On Tuesday I decided to try a different way up Pack Monadnock, and explored the Raymond Trail. The Raymond Trail is located on Mountain Road past Cunningham Pond. There are two parking lots .25 miles from each other, they both offer the same hike that says its 1.6 miles each way but my GPS and Garmin Vivofit both said it was 1.9 miles.
I set out up trail shortly past 9am with Brady. We had just dropped Aubrey off at preschool and boy was she upset to hear we were going hiking without her, but as soon as she was greeted by her school friends she was over it. The trail was extremely wet and muddy. Good thing for gaiters because without them I am pretty sure my boots would have been filled with water more than once. I used some of my land steward training to clear out some of the leaves that were causing the water to pool up and help it run off the trail to help dry it up some.
The trail was very different than the other side of the mountain than I normally hike. I was please to see that a good portion of the trail followed a river and even featured a waterfall. After the waterfall and the trail parted ways it was a nice level section of open forest, I kept hoping to see a deer or rabbit off in the distance but I am sure they heard Brady and I coming and took off before we could see them. Then came the hard part, I would almost say it was harder than some sections of Mount Monadnock, there was a large area of rocks we had to scramble up. Grand Monadnock is mostly flat scrambles, but this looked like a giant had picked up a bunch of rocks and threw them haphazardly down the mountain. I eventually decided it would be best to let Brady walk off leash as I did not want to risk either of us falling and pulling the other one down. We had to hop from one rock to the next as we climbed up. I was happy when that section was behind us. The last short leg was an easy walk up the the lower section of the state park, an area I had never really checked out and I think is probably my favorite area now because not many people know about it. It featured a couple picnic tables quietly tucked away from the parking area. There was even a sign that labeled all the mountains within view. Mount Washington was listed, and I looked and looked but could not see it. I figured it would have been easy to spot since they had just gotten 38 inches of snow over the weekend breaking a record for the most snow in May. We took a break, and had our lunch before heading back down.
As we did, we met up with the trail volunteer, who asked me how the Raymond trail was, and I told him the condition and he promised to hike it soon and help clear the water off the trail. We headed back down the scrambles and down the trail. Only passing three people on our way. It was nice to hike and not see many others. The parking area wasn’t that busy either, there were only about 2-4 others who hiked up the mountain and another four cars that drove up.