While I did have a blast solo-traveling in August, I find few things more enjoyable than traveling with friends and family. So with a great-weather, late-September weekend on the horizon, my girlfriend Sarah (my first friend, literally, we met at the playground when we were tiny tots!) and I planned a day hike in New Hampshire.
After doing some quick research and chatting about hikes with a few friends, we decided that Mount Monadnock was calling our names! Since Sarah lives in Boston, it made perfect sense for us to meet in Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where Mount Monadnock is located.
A picturesque Southern New Hampshire town, Jaffrey’s Main Street was lined with locally-owned shops and restaurants. We opted to meet at noon for lunch, which would give us enough time to hike afterward and would make it so that I didn’t have to wake up at the crack of dawn, as the drive from Stamford to Jaffrey is about a 3.5 hours.
J.P. Stephens offered the perfect pre-hike food. We shared the Rosemary Truffle Parmesan Fries (hello indulgence!) and Sarah had a chicken sandwich while I had the fish tacos.
After a quick chat with a park Ranger, who gave us a map of hiking trails and a bit of advice – “follow the white dots up and the white crosses down” – off we went!
Sarah and I immediately realized this “hike” would be much more challenging than expected, but we were up for it. Following the white dots we went, stopping every so often to
catch our breath admire the gorgeous scenery. 😉
The views were breathtaking, and it wasn’t even a super clear day, so of course we had to pose for pics! It was easy to see why this hike – though quite challenging – attracts hikers of all ages and abilities.
And just when we thought we couldn’t go any further, we reached the White Cross Trail, which would take us back down to the trailhead.
The descent was equally as beautiful as the ascent, and still challenging though not nearly as much. Had we not been in a race against the quickly-setting sun, I’m sure we would have taken it a bit slower and stopped more frequently to take in the views.
Just like during Charles’ and my hike into (and out of) the Grand Canyon, it was SO fun sharing such an intense physical challenge with a best friend. Conquering the mountain together was a blast, and although at times we didn’t think we could go any further, we DID – mostly with a smile on our face.
If you’re looking for a day hike in the Southern New England area, I highly recommend Mount Monadnock. We enjoyed J.P. Stephens but if you don’t feel like eating before or after, pack a picnic lunch – you’ll be able to enjoy it amongst spectacular scenery!