Kidder Mountain, New Ipswich

(elevation 1814 ft.)

Kidder Mountain Trail - one of the "Gems" of the Wapack

Few hikes in Southern New Hampshire provide such rewarding views for such a relatively easy hike. It's a great family hike, to introduce kids to hiking, or a great side trip if you are hiking the Wapack through New Ipswich. This mountain was a favorite of Benton MacKaye, creator of the Appalachian Trail.

Photo courtesy of Mena Schmid.

Note: Information on this website regarding Benton MacKaye is courtesy of Larry Anderson, author of the biography: "Benton MacKaye: Conservationist, Planner, and Creator of the Appalachian Trail", John Hopkins Press, available through the Appalachian Trails Conference and many booksellers.

Historical Note:

The Kidder Mountain Trail was created in 1926 by Benton MacKaye, and several boys from the Bridgeman School of Shirley, MA, and probably Marion Buck and Frank Robbins. MacKaye described building the trail in a letter to his friend Lewis Mumford. "We have put in a branch trail on one of the mountains - Kidder Mountain. Here is a laboratory experiment, in the field of education, of the development of the primeval environment." In the same letter, MacKaye mentions writing a "spiel", where he describes some of his theories on regional planning. The title is " The Kidder Mountain Trail: A Boys' Project Against Civilization".  MacKaye later became the key planner and creator of the Appalachian Trail.


Photo of boys from the Bridgman School of Shirley, Mass., taken in 1926. The Bridgman School was founded and named after Dr. Howard A. Bridgman who started this progressive boarding school after leaving the position of Headmaster at Lawrence Academy in Groton.

The photo was in a brochure for the school. Though the picture was labeled "Along the Watatic Trail", based on information in the Benton MacKaye biography and the brochure it seems that they are working on a trail to Kidder Mountain.


  Photos courtesy of Mena Schmid.

View of Barrett, New Ipswich, and Pratt Mountain ridge from Kidder Mountain

Winter view from Kidder Mountain - Mt. Wachusett and Mt. Watatic



Autumn view from Kidder Mountain. Boston's Prudential and Hancock buildings are visible on the horizon. - Photo courtesy of Brian Montaquila.

Looking down on a farm from Kidder Mountain.
- Photo courtesy of Brian Montaquila.

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