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Rhododendron State Park & Little Monadnock Mountain

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The state park features a trail network through a natural 16-acre grove of wild rhododendron maximum and a hiking trail to the summit of Little Monadnock Mountain.
Trail Activity
Length
2.4 miles, Network
Difficulty
Easy, Moderate
Town
Fitzwilliam (NH)
Surface
Packed Earth/Dirt, Gravel/Crushed Stone/Cinder, Rock/Ledge, Boardwalk/Bog Bridging
Pets
Not Permitted
Fees
Yes

Description

Rhododendron Grove Network:

  • Rhododendron Loop Trail: The 0.6 mile-long universally accessible Rhododendron Loop encircles the grove allowing visitors to observe, close up, the fragrant clusters of pink blossoms as they burst into bloom in mid-July. The trail departs from the trailhead on the right side of the parking lot through the stone pillars. From here the trail is on a wide, gravel-lined path that comes to an intersection after a short distance. From the intersection, turn right and continue until the intersection with the Little Monadnock Trail, follow signs to the left for the Rhododendron Loop. The loop brings users through a huge grove of wild rhododendron, as well through a spectacular rhododendron tunnel. To exit the Rhododendron Loop, users can take the Laurel Trail, which is slightly overgrown and consists of a very small tunnel through the bush. The Rhododendron Loop can also be connected to the Wildflower Trail. 
  • Wildflower Trail : The Wildflower Trail departs from the left hand trailhead in the parking lot. After a short distance, the trail comes to a kiosk with information about the vegetation on the trail. From there the trail continues on the wide, gravel-lined path and skirts a stone wall then a huge rhododendron grove. The trail can be taken as a loop, or connected with the Rhododendron Loop. 

Little Monadnock Trail: The yellow-blazed Little Monadnock Mountain Trail branches from the Rhododendron Loop and climbs for one mile. The trail is lined with dirt and pine needles, and climbs over rock stairways and rocky scrambling sections. After the trail climbs over a prominent rock outcrop, it intersects with the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail. At the intersection with the M-M trail, there is a wooden sign that indicates available turning options. From here there is a view of Mount Monadnock in the distance. Turning south (left) on the MM Trail leads to the summit of Little Monadnock a short distance away. The 117-mile long M-M Trail stretches from Meridan, CT to the summit of Mt. Monadnock in NH.

Other Information


The rhododendrons typically are in full bloom in mid-July. Fees may be required during times of rhododendron bloom (typically on weekend days).

Bloom Reports are posted online from June through July.

Pets are only permitted on the Little Monadnock Trail and the section of the Rhododendron Trail that leads to it. Pets are not permitted on the trail system within the rhododendron grove.

The entrance to the Park also includes an historic cottage known as "The Old Patch Place." The house was built sometime between 1790 and 1816 and was listed in 1980 on the National Register of Historic Places. The interior of the house is closed to the public, but there is a picnic table out front as well as a variety of flowers.

Rhododendron State Park was named a National Natural Landmark in 1982 and is the only botanical park in the New Hampshire State Park system. The 16-acre rhododendron maximum grove is the largest stand in northern New England. 

Please note that geocaching in not allowed in any New Hampshire State Park.

Trail Manager

Visit NH State Parks online for more information. Rhododendron State Park is managed through Monadnock State Park. For questions, call (603) 532-8862.

New Hampshire State Parks
New Hampshire State Parks
172 Pembroke Road
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: (603) 271-3556
nhparks@dncr.nh.gov
View website

Trail Tips

Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
Camp at least 200 feet from lakes and streams.

Trailhead Information

Located at 424 Rockwood Pond Road in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire. The main parking area is seasonal and features parking for about 15 vehicles. There is winter use permitted and there is limited parking available in the off season in front of the gate, a short walking distance from the trailhead.

Follow NH-119 West from its junction with NH-12, then turn right onto Rhododendron Road (0.9 miles). Follow Rhododendron Road for about 2 miles, then turn right onto Rockwood Pond Road. The parking area forks to the left off of Rockwood Pond Road.

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