Lovewell Mtn. via Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway

Mountain:  Lovewell Mtn. (2473')
Trail:  Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway
Region:  NH - Southwest  
Pillsbury State Park
Location:  Washington, NH
Rating:  Easy/Moderate  
Features:  Summit, views, ledges
Distance:  4.6 miles  
Elevation Gain:  925 feet (cumulative)  
Hiking Time:  Typical: 2:50  
Outing Duration:  Actual: 3:45   Typical: 4:30  
Season:  Spring
Hike Date:  05/05/2007 (Saturday)  
Last Updated:  05/09/2009  
Weather:  Clear, sunny
Author:  Dennis Marchand
Companion:  16 SDHers and 2 dogs

Route Summary   

  • Follow the white blazes up the rough jeep road.
  • After 0.9 mile the trail will turn left at a level area near the high point of the road; the jeep road continues straight, eventually coming out to East Washington Road in East Washington. So follow the white blazes and turn left through a gap in a stone wall.
  • After 2.1 miles from the start of the hike, there will be a spur path on the left leading to a spring and shortly thereafter will be a right-hand spur path that quickly leads to a southeast outlook.
  • At 2.3 miles you will reach the summit cairn and a USGS marker. There is a spur path to another view (not to be confused with the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway route which decends the other side of Lovewell Mountain).
  • Return via the same route.

Place         Split
Miles
     Total
Miles
Jct. Halfmoon Pond Road and rough jeep road (1548') 0.0 0.0
Left-hand turn to footpath 0.9 0.9
Lovewell Mtn. (2473') 1.4 2.3
Right-hand turn to jeep road 1.4 3.7
Jct. Halfmoon Pond Road and rough jeep road (1548') 0.9 4.6

 



 

Map of hike route on Lovewell Mountain (map by Webmaster)


View from Lovewell Mountain (photo by Sue Murphy) Trail Guide   

We hiked Lovewell Mountain, an easy/moderate 4.6 mile hike with an elevation gain of only 925 feet, even though the mountain is 2,473 feet. The book (50 More Hikes in New Hampshire by Daniel Doan and Ruth Doan MacDougall) estimates a time of only 3:15 hours; it's a good early season hike.

It's part of the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. This trail stretches 49 miles from Mount Monadnock to Mount Sunapee. It's a little different direction for us; it's not in the Whites. Lovewell Mountain is part of Pillsbury State Park and is in the little town of Washington, northwest of Hillsborough. It's a short hike and not a long drive so we were able to start a little later.

Sixteen dayhikers and two dogs had a good day in the woods. This is an out-of-the-way hike so we pretty much had the place to ourselves; we only bumped into three potentially new members. Nothing really special about this one but it was sooo good to get out again. It had a couple of view spots which meant two chances for lunch. At the summit we could see Mt. Washington's snowy top way off. We spent quite a bit of time gabbing at lunch, but still made it back down in about 3:45 hours.

Then we were off to a new favorite ice cream place. This was really special: Beech Hill Farm in Hopkington. It's on Rt. 9/202 about 6 miles west of Concord. They have over 60 flavors of ice cream, what to choose? They also have lots of animals to see and pet. They had baby goats, baby pigs, baby cows, rabbits, ponies, a strutting peacock in full splendor, and a female who could care less. Actually he was showing off more for us then her. I highly recommend this place.
 


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NH - Southwest







  Driving Directions   

Lovewell (photo by Sue Murphy) Lovewell Mtn. is located in Washington, NH and can be accessed from Rt. 31. Washington is a few towns west of Concord.

From Rt. 31 in Washington Village:
  • Turn east onto Halfmoon Pond Road at the Washington town bandstand (this is a right-hand turn when heading north on Rt. 31; a left-hand turn when heading south).
  • Follow Halfmoon Pond Road for about 2.4 miles (bear left at a fork with Mill St. and drive past the "dead end" sign). You will drive by Halfmoon Pond on the left.
  • Turn right onto a rough jeep road (Lovewell Mtn. Road) and park here.

There is limited parking at the jeep road. Park on the shoulder being sure not to block traffic on either the jeep road or Halfmoon Pond Road (although the jeep road is unlikely to have traffic). If there's no room to park there, you may have to backtrack 0.5 mile and park at Halfmoon Pond's boat launch area.

Other Notes   

It's possible to make a loop out of this hike by continuing over the summit of Lovewell Mountain and descending on the other side. After descending 3.2 miles from the summit (with a little bit of ascending mixed in), you will reach Halfmoon Pond Road... but you will still be 1.9 miles from your vehicle. Turn left and walk on the road to return to your starting point. Total mileage for this loop is 7.4 miles.

You can shorten the loop by about 1.4 miles if you spot cars. You can't drive all the way to the second trail junction (due to the road not being passable by vehicles), but you can get within a half-mile of the junction. So this would shorten the road walk and make an almost-loop of 6.0 miles.

Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail on Lovewell Mountain (photo by Sue Murphy)


About Pillsbury State Park   

Pillsbury State Park is located in Washington and Goshen, New Hampshire. In three separate parcels, it covers about 8,000 acres spanning forested areas, low mountains, and nine ponds.

Lucia's Lookout (2493') and Lovewell Mountain (2473') both offer good viewpoints and the 49-mile Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway trail passes through the park. The park offers a nice network of hiking trails, some Pond at Pillsbury State Park (photo by Mark Malnati) of which are also used by mountain bikers and snowmobilers.

The many ponds and wetlands make for great wildlife viewing, notably moose, beaver, and loons. Fishing and paddling are allowed on the ponds and canoe rentals are available in season. The park offers 40 primitive campsites scattered around the ponds with two being accessible only by boat; plus there's one backcountry site – Moose Lookout Campsite – along the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway. In the late 1700's and early 1800's the area was called Cherry Valley and overgrown mill sites and cellar holes can be found in the park.

The park's entrance is located on Route 31 in Washington, New Hampshire. In season a fee is charged and the gate will be open enabling you to drive on the access road to Mill Pond, most of the campsites, and a couple picnic areas. The park may be used during the off-season but the gate to the access road will be closed. The park is open roughly from Memorial Day through Columbus Day.

Pillsbury State Park
PO Box 1008
Washington, NH 03280
603.863.2860

About Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway   

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway is a 49-mile hiking trail that runs between Mount Monadnock and Mount Sunapee. It is located in southwestern New Hampshire and traverses mostly rolling hills and ridges that divide the Connecticut and Merrimack River drainages.

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway route was laid out in 1921 by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The trail runs through three New Hampshire state parks, and over 80 private land owners voluntarily agree to host the trail, and in some cases, campsites on their land.

A few favorite dayhikes on the Greenway are climbing Mount Monadnock, hiking through the Andorra forest at Pitcher Mountain, or moose watching in and around Pillsbury State Park. There are five campsites along the Greenway for those thru-hiking the entire trail; it normally takes 3–4 days to complete the full length.

Hiking trails should always be respected, but this is especially essential when private lands are involved because landowners can revoke trail-use privileges at any time. Leave no litter, pick up any litter you see left by others, stay on the trails, and don't light campfires (portable stoves are okay).

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club (MSGTC) was formed in 1994. The club's mission is to continue trail maintenance efforts, support the volunteers and trail adopters, and promote awareness of this beautiful, remote, well-kept secret.

You can purchase the latest edition of The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Guide, (which includes a map) or just map from the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Club.

The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway connects to the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail to the south which in turn connects to Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails in Connecticut further south. The linked trails collectively cover about 240 miles running from Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire south towards Long Island Sound in Connecticut.

About Metacomet-Monadnock Trail   

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail starts in Rising Corner, Connecticut near the Connecticut/Massachusetts state line and runs north for 114 miles. It traverses Massachusetts, and dips up into New Hampshire, ending at the summit of Mount Monadnock.

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail was originally laid out by the late Professor Walter M. Banfield of the University of Massachusetts starting in the late 1950s. It made use of abandoned farm roads and existing hiking routes as well as blazing new trails.

Metacomet-Monadnock Trail leading over Mount Grace (photo by Webmaster) Portions of the route on Mount Monadnock and the Holyoke and Mount Tom Ranges date back as far as the 18th century. Early trail building was supported by various summit resort hotels, popular in the 19th century. Such resorts once stood on Mount Holyoke, Mount Nonotuck, Mount Tom, and Mount Monadnock (at the Halfway House site). Most of them had burned down or had became defunct by the early 20th century and never recovered.

Despite being easily accessible and close to large population centers, the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail is remarkably rugged and scenic and passes through some of the prettiest landscapes in Western Massachusetts.

The route includes many areas of unique ecologic, historic, and geologic interest. Features include waterfalls, dramatic cliff faces, exposed mountain summits, woodlands, swamps, lakes, river flood plain, farmland, and historic sites.

The trail is blazed with white painted rectangles on trees and rocks and supplemental white, metal, diamond-shaped signs affixed to trees and poles at road crossings and other trail intersections.

Much of the trail is considered easy hiking, with sections of rugged and moderately difficult hiking along the Holyoke and Mount Tom Ranges and on Mount Monadnock.

There are several primitive lean-to's and campsites, and a few campsites with facilities along the trail, but camping is discouraged in many areas. Campfires are generally prohibited, except in established fire rings in state park campgrounds.

A complete guidebook with topographic maps is published by the Appalachian Mountain Club.

The Metacomet-Monadnock Trail connects to the Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway to the north and to Metacomet and Mattabesett Trails in Connecticut to the south. The linked trails collectively cover about 240 miles running from Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire south towards Long Island Sound in Connecticut.

More Pillsbury State Park and Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail Reports   

 
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