Hiking/Camping Monadnock NH

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  1. #1
    HD333's Avatar
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    Hiking/Camping Monadnock NH

    We are camping in Mt Manadnock State Park NH this weekend. One of the other guys seems a little over the top so I thought I would try to get some opinions here.

    We are going with 5 families (12 kids 6-12 yrs).

    White Dot Trail seems like the best route up, can athletic 6 years olds who have hiked before do that? or should we take an alternate (longer) route to the top? Most of us have hiked before (nothing major) so we have an idea of what we are in for but this one guy is basically preparing us to climb Mt Everest.

    Also for camping will we be OK storing coolers in our vehicles overnight or do we have to hang food from a tree? Is there a true bear problem there?

    Thanks in advance.
    I Love Apres'

  2. #2
    any and all of those trails are fine for kids 6 years and up. I've hike with my then 3 year olds going most of the way on their own. I've found taking your time - with frequent water and food breaks works best. coming down or up the red dot trail is also an option - I general go up one of the white xxx trails and go down red dot or vice versa to keep it interesting. re: bear. I know there are definitely bear around but never seen one - came close on n. pack monadnock once - food in the car is fine IMO. Just clean up picnic tables in evening or otherwise, the chipmunks will have late night feast! have fun. there is a kimballs in jaffrey if you're a ice cream fan - good little bribe I use for hiking motivation purposes.

  3. #3

    Monadnock

    Quote Originally Posted by HD333 View Post
    We are camping in Mt Manadnock State Park NH this weekend. One of the other guys seems a little over the top so I thought I would try to get some opinions here.

    We are going with 5 families (12 kids 6-12 yrs).

    White Dot Trail seems like the best route up, can athletic 6 years olds who have hiked before do that? or should we take an alternate (longer) route to the top? Most of us have hiked before (nothing major) so we have an idea of what we are in for but this one guy is basically preparing us to climb Mt Everest.

    Also for camping will we be OK storing coolers in our vehicles overnight or do we have to hang food from a tree? Is there a true bear problem there?

    Thanks in advance.
    White Dot is 2 miles each way and 1800 vertical. Frankly, I think this or any trail on MM is too much for a 6YO. Having three kids myself, I think you'll have one tired and cranky 6-year old on the way going back down. I'd be looking for maybe a 2-mile round trip hike instead. You've also picked the busiest/most crowded trail on the hill.

    If your kid was maybe 8 or 9, I'd have no issues with this hike. What kind of hikes has the 6YO done before - give both distance and vertical and then I'll pass judgment on him.

    For teens and adults, any trail is fine. I think you might be better off splitting up the group if you are dead set on camping there. In my mind, North Pack Monadnock would be a far better choice for a six year old.

    Have you read this?
    http://www.qcc.mass.edu/brink/trav-r...mmsuggest.html

    As far as I know, there is no bear problem, food storage in cars should be fine.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Angus View Post
    any and all of those trails are fine for kids 6 years and up. I've hike with my then 3 year olds going most of the way on their own. I've found taking your time - with frequent water and food breaks works best. coming down or up the red dot trail is also an option - I general go up one of the white xxx trails and go down red dot or vice versa to keep it interesting. re: bear. I know there are definitely bear around but never seen one - came close on n. pack monadnock once - food in the car is fine IMO. Just clean up picnic tables in evening or otherwise, the chipmunks will have late night feast! have fun. there is a kimballs in jaffrey if you're a ice cream fan - good little bribe I use for hiking motivation purposes.
    If that's the case, I must have a wimpy family. I cannot imagine a 3 year old ascending 1800 vertical feet and back down under their own locomotion. For that matter a 6 year old. Goes to show everyone is different.
    Sent from my TACPOD (Tactical Airborne Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Pod) using Satellite TADIL J Alternate Gateway Controller (Alternate STGC) via Blackjack

  5. #5
    Maybe that's why when I ask them now - at 8 and 14 years old - to go hiking they tell me to jump in the lake! I've found that kids when properly motivated - hiking with other kids for example - can accomplish just about anything. Going down a mountain is actually harder - more balance is required - they're tired and less interested after reaching the summit.

  6. #6
    playoutside's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HD333 View Post
    ....
    Also for camping will we be OK storing coolers in our vehicles overnight or do we have to hang food from a tree? Is there a true bear problem there?

    ...
    My experience in NH with bears says coolers in a locked car with windows up is fine. Sounds weird, but cover the cooler with a towel or something...bears know what they are and have been known to go into cars where they see them. Perhaps more important is food smells, it's not just the good stuff in the cooler that will attract the bears.

    • Don't throw food scraps or used plates in the firepit...even if you are the biggest pyro around, the bears can smell the residual food.
    • No food at all in tents. Includes candy and other packaged stuff.
    • Any clothing that was worn while cooking should be kept out of tents too. Put it in the car.
    • Toiletries should be in the car too...bears have sought out toothpaste
    • Clean off the table and really pick up spilled food. This is more likely to bring out the raccoons, skunks and chipmunks, but a hungry bear will follow his nose.
    • Get rid of the trash each night or if you must store it in the car.
    Not saying this to scare you from the idea of camping, just be smart and odds are pretty strong you won't see a bear.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by billski View Post
    If that's the case, I must have a wimpy family. I cannot imagine a 3 year old ascending 1800 vertical feet and back down under their own locomotion. For that matter a 6 year old. Goes to show everyone is different.
    Depends on the child. My brother and I both made first acsents of Mondanock around the age of 3. By 5 or 6 I was probably climbing it 2-4 times a summer. Then again, I finished the White Mountain 48 4ks when I was 11. And I wasn't some super athletic kid either - I was actually rather chunky when I was 8-10 years old. I still hike often and I still love it. But I keep reminding myself that not ALL kids would find this activity as fun as I did. I keep this fact in mind when hiking with my own kids - my soon-to-be 8 year-old has not climbed it yet. I know my son and know that he wasn't ready for it. Maybe this year...

    That being said: If it were a group of adults I would suggest taking the Cascade Link as it makes a more circular trip up the mountain and as a result is much less steep. With kids, I'm more inclined to say stick with the White Dot or White Cross. They typically have lots of energy for the vertical but not much of an attention span for a longer, meandering route. There's more scrambling to do on these trails and a lot of kids seem to love that. I can remember descending the White Dot many times watching kids bound up the trail having a blast scrambling up the open slabs while the parents looked like they were wishing they took a more mellow route to the top. And the crowds can sometimes work to your advantage as it gives kids a distraction while climbing. Still, I've seen many a miserable child climbing that mountain in my years of volunteering up there so I would certainly suggest keeping an unbiased eye on them and turn the group around if they look like they're not having fun. They're not going to care if they made it to the top or not, so better to keep it fun.

    Lastly, the Spellman Trail is arguably the steepest trail on the mountain. I've climbed it several times and do not suggest using it to descend. Even if bad weather is approaching you will be better off going down the Red Spot.

    Good luck and have fun!
    You have to do the hard things in life sooner or later. -- Earl Hickey's Karma Guide

  8. #8
    HD333's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    We did White Dot up and White Cross down. We did not make the summit, it was a bit much for some of the kids. We stopped what seemed like every 10 minutes becasue someone needed a band aid or to let slower people catch up. We dicided to make our own summit at a spot with a nice view.



    After doing most of it I say a 6 year old who doesn't sit on the couch all day and is athletic and actully wants to hike (not everyone in our group) White Dot/White Cross is no problem. My kids were fine and if it was just us we would have gone to the summit.

    Bears: We left coolers in the car and had no issues.

    HD
    I Love Apres'

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