Wapack Trail – Pack and North Pack Monadnock

On a misty October morning, we caught the last glimpses of fall on the Wapack Trail to Pack Monadnock and North Pack Monadnock in Southern New Hampshire.


Elevation Gain
0 ft


Segment Distance

Total Distance

Route Description

0 mi0 miStart at Miller State Park
1.4 mi1.4 miWapack Trail to the summit of Pack Monadnock
2.3 mi3.7 miWapack Trail to the summit of North Pack Monadnock
1.2 mi4.9 miCliff Trail to Wapack Trail
1.8 mi6.7 miWapack Trail back to the summit of Pack Monadnock
1.4 mi8.1 miMarion Davis Trail back to the parking lot


Note: Map mileage does not match stats because Gaia GPS tends to undercount it. Mileage stats were calculated using NH State Parks trail map.

Hiking Pack and North Pack Monadnock

Hike Date: October 24, 2020

This out and back hike along the Wapack and Cliff trail was pretty moderate and really beautiful. Only an hour and a half away from Boston, we got to the trailhead at Miller State Park around 10am. Due to limited parking availability, you need to make reservations in advance or risk being turned away. Parking was $4 per person for the day, plus a $1 online processing fee.

There are two trails that lead to the summit of Pack Monadnock: Wapack Trail (yellow blazes) and Marion-Davis Trail (blue blazes). The Wapack Trail is steeper and rockier and the Marion-Davis Trail is more mild and gradual. We opted to take the Wapack Trail up and Marion-Davis Trail down.

Start of Wapack Trail in Miller State Park
Rocky section of the Wapack Trail

The Wapack Trail started off pretty rocky and steep. However, the rocky sections were not long and the incline was not sustained. We enjoyed some flatter sections and an overlook with a view of the valley. It really felt like late fall. Most of the leaves had fallen off the trees and the ground was carpeted in brown, yellow, and red leaves. As we kept ascending, it turned even more misty and cloudy, making the forest feel secluded, magical, and as one hiker said to us on the way, enchanting. Although this way up is “harder,” we liked it much more than the Marion-Davis Trail.

View along the Wapack Trail
Fall leaves covering the trail
Close the the summit of Pack Mondadnock
Enchanted forest in the mist

At the summit, there is a fire tower open for climbing, bathroom facilities, picnic tables, and a parking lot for those who opt to drive up – you can make reservations for that also. The dense clouds made searching for views futile, so we kept on hiking on the Wapack Trail over to North Pack Monadnock hoping the sun would come out on our way back.

Summit area of Pack Monadnock

There were hardly any people on the stretch from Monadnock to North Pack Monadnock and we loved the solitude this section brought. We meandered through some gently undulating terrain. On this section of the Wapack Trail, we left Miller State Park and entered the Wapack Wildlife Refuge.

North Pack Monadnock is on a loop that you can access by continuing on the Wapack Trail or taking the Cliff Trail. When we got to this juncture, marked by a large cairn and a sign, we decided to stay on the Wapack trail to the summit and return via the Cliff Trail. After the juncture, the landscape changed. No longer did we walk amongst the falling leaves, but instead amongst small pine trees and mossy rocks.

Entering Wapack Wildlife Refuge
Wapack Trail close to North Pack Monadnock
Trail juncture for Wapack and Cliff Trails

The summit of North Pack Monadnock is marked by a very large cairn. It was fairly crowded here due to hikers who did a shorter route up to this peak, but luckily there were plenty of open rock spaces to sit and relax on. We ate lunch and then took the Cliff Trail back to the Wapack Trail. Along the Cliff Trail, about 0.5 miles from the summit, we passed by one ledge with sweeping views of the valley. 

Summit cairn on North Pack Monadnock
Views from the Cliff Trail

We continued back to the Wapack Trail and made quick time back to Pack Monadnock. The weather improved and the clouds started to part, so we paused at the Joanne Bass Bross Memorial Scenic Outlook, just before the Pack Monadnock Summit and caught a pretty view. Grateful for this change in weather, we headed up to the summit and caught a quick view of what was covered in clouds just hours before.

View from Joanne Bass Bross Memorial Scenic Overlook
View from the summit of Pack Monadnock

We headed down the Marion-Davis Trail to the parking lot. This trail was definitely more accessible and gradual than the trail up. However, the fallen leaves made the trail a little bit more slippery and hid some rocks to make for tricky footing. All in all, it was cloudy and misty, but still a beautiful day in the woods. 

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