Gap Mountain is so-named for a prominent saddle or “gap” between its twin summits as seen from the west in Troy. There are 3 summits on Gap Mountain. The south summit is wooded with no views and no official trail to reach it. (The “gap” in Gap Mountain is between the south and middle summits.) Both the middle and north summits have excellent views of Mount Monadnock and the surrounding country.
Ascent from the north parking lot: From the north parking lot, it is a 2.4-mile round-trip hike to Gap Mountain’s north summit and back. This is a strenuous hike with some steep ascents. The trail leaves from near the kiosk, and almost immediately comes to the Metacomet-Monadnock/Royce Trail (white blazes). Turn to the right (west) here, and follow the white blazes all the way to the north summit of Gap Mountain. The last 0.2 miles go along a level ridge. On returning, be sure to turn off the trail, onto the trail to the parking lot (to the left 0.2 miles after crossing the woods road.)
Ascent from the south parking lot: From the south parking lot, it is a 2.6-mile round-trip hike to Gap Mountain’s middle summit and back. This is a strenuous hike with a steep and rocky scramble near the top. Follow the yellow-blazed trail 0.4 miles to where the trail merges with the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail (white blazes). Bear to the right over the bridge and continue on the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, following the white blazes, emerging on the middle summit at 1.3 miles. If you wish to visit the north summit, follow the white blazes down into a swampy area and then back up to the summit (0.1 miles beyond middle summit). On returning to the parking lot, remember to look for the yellow-blazed trail to the parking lot on the left just after crossing the bridge.
One of Gap Mountain's most popular summer attractions is blueberry picking from the high- and low-bush blueberry crops bordering the open ledges of both the middle and north summits.
The forest on Gap Mountain is a legacy of extensive farm pastures which formerly extended over the entire mountain, including the 1,862 foot summit. Today, the lower slopes of Gap Mountain are cloaked in second-growth forest of white pine and red oak. The remains of old apple orchards can be found near both the south and north trails up the mountain.
Gap Mountain is owned by the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Through a cooperative lease, the recreational aspects are managed along with nearby Monadnock State Park by the NH Division of Parks and Recreation.
There is no fee for access, though donations are strongly suggested and there are "iron rangers" placed at the trailheads to accept donations.
The Society for the Protection of NH Forests has many other trails open to the public. Visit our website to find a trail near you!
For immediate concerns, please contact Monadnock State Park at (603) 532-8862.
North Trailhead Parking: From the town of Jaffrey, drive northwest on NH-124/Main Street for 5.9 miles. Turn left onto Bullard Road and continue for 0.6 miles. Parking is available on the left.
South Trailhead Parking: From the town of Jaffrey, drive south on US-202/River Street and continue for 3.9 miles. Turn right onto NH-119 and continue for 3.9 miles, then turn right again onto NH-12 north and continue for 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Gap Mountain Road and continue for 0.8 miles, then turn left onto Upper Gap Mountain Road. Continue for 0.1 miles, then turn left into the parking lot.
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