 3 miles if you were able to cross Gap Mt. The mileages (approximate) given in parens are the distances from the junction of Rt. 12 and Quarry Rd in Troy.:
1. After passing through Troy, continue south on Route 12. Do not go up Quarry Road but continue on Route 12 for about a mile and then go left (East) on Gap Mountain Road (marked with a red street sign).
2. Follow Gap Mountain Road to the junction where the paved portion turns left to the South parking lot of Gap Mountain. (1.8 miles) Do not go left but continue straight onto the dirt road.
3. Continue on the dirt road past a house on the left and another house on the right. The road becomes a class 6 cart path at this point. Continue straight, down the hill to a junction with another old dirt cart path on the left just before the power line.
4. Turn left on this road. Although this road is not marked on Googlemaps, it will eventually connect to Cobleigh Hill Road. This is a rather pleasant walk on old roads, although it could be muddy at times. It will pass a small pond at the foot of Gap Mountain with nice views of its south peak.
5. After passing the small pond the old road climbs back up a small hill and will eventually pass a house on the left. The road improves to a graded gravel road at this point.
6. After passing the house the road heads down hill and intersects with Gap Mountain Road (3.8 miles) which is in Jaffrey. Go left here (North). This is another old cart path and may be muddy at times. This road heads generally uphill before crossing the height-of-land with Gap Mountain on the left. It then heads generally downhill and will eventually intersect with the MM and WM Trails where they cross the road. (5 miles). (To find the crossing, look for white blazes on the right going steeply up a bank beside the road).
If you miss the trail crossing, you will come out onto Bullard Rd. Do not retrace your steps but go immediately right into the Gap Mt. North Parking Lot where you can pick up the MM and WM Trails north (turn left when you reach the trail.)
Google Maps (and some other maps) do not show the section of road described above between Gap Mountain Road in Troy and Cobleigh Hill Road. It does exist, though, and makes for a pleasant walk if it is not too wet or buggy.
Currently, there is one shelter, the Dort Property off the Davis Hill Trail in Pisgah owned by the Friends of Pisgah, and two primitive campsites, one on the Draper Road outside the Beal's Trailhead in Pisgah and one off of High Street in Troy.
Please visit The Wantastiquet - Monadnock Coalition for directions. Campsites are shown on the maps. Questions can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org on the Wantastiquet-Monadnock Coalition website.