Trip Report: A hike up to New Ipswich Mountain

New Ipswich Mountain Mountain (1,880 feet). New Ipswich, NH. 2021-05-20 (Thursday.)

Via Wapack Trail. Approximately 7 miles round-trip.

80 dF at the trailhead, 80 dF at the summit. Winds were negligible. A bright, sunny day throughout. 

Trailhead: 1340. New Ipswich Mountain summit: 1545. Car: 1645. 

Flowers at my feet!  

This one’s going to be brief. I’m heading in to work this evening rather unexpectedly, so instead of having a good bit of time to reflect and then write, I’m a bit more rushed for time than that. 

That said, I gotta tell you about this hike! 

I saw no one all afternoon. Better than that, once I got about a mile in, there was astonishingly little to remind me that there were people within a couple miles of me. Period. Unlike the northern half of the Wapack, where you can generally see a farm somewhere nearby, or at the very least, you hear a lot of motor vehicles, most of this section just goes along through the trees, shielding you from all that. 

The one big outlook nets views of Grand Monadnock, as well as Stratton in Vermont, and even Greylock in Massachusetts. The rest of the time? I had a lot of birdsong to listen to, and the flowers are really coming out now. Lots of bluets, violets, and such. Several eastern tiger swallowtails and a few mourning cloak butterflies. Yeah, there were a few bugs, but also a couple really interesting cobwebs being illuminated in the sun. 

The trail itself is pretty easy going. There are no serious uphill sections, certainly no scrambling. Crossing the summit of Barrett Mountain, you’ll realize you’re going down a bunch more than you just went up. Yep, that’s all you’ll have to know you crossed the summit. It’s that easy going. A lot of walking on duff and leaf litter, a little bit of walking on stone. Near the start, it was a little muddy in a few short stretches, but overall, it’s pretty dry right now. And it’s very easy to get to, being just a few miles away from Pack Monadnock.

It’s a fine walk in the woods to have a lazy picnic lunch, with a stellar view that stretches into Vermont. I’m a bit surprised that I didn’t see anyone else enjoying this little secret. 

But all the same, I’m just as happy if it stays a little secret. 

As always, stay safe out there.

The kiosk is set quite a bit back from the road. Not as easily found as the section heading north up to Holt Peak.
Out of Focus Bluets!
Out of Focus Violets!
This garter snake was barely sitting still enough for me to photograph him, but it was clear he wasn’t happy about it. Get the shot and move along!
This is the junction where the various trails for the camping area meet up with the relocated section of the Wapack trail. To the left is private property!
Past the camping area, things get very quiet. You can easily forget you’re still very near civilization here.
Across the top in a few places, the underlying rock pokes through. Cairns are much more occasional than in other sections.
Monadnock, Stratton, and Greylock were visible today. A three state view!
Summit of New Ipswich Mountain. The sign is in the trees, just beyond these rocks.

Nuts and Bolts: From Nashua, head west via Route 101A. Continue on 101 west in Milford, and pass through Wilton and Temple. Once in Peterborough, turn left at the blinky overhead light, and follow Route 123 into Sharon. (There’s a blue sign pointing left for the Sharon Arts Centre.) Stay on 123 as it goes into New Ipswich. When you see the sign for “Windblown Camping” on the right, find the parking area for day hikers on the left. Note there is no day hiker parking allowed at the Windblown Camping facility. This is private property, so please be respectful. 

Trailhead will be up the driveway — bear right at most places where you have a choice. You’re taking a long, counter-clockwise path around the facility. There are occasional maps on signboards to illustrate your route. Blazes are yellow triangles, and quite abundant and usually obvious.

Find more info on the Wapack Trail at the Friends of the Wapack website. 

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