Thursday, November 3, 2016

Quimby Mountain - Hooksett's High Point!

I recently posted my report from my visit to Pulpit Rock in Bedford, NH to a hiking related Facebook page. I received some nice comments and after explaining that I'm targeting shorter hikes in the greater Manchester area, someone mentioned that I should check out Quimby Mountain in Hooksett, NH. After doing a little searching online, I found a great trip report for Quimby Mountain on HockeyPucks Hiking and Highpointing. It was very informative and helped seal my next hiking destination!

As previously mentioned, Quimby Mountain is located in Hooksett, NH, east of Interstate 93. It serves as Hooksett's high point at 902 feet. From the research I did, I learned that there was no published trails to the top and bushwhacking would most likely be required to get to the summit. I read that it had a bald, rocky summit and also sported a benchmark (score!). 

View of the Uncanoonucs with Joe English Hill just visible to the right of North Uncanoonuc

My buddy and coworker, Keith (former LFAHNH guest blogger), accompanied me on this hike to Hooksett's high point. We parked at a cul-de-sac at the end of Quimby Mountain Road. There are a couple new houses going in at this location and the view to the south is beautiful, just from where we parked. Whoever buys those houses will be very lucky. From the HockeyPucks Hiking and Highpointing's report, it seemed there was some private property that we were going to have to avoid, but we found no posted signs so we didn't worry too much about it.

We started out heading southwest down an gravel road which looked like it may become an extension of the housing development in the future. We tried to locate a good place to head into the woods (southeast) but the scrub was pretty thick. We didn't have much of a choice so we dove in and in a 30 feet or so, the woods opened up. We quickly started heading uphill and tried our best to find the path of least resistance. We soon came to a stonewall which was extremely wide, flat on the top and mostly covered with leaves and pine needles. This ancient stonewall acted as a good road to the top and we took it some of the way up. Soon, we were just below some small ledges which we were able to easily scramble to get to the summit.

Gravel road we bushwhacked from

At the top, the summit was bald as I had read. There were some great views spanning south to southwest. The trees up there seem to be slowly growing in, restricting the views from each side. There was a great view of North and South Uncanoonuc, with Joe English Hill popping up from the side. We could also make out either Pack Monadnock or Mount Monadnock in the distance (not sure which one). To the south, we could see the profile of a city in the distance. We think it was Boston but had no map to verify.

 I believe this is Mount Monadnock but could be Pack Monadnock

 Joe English Hill just barely popping over the north side of Uncanoonucs

What may (or may not) be the Boston skyline

Keith located the benchmark, which was hard to spot. It's right at the top and is accompanied by a drilled hole. The problem is, it's pretty small and made of an aluminum alloy so it blends into the rock easily. Being a soft metal, it's been pretty abused and looks like someone took a claw hammer to it. It's not legible.

Benchmark at Summit

 Some fall colors at the summit

 More fall colors with the Uncanoonucs in distance

Bald Summit

After soaking in the views and exploring the summit for a bit, we noticed a small herd path that led down the northeast slope of the mountain. The herd path turned into a legitimate, unmarked trail and followed the property line along a stonewall. The other side of the stonewall had been clear cut for what looked like a new house lot. The trail popped out right next to the car and we felt silly we bushwhacked up instead of taking the trail! To our defense, the beginning of this trail is pretty camouflaged with weeds...so I'll just say we went the hard way up on purpose...to create a loop of course!

GPS Track, about 0.5 mile loop only

This was a great little mountain top! I'm really surprised there's not more information for this destination on the old interweb. One great thing I can say about this hike is that it solidified my desire to work on the NH town high points. Not necessarily for the need to check peaks off a list, but instead to explore new places in the wilderness that may be less traveled. It also pushes me to be a bit more adventurous by doing a little more bushwhacking, which is still outside my comfort zone. I'm definitely looking forward to some more high pointing!



  1. The ridge on the W peak of Hall Mtn may be higher, it would take more than a consumer-grade GPS to be sure


    1. Hi Anonymous,

      Without a doubt, you may be right. I got the name of the mountain as a high point from a published list. Not to say that's the governing authority. After studying the USGS Topo, it looks to me that the highest point in Hooksett on Hall is between 890-900ft. That also being said, these maps were made many years ago and may not be 100% accurate. Quimby being 902, Hall very well could be higher. Thanks for reading and bringing this mountain to my attention. It's on my list as well, but I may be hiking the Candia side...I heard there's a USGS marker on the summit!!!


  2. Hi Karl,

    Thanks for sharing your hike to Quimby Mountain. It definitely looks like a very worthy destination, especially with the view it provides to Uncanoonucs.

    Regarding bushwhacking, and then later finding a trail, I think we've all done that at one time or another. :-) And further regarding bushwhacking, once it gets in your blood and you feel comfortable with it, then there's no turning back! There's an addictive buzz you get from off-trail adventures! :-)


    1. Hi John,

      You're right. I'm really enjoying bushwhacking. At this point, I'm having fun with smaller treks that I know I can easily find my way back. I don't want to go beyond my comfort zone yet, but I'm sure it will come with time!

      Thanks, for reading as always!


  3. Thanks for posting this Karl. I drive by there often and didn't realize it. I'm definitely going to check it out.

    1. Hi Kimball,

      Definitely check it out...it's quick and very much worth the view!

      Thanks for reading!