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Crotched Mountain, Francestown NH


• 4-star hike
• 3.3 to 6.8 mile options
• Medium difficulty | Gain 840 to 1,410 feet
• Monadnock Region | Francestown NH
• Driving Directions: Shannon | Greenfield


Crotched Mountain from Shannon's Trail.

Named for its distinctly V-shaped peak and pronounced in some olde-worlde manner (Crotch-ed), Crotched Mountain sits equidistant from the New Hampshire towns of Bennington, Greenfield and Francestown. Away from the ski resort on the Northern flanks, the Southern side of the mountain is a much quieter and unspoiled haven, with great hiking.

We describe three different ways around the mountain below. If you're taking either loop trail, then tackling Summit West Trail early is probably best as it will be the steepest part of your trek. As you approach the top of the mountain on this route there are several minor rock scrambles, but nothing that should pose a problem to most people.

Sidebar, Fullscreen Map.

Shannon's Out & Back
Shannon's Loop
Greenfield Loop

Before the summit you’ll reach the best overlook of the hike; providing excellent views to the South of Mount Monadnock and Pack Monadnock. There’s also a picnic bench here in the event that you want to lay out a spread and munch away while enjoying the views. Some may want to conclude their journey here, as the final leg to the summit is a minor scramble through bushes and rocks to reveal a communications tower at the very top. I think it’s worth it however, to bag the peak and to find some Northerly views between the trees.

Shannon’s Out-And-Back | 4★, 3.3 miles, Out & back, Medium, Gain 840ft | The easiest of the trails we’re featuring and without any rock scrambles. You have the choice to take either the service road or the right-hand single track trail that meanders through a meadow and offers the best views of the mountain. The latter option only adds a small amount of shoe leather to your journey. Shannon's Trail also features a couple of great interpretative signs identifying the mountain silhouettes on the horizon.


Perfect place for a sunset picnic.

Shannon’s Loop | 4★, 4.5 miles, Loop, Medium, Gain 1,260ft | Our favorite of the trails, adding some distance and covering more variety of terrain. Follow the out-and-back advice above, then take a right turn down Lower Link Trail before heading up Summit West Trail to the ridgeline. The counter-clockwise loop is the most comfortable way of navigating this route.

Greenfield Loop | 4★, 6.8 miles, Loop, Medium, Gain 1,410ft | Longer route best tackled clockwise up West Summit trail, a 1 mile out-and-back spur to Crotched Mt summit, then a return on East Summit trail. This route benefits from the views available when tracing the mountain ridgeline in an Easterly direction, but suffers from 2½ miles of mostly featureless and flat town forest below the mountain. Note that this route starts at different trailhead.


Heading back down Shannon's Trail.


Nearby Sunset Lake.

Tangents:
• AllTrails Public Links: Shannon O&B, Shannon Loop, Greenfield
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

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