Friends of the Wapack -
Frequently asked Questions
We'll be posting more FAQs. If you have a question
that is not answered here, please email us at
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- Is camping allowed along the Wapack
- I've heard of the "Wapack
End-to-Ender" hike. Can you give me more details?
- Are dogs allowed on the trail?
- What are the policies on other trails
in the area regarding dogs?
- Are mountain bikes or ATV's allowed on
- Could you please provide directions to
the Mt. Watatic trail head?
- What are the directions to the
northern trail head in Greenfield?
- What are the directions to the Route
124 trail head in New Ipswich?
Camping on the Wapack Trail
The Wapack Trail is primarily a day-use footpath.
There are a few primitive shelters, and some tenting areas, about at the
halfway point, on the property of Windblown Ski Touring, on Rte. 124 in New
Ipswich. To camp there, you have to make a reservation with the landowner,
and pay a small fee. The landowner is Al Jenks (603-878-2869). Al is a great
supporter of the Trail and the Friends of the Wapack.
Camping is not allowed officially in any other place
along the Wapack Trail. Much of the land the Trail crosses is private land.
Most Wapack landowners do not permit fires, camping, etc. We pride ourselves
on our excellent relationships with Trail landowners.
Unfortunately, some hikers do not abide by the usual
Trail courtesies. Wapack work crews have had to clean up and disassemble
fire rings and other structures cobbled together by illegal campers in
various locations along the Trail. Historic stone walls have even been
disassembled to build fire pits! We mention this because it shows what some
of our landowners are up against, and why some are wary of campers.
There was an old very tumbledown "shelter" on the
south face of Mt. Watatic (near the summit) for several years, but it was
increasingly trashed by party-ers, and was torn down in conjunction with the
(now-defunct) tower-building project on Watatic. We mention this only
because the shelter is listed in some old hiking guides and trail
Some Wapack hikers choose to leave a car at a
more-or-less halfway point (such as on Rte. 124 near Windblown), drive over
to stay at Monadnock State Park campground in nearby Jaffrey (603-532-8862),
and resume their hike the next day. Other options include staying at one of
the privately owned campgrounds and several bed-and-breakfasts and inns in
the region. Check the yellow pages, or listings on the www:
Once or twice each year, a small group of intrepid
Wapack hikers does the famous "end-to-ender" of the Trail -- the whole
Trail, one way, in one day. Check our calendar page
for the next hike, contact Tom Brumaghim (603-878-6167) for
details and plans
for future end-to-enders.
Dogs on the Wapack Trail
The Wapack Trail is composed of a "patchwork" of
ownership/management -- state, federal, private. For the protection, safety
and comfort of other hikers, the protection of wildlife, and simple
courtesy, all dogs should be under leash control at all times when on or
near the Trail. Some parts of the Trail may restrict dogs entirely, or place
other controls on their presence or activities. If you plan to hike with
your dog, contact the responsible agencies to learn their current policies
The northern part of the Trail, The Wapack National
Wildlife Refuge, is managed by the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge. Dogs are allowed,
but must be on leash at all times. Contact is:
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge
Graham Taylor - Refuge Manager
6 Plum Island Turnpike
Newburyport, MA 01950
Between North and South Pack is the Joanne Bass Bross
Preserve, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. A very small part of
the Trail runs through the Bross Preserve. For information on Preserve
rules, call the NH Chapter of The Nature Conservancy in Concord:
The area around South Pack Monadnock Mountain is part
of Miller State Park, managed by the State of NH. Dogs are permitted, but
must be on leash at all times. There is an on-site park manager during the
summer months. For details, call miller State Park directly (603-924-3672)
or State Parks Headquarters in Concord (603-271-3556).
Continuing South is the Temple
Mountain State Reservation, formerly Temple Mt. Ski Area. Dogs are
permitted, but must be on leash at all times.
In New Ipswich, the Trail runs through several tracts
of privately owned land. Call the landowners for their policies on dogs on
their property. Major landowners include:
Hampshire Country School: (603-899-3325).
Windblown Cross Country Ski Area: Owner is Al Jenks (603-878-2869).
The area around Binney Pond in New Ipswich is a NH
State Forest. Call the NH Dept. of Fish & Game (Public Affairs Dept.,
Concord: 603-271-3211; Region 4 Office, Keene: 603-352-9669) for their
Near the summit of Mt. Watatic, at the southern end of
the Trail, is the Watatic Mountain Wildlife Area, owned and managed by the
Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife. The summit of Watatic and
some surrounding land is owned by Massachusetts Department of Environmental
Management (DEM), Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the
Ashby Land Trust and the Ashburnham, Conservation Trust. There are no
regulations excluding dogs from the Watatic Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary or
other Mass. Wildlife properties. Courtesy and common sense should be applied
by dog owners with respect to other trail/property users and the wildlife
inhabiting the area. Contact the MA DFW
for their current policies on dogs.
Bill Davis, District Wildlife Manager
Central Wildlife District
Division of Fisheries and Wildlife
West Boylston MA 01583
508-835-3607; Fax: 508-792-7420
Much of the rest of the Trail is privately owned,
and/or managed under Trail easements (under NH Municipal Trails Act
provisions) held by the towns through which the Trail passes. Some
landowners own fairly large parcels and discourage many kinds of activities
on their lands. The wishes of private landowners should always be respected,
insofar as they are known. If they are not known, a conservative (and
courteous) approach is called for.
We at Friends of the Wapack are dedicated to
preserving and enhancing our ongoing relationships with all our Trail
landowners. Therefore, we ask that you be extremely conservative and
courteous in all your uses of the Trail, and in your decision to hike with
Play it Safe
Hiking with your dog is fun -- and good exercise for
both of you. But if Rover's been lazing around for months, his only exercise
a stroll to the food bowl and a brief daily walk, don't just strap a
doggy-pack on him and expect him to scale mountains. Take it slow! Start
with short excursions around the neighborhood before tackling the Wapack.
Before taking your dog on any outdoor excursion,
including a walk on the Wapack, make sure he's welcome. Wherever you're
headed outdoors with your dog or other companion animal, always call ahead
to the appropriate federal, state or local government agency, or landowner,
to make sure your animal is welcome. For your animal's safety, and the
health and safety of wildlife and other visitors, always be prepared to keep
your pet leashed at all times.
Come prepared to clean up after your dog. Bring a
pooper-scooper and supply of plastic bags.
Always be sure your dog is welcome before you go.
Never leave your dog in a parked vehicle while you hike. Temperatures in a
closed vehicle can soar to dangerous levels quickly, even with the windows
Never count on finding safe, drinkable water on any
trail, including the Wapack. Always carry plenty of fresh water for both you
and your dog. Take frequent water breaks to make sure you and he stay
properly hydrated. Watch for hot surfaces (like exposed rocky ledges) that
can cause painful burns to sensitive paw pads. After your hike, inspect your
dog's paw pads for injuries, and check him thoroughly for ticks.
Hiking with your dog elsewhere in the
Monadnock State Park (603-532-8862): No dogs allowed
at any time on trails or in Park.
Greenfield State Park (603-547-3497): Day use: no dogs
allowed. Campground: Dogs must be on leash at all times, and never left
unattended in any vehicle, campsite or other location.
Mountain bikes and other wheeled
The Wapack Trail is a footpath. It is not appropriate
for use by wheeled or motorized vehicles of any kind. The tread way is
fragile and easily damaged by wheels of any kind. Damage made in a moment
can last for years, causing severe erosion and serious damage to fragile
plant and animal species. Most, if not all, of the federal and state
agencies, and private landowners who own the Trail land, do not permit
wheeled vehicles to traverse the Trail across their lands. Please respect
their wishes, and respect this historic, fragile Trail's integrity as a
Walk softly. Listen. Observe. Carry out everything you
carry in. Take only pictures -- and your memories.
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