Wapack Trail Guide Addendum, 2005


 

Several changes have been made to the Wapack Trail and adjoining trails since the first publication of The Wapack Trail Guide in 1991. This addendum references specific pages in the trail guide while describing these changes to the trails. The North to South Wapack Trail description in Chapter Four is not covered in this addendum.

Changes to Chapter Three
Hiking the Wapack Trail from South to North

Section One, MA 119 to NH 123/124

The route of the Wapack Trail remains the same throughout this section. However, the Midstate Trail has been rerouted. The Midstate Trail now coincides with the Wapack Trail over the summit of Mt. Watatic to the New Hampshire State line. The first paragraphs on page 39 describe the junction of the Wapack and Midstate Trails. The statement “The Midstate Trail continues straight (N) to the state line” now refers to the State Line Trail, which is blazed in blue and follows the old route of the Midstate Trail from this point north. Signs have been installed to clarify this juncture. All reference to the Blueberry Ledge Trail have been removed in the field because this trail has been part of the Wapack Trail for several years.

The Midstate and Wapack Trails now separate at the state boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire. This junction is described in the note on page 42 as “an interesting 10 minute side trip is to follow the stone wall left (W).” This 240 foot walk along a stone wall is now part of the Midstate Trail and takes you to the granite Midstate Trail northern terminus marker. It also connects with the end of the State Line Trail.

At the top of page 42 the guide book describes a loop back route “by turning left (W) on Nutting Hill Rd., which merges in 400 ft., with the Midstate Trail.” This left (W) turn now merges in 400 ft. with the State Line Trail.

Section Two, NH 123/124 to NH 101

There are two new features along this trail section worth noting. On page 53 a junction is described “where the private ‘Berry Pasture’ cross-country ski trail bears left (W).” This trail is no longer private, and is maintained by the Friends of the Wapack as a hiking trail. This newly re-routed Berry Pasture Trail descends over ledges and woods, crosses a stream, reaching a small field at 1.2 miles. This small opening is all that remains of what was an extensive commercial blueberry field. This spot provides a nice view of Mt. Monadnock. A logging road continues the descent for 0.5 miles to Mountain Road in Sharon. The trail is marked with blue blazes and trail signs at both ends. This property belongs to the New England Forestry Foundation.

It should also be noted that the Holt Peak area was extensively logged in 1994. The section of trail described on page 54 is now much more open. Beware of intersecting logging roads and watch for blazes at all times.

The route of the Wapack Trail has changed where it passes through the former Temple Mountain Ski Area. This section is described on pages 55 and 56 titled “Descending Through the Ski Area.” The ski area is now closed, and the chair lifts and ski trail signs have been removed. The approach of the Wapack Trail to the former ski slopes was moved in 2004 to the west. The trail now emerges on the ski slopes to the west of the communications tower. The trail continues straight down the west (W) side of this westernmost ski trail. Follow the yellow blazes on the trees along the western side of this open slope. The Wapack hiking trail no longer “diverges left (NW) into the woods”, but continues down the former ski slope, following the dirt used as an access road for the communications tower. After several yards the road turns left (W), passing below a large, jagged rock ledge. Watch for yellow blazes on the ledge face. A few yards past these ledges, you reach a level, open area. At this point the trail continues as described at the top of page 56. Note that the ski trail signs no longer exist. Follow the yellow triangles and Wapack Trail signs down the mountain to the gravel parking lots along NH Route 101.

Section Three, NH 101 to Old Mountain Rd., Greenfield, NH

The only major route change along this section is on the approach to the summit of Pack Monadnock. At the bottom of page 59 is stated that “At 17.3 mi., there is an important right (SE) turn, and the trail climbs to the auto road, reached at 17.35 mi.” This right turn no longer exists. Instead, the trail proceeds straight ahead through a wooded area, over open ledges where it intersects with the Red Dot Trail, and then proceeds to the summit parking lot, approaching from the west with a nice view of Mt. Monadnock. This approach is more gradual than the older route and safer at the summit than the sometimes busy and narrow auto road.

On page 61 the last paragraph states that “At a precipitous drop in the trail, a side path branches right (E) to a restricted outlook...” The trail no longer plunges down this “precipitous drop” and “steep, rocky, rooty slope.” Instead, it skirts to the right following a gentler route with switchbacks. Watch for a short path to a scenic outlook to the right (E). This outlook features a stone bench inscribed with a dedication to Joanne Bass Bross, for whom the new Nature Conservancy preserve on the east slope of Pack Monadnock has been named. The trail no longer passes through the “wet area” mentioned in the second paragraph on page 62. The trail has been re-routed to the east on higher ground.

Changes to Chapter Four
Hiking the Side Trails Of the Wapack Trail

Midstate Trail

The description of the Midstate Trail in this chapter now applies to the State Line Trail as mentioned above. The State Line trail has new trail signs and is marked with blue blazes. The Midstate Trail now follows the Wapack Trail to the New Hampshire and Massachusetts state boundary as described above in the addendum to Chapter Three, Section One.

Kidder Mountain Trail

The section of the Kidder Mountain Trail described at the top of page 72 was extensively logged in 1998. This trail section just below the summit now passes through a large open area with views to the North.

Marion Davis Trail

Like the Wapack Trail, the Marion Davis Trail’s approach to the summit of Pack Monadnock has been changed. The steep approach described in the third paragraph on page 73 is now interrupted by a right turn (E). The trail now follows a more gentle path to the east of the summit, missing the antenna facilities, and emerging on the summit at the picnic table area near the small building on the east side of the summit parking lot.

Rick Blanchette
Trails Committee Chairman, Friends of the Wapack


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