NOTE: TRAIL CLOSURE. The logging operation in this area will recommence around August 10, 2020. During that time a portion of this section of the Trail on the southern side of Gap Mt. will be closed for approximately two months. However, access to Gap Mt. from the North Parking Lot is still possible. However, we strongly advise NO day hiking on Gap Mt. as the current heavy use of this mountain makes social distancing difficult, particularly at the summit. For thru-hikers, directions for bypassing the trail closure can be found here.
This section crosses Gap Mt. from the side trail to the South Parking Lot to the North Parking Lot. The Trail provides spectacular views of the surrounding countryside both from the middle summit and along the northern ridge where Grand Monadnock is continually in view. The trail then descends steeply on the eastern side of Gap Mountain crossing a tributary of Quarry Brook and then an unmaintained road to reach the North Parking Lot. For more information about Gap Mt., visit www.gapmountain.org.
After the junction with the yellow-blazed trail from the South Parking Lot, the trail crosses a brook on a bridge and heads uphill. At 0.2 (12.6) miles the trail crosses a large stonewall and turns left (N). The trail continues generally uphill through a pine forest and across a small stream and then crosses an old woods road before veering back to the right (S), slabbing along the side of a hill. At 0.8 (13.2) miles the trail climbs the first of several steps before entering a small open area of apples trees. From here to the summit of Gap Mt. a beautiful series of views unfolds back across the valley to Troy and Little Monadnock. Once through the apple trees the trail climbs steeply on a long series of steps before reaching a climb of steep, open ledges. An old side trail, no longer maintained, leads right from the base of the ledges to the south peak of Gap Mt. Note that the south peak is wooded and has no views.
At the top of the ledges the steep climb lessens. Bear right (E) to the middle summit of Gap Mt. (Elev. 1840 ft.) at 1 (13.4) miles. In mid-summer there is an abundance of blueberries around the summit. This area is protected by the state of New Hampshire. No overnight camping or fires are permitted.
Continue east across the summit turning left (N) and descending steeply to reach a swampy flat area at 1.1 (13.4) miles. Skirt to the left side of the flat, cross a stone wall, and climb north to the top of the north ridge of Gap Mt. The trail follows the ridge with fine views of Grand Monadnock directly ahead. Cross a stone wall at 1.2 (13.6) miles and then a second wall at 1.3 (13.7) miles. Descend from the north peak and turn right into a ravine at 1.4 (13.8) miles. Descend the ravine and turn right to cross it at 1.5 (13.9) miles and descend steeply. The trail slabs along the hill before descending steeply again at 1.6 (14) miles. The trail turns to the right where a blue-blazed side trail intersects on the left.
At this point the blue-blazed side trail leads downhill to Old Mill Road and then left (N) on Old Mill Road to Mountain Road and then the Inn at East Hill Farm (See the end of the Section 5 description for information about the Inn.) It is about 1.1 miles from the blue blazed trail junction to East Hill Farm.
From this junction continue right, gradually downhill and southeast meeting a stone wall. Follow the stone wall to the right (S) until the trail crosses the stone wall through a gap in the wall and descends left (E). Cross a brook (Quarry Brook), and soon reach the old Gap Mountain / County Road. This road is no longer passable. Cross the road and up a steep bank heading east before coming to an old farm road. Turn left to descend on this road a short distance before heading right (E) and cross a stone wall. At 2.2 (14.6) miles a side trail leads left 200 feet to the Gap Mountain North Parking Lot.
This parking lot is maintained by the SPNHF. It is accessed by vehicle from Bullard Road which is on the south side of NH 124, 0.8 miles to the west of the Grand Monadnock Old Toll Road parking area. The North Parking Lot is on Bullard Road 0.5 miles south of NH 124. This is a narrow, gravel road, so drive carefully. Just before Bullard Road bends sharply to the right you will see the access road to the parking lot on your left. The Inn at East Hill Farm in Troy can be reached on foot from this lot by turning left at the parking lot entrance then immediately right on Old Mill Road. Follow this road for 0.9 miles to Mountain Road (crossing a bridge that is not safe for vehicles). The Inn is 0.1 miles left (W) on Mountain Road.
Copyright 2016, 2019 Frank Bequaert (Copying permitted for personal use only.)