Trip Report: Temple Mountain

A long walk in the woods.

Temple Mountain, Temple, NH. 2018-21-05. (Monday)

Via Wapack and Beebe trails. 

Approx 7 miles. 3 hours. 

75 dF, with negligible winds. Mostly sunny

It was a nice day. I’d spent a day hiking Owl’s Head, then ran a half marathon a couple days later. I’m planning on hiking the Twins and the Bonds later this week. So I wanted to be outside without completely courting a nasty overuse injury. Doing the Temple Mountain portion of the Wapack Trail felt like a smart idea.

For those unfamiliar, the trail runs north-south, from Mt Watatic in Ashburnham, MA to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield, NH — about 21.5 miles in total. High point is Pack Monadnock at 2,290 feet. It’s not a strenuous hike, but it has some very scenic outlooks, and for an afternoon picnic hike, you can’t go wrong. Indeed, with only modest effort, you can find yourself with a wonderful feeling of isolation and quietude.

I followed the Wapack trail out. Crossed over the “summit” of Temple mountain (know that it’s tough to visually figure out the high point), then Holt peak, before turning around at Burton peak. On the way back, made a slight detour onto the Beebe trail for the last 3/4 of a mile or so. Much of the trail crosses private lands, and for a significant portion, old stone walls edged the trail.

I’m glad I made the trip. I saw some things that I’ve never seen on a trail before. Certainly, the number of cairns was best described as “abundant” and their construction was creative, and occasionally, almost artistic. This is one where the pictures tell the story better than I can.

Balancing cairn.
These were pointless as navigation aids — the ledge was a dead-end, but wow, they looked cool.
Painted trillium.
Azaleas in bloom. (Rhododendron canadense)
Pack Monadnock, with remnants from the Temple Mountain ski area in the foreground.


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