The finish line of this years Run Across New Hampshire will be on the summit of Mighty Mount Monadnock. At 3,165 feet of elevation Monadnock towers above all other peaks, within a 30 mile radius, by more then 1000 feet and even garners its own treeline. The word “monadnock” originally comes from the Abnacki Indian language meaning “mountain that stands alone.” Because Monadnock “stands alone”, views from the treeless summit stretch far into the distance into surrounding states likeVermont and Massachusetts. Boston and the White Mountains are visible on a clear day.
Both Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau visited the mountain and wrote fondly of it. Emerson was a frequent visitor, and made the mountain the subject of “Monadnoc”, one of his most famous poems. Thoreau visited the mountain four times between 1844 and 1860 and spent a great deal of time carefully observing and cataloging natural phenomenon.
The earliest recorded ascent of Mount Monadnock took place in 1725 by Captain Samuel Willard and fourteen rangers under his command who camped at the top and used the summit as a lookout while patrolling for Native Americans. Before the practice came to be frowned upon, many early hikers carved their names in the summit; the earliest such engraving reads “S. Dakin, 1801” and is attributed to a local town clerk.
Notable “power hiking” records associated with the mountain include that of Garry Harrington who hiked to the summit sixteen times in a twenty-four hour period and Larry Davis, who claimed to have hiked to the summit daily for 2,850 consecutive days (7.8 years). Mount Monadnock is often promoted as the most hiked mountain in the United States as well as the second most hiked mountain in the world, with 125,000 hikers yearly, behindMount Fuji in Japan, with about 200,000 yearly hikers.
Founded in 1989, the Monadnock Conservancy is the only land trust dedicated exclusively to the 35 towns of the Monadnock Region. Every year the Conservancy helps the people of the Region protect hundreds of acres of forests, farms, wildlife habitat, shoreland, hiking trails, and more.