Poole Reservoir Loop via White Dot Trail and White Cross Trail
This is a moderate loop trail in Monadnock State Park.
The trail starts off of the parking lot. For maximum enjoyment, go up White Dot and down the other side of the loop.
Most of the hiking until you reach the Spring is fairly trivial, with a big dirt path to make things easy. Once you get past the Spring, the hiking quickly becomes much steeper, with stone steps carrying you most of the rest of the way to the treeline. You will run into the occasional scramble and slab here and there, but it's nothing worse than class 2 (if you want to spice things up a bit you can take more direct ways up the ledges to get in a few moves of class 3 here and there, but nothing too crazy).
Once you break the treeline, most of the trail is flat along the ridge until the final summit approach, which requires ascending some calf-burning slabs. Use care here, as even when dry parts of the slabs are slick from boot polish and years of wearing down from being heavily trafficked. If it's wet, it is not recommended to keep pushing upwards as falling on these slabs would make you one unhappy hiker.
On the way down you'll run into an intersection that offers a less steep loop down to your right. You can choose to go this way or take the direct way straight back down White Dot by hanging a left.
Park at Monadnock State Park Headquarters. Parking is $5 for out of staters. The trailhead is just off the parking lot.
This hike is possible for all ages, but be aware that it does get a bit steep and there are stretches with big sloping slabs that can be dangerous if wet. Use best judgement when looking at weather conditions and pick something on more secure footing if it looks not great.
Most everyone can complete this hike provided they leave enough time and water to make it to the top. This should take about 2 hours (or less if you're cruising) for fit and experienced hikers and maybe 3-4 hours for those taking their time.
Rate this Hike