Gap Mountain Reservation

Troy/Jaffrey
1120 acres

Click here for a PDF with a map, and trail information.

The inside scoop…

(According to Dave) Gap Mountain is so-named for a prominent saddle or “gap” between its twin summits as seen from the west in Troy.

The key attractions at Gap are the stunning vista of Mt. Monadnock looming just to the north and the summer high- and low-bush blueberry crops ringing the open ledges of the north summit. Volunteer land stewards from the Forest Society periodically maintain the openings along the upper reaches of the trail to help sustain the blueberries.

The forest on Gap Mountain is a legacy of extensive farm pastures which formerly extended over the entire mountain, including the 1,862 foot summit. Today, the lower slopes of Gap Mountain are cloaked in second-growth forest of white pine and red oak. The remains of a former apple orchard can be found along the excellent hiking trail from the Jaffrey trailhead on the east, which crosses the historic stonewall-lined Gap Mountain Road.

Trail information

There are 3 summits on Gap Mountain. The south summit is wooded with no views. (The “gap” in Gap Mountain is between the south and middle summits.) Both the middle and north summits have excellent views of Mount Monadnock and the surrounding country.

Ascent from the North Parking Lot

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous
Round trip distance: 2.4 miles
Trail marking: white rectangles

From the North parking lot, it is a 2.4 mile round-trip hike to Gap Mountain’s north summit and back. This is a strenuous hike over steep terrain, so please be sure you have sturdy footwear and plenty of water. Follow the trail that leaves from near the kiosk, and almost immediately you will come to the Metacomet Monadnock/Royce Trail (white blazes). Turn to the RIGHT (west) here, making sure you are on the white blazed trail and follow the white blazes all the way to the summit of Gap Mountain. Be sure to turn left off the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail and back to the parking lot on your return trip.

Ascent from the South Parking Lot

Difficulty: Moderately Strenuous
Round trip distance: 2.6 miles
Trail marking: Yellow Rectangles from the parking lot to M/M trail, then White Rectangles to Summit

From the south parking lot, it is a 2.6 mile round-trip hike to Gap Mountain’s middle summit and back. This is a strenuous hike over steep terrain, so please be sure you have sturdy footwear and plenty of water. From the South parking lot, follow the yellow blazed trail 0.4 mile to where the trail merges with the Metacomet Monadnock Trail (white blazes). Continue straight ahead on the M/M trail, following the white blazes, emerging on the middle summit at 1.3 miles. If you wish to visit the north summit, follow the white blazes down into a swampy area and then back up to the summit (0.1 miles beyond middle summit). NOTE: On returning to the parking lot, remember to look for the yellow blazed trail to the parking lot on the left just after crossing the stream.

Recreational uses

Hiking, snowshoeing, dog walking, photography, gathering wild blueberries (in season). NO wheeled vehicles (trucks, ATVs, dirt bikes, and mountain bikes). No camping or fires permitted

What you'll find

Gap Mountain Reservation is leased to the State of NH and is managed as part of Monadnock State Park. At each parking area you will find a kiosk and a port-a-potty. Hiking trails are well marked.

NOTE: The Forest Society does not plow or guarantee access to this property or its parking areas during the winter.

Property history

Year of acquisition: 1973

Historical uses: During the 1930s and 1940s, a substantial part of the northerly portion of Gap Mountain, Carboni Pasture, was owned by a cattle and horse dealer. It was purchased with other adjoining land by investors who eventually incorporated themselves into the Gap Mountain Company.

Circumstances of acquisition:

The Gap Mountain Company initially planned to develop the mountain for 50 house lots and an exclusive ski tow, but eventually put the land on the market. In 1973 a dedicated group of local citizens formed the “Friends of Gap Mountain” (FOG) organization in hopes of preventing development of this land. They approached the Forest Society in 1973 and began the conservation process. Their fundraising efforts combined with a major gift from an anonymous donor enabled the Forest Society to purchase a 636-acre tract in 1974.

Later that year, a 110-acre tract spanning the south slope of Gap Mountain in Troy was donated to the Forest Society by Jane Fiske. Her father John Noble, a Boston lawyer and one of New Hampshire’s first conservationists, had purchased the property in the 1920s to prevent it from being developed into a hotel. To acknowledge his foresight in conservation, the land was designated in his memory as the John Noble Memorial Reservation.

In 1986 Albert Gins from New Jersey donated 40 acres – the top of one of the peaks of the mountain. The following year, John T. and Joan B. Tyler purchased 20 acres and subsequently turned them over to the Forest Society to add to the reservation. These generous donations, along with purchases of land, have brought the total size of the reservation to 1,160 acres.

We gratefully acknowledge the efforts of landowners and local citizens who have helped protect and preserve this gem of a property.

Directions

North Trailhead Parking

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Coordinates

N 42° 49' 46.13", W 72° 7' 53.51"
N 42° 49.769', W 72° 7.892'
N 42.82948°, W 72.13153°

click here for a larger map

South Trailhead Parking

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Coordinates

N 42° 48' 54.17", W 72° 8' 59.87"
N 42° 48.903', W 72° 8.998'
N 42.81505°, W 72.14996°

click here for a larger map

Updated

October 2010

About the Forest Society

Since 1901, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests has worked to establish permanent conservation areas and promote the wise stewardship of private lands. Supported by 10,000 families and businesses, the Forest Society is the state’s oldest and largest non-profit land conservation organization. For more information, visit our main web page at www.forestsociety.org.


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