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Mount Monadock
Media Lab member Nate Newton on location at Talcott Mountain - Photo by Sarah Krauss
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Mount Monadnock located in Jaffery, New Hampshire summits at 3,165 ft. Each year approximately 120,000 people hike the mountain making Monadnock one of the most climbed mountains in America. Atop the summit during ideal weather conditions one can see segments of all six New England states with a 100 mile visibility in every direction. Monadnock has 34 maintained trails for visitors, although it is speculated that there might be twice that many of either closed or unmaintained trails. Famous Transcendentalists like Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson admired the mountain and had hiked it frequently. The hike begins at the visitors center where trail maps and other hiking information are made available. The well marked and preserved trails coupled with a friendly and knowledgeable park ranger staff ranks Monadnock as one of the more favorite hikes. www.hikesafe.com www.nhstateparks.org 

The Fall 2009 Media Lab Staff's first Outdoor Enthusiast trip was to Mount Monadnock in Jaffrey, New Hampshire. We met up with Park Manager, Patrick Hummel, who led us up the White Dot Trail to the summit. According to Patrick, the White Dot Trail is the most direct route to the summit and is the most climbed trail in the park. It has an 1800 ft. elevation and is two miles long. On our trip, Patrick explained the sights, sounds, and smells of the trail as well as his duties, park regulations, and park projects. In December of 2008, an ice storm devastated the park. Patrick was in charge of cleaning up the trails in time for visitors. Patrick took us to a portion of Cascade Trail, his favorite trail, where white birches used to line a small, secluded trail. The trail was littered on all sides by fallen trees. Patrick said he was saddened that the area was not how he remembered. After two or three hours hiking, we were at the foot of the summit where we made a stop so that Patrick could assist a high school student who had twisted her ankle. After Patrick returned, we continued on to the summit. Despite the wind and the haze, the views of the fall foliage were breath taking. Patrick pointed out the surrounding ridges and other landmarks in the area. All together, the trip was rigorous yet rewarding. Mount Monadnock is definitely worth visiting for its challenging terrain and beautiful visitas. -Julia Kwon

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