A monadnock is defined as an isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain. Located near Bridgton, Maine (about 20 miles east of Conway, NH) is Pleasant Mountain which I think might qualify as being a monadnock.
Although its highest point is just 2006 feet, this mountain stretches for about 4 miles on a north-south line. Most likely you've seen it from one place or another during your travels. The snapshot below was taken from Middle Mountain in North Conway. It's obviously a winter scene, but it's the only photo I could quickly locate.
Since Pleasant Mountain can be seen from so many mountaintops in New Hampshire, it has been on my list to visit for a number of years. This past Thursday, I decided to make the 1.5 hour drive from my home in Bethlehem and hike up this mountain.
The route I chose for my hike was a loop involving the Bald Peak Trail and The Ledges Trail. I did a roadwalk between the two trailheads. It was probably the most pleasant (no pun intended) roadwalk I've done. The road wound its way through a nice hardwood forest, and only a handful of cars passed by me.
Much as I expected, the views from Pleasant Mountain are expansive due to how and where it is located. However, the westward views toward the mountain peaks in New Hampshire are too distant to make out much in the way of detail. I have minimal skills at picking out and identifying peaks. However, I do know the basic shapes of some of the major features and was able to pick out a few of the more prominent landmarks such as the Presidential Range for example!
Below is a snapshot of an un-zoomed westerly view toward New Hampshire.
And, below is a snapshot which is looking in the same direction, however it is zoomed to highlight the Presidential Range.
So, although the westerly views of the mountains are expansive, they are quite distant. However, things are a bit different on Pleasant Mountain's eastern side.
Here, the mountain vistas are not as prominent, but there are some nearby features such as Moose Pond. The views overlooking this body of water are quite pleasant (once again, no pun intended!). Below is a snapshot that shows this view.
Overall, I'm very happy that I finally made this trek to visit Pleasant Mountain. However, it is a longer drive than I generally care to do, especially when there are so many nice hikes that are a much shorter drive from Bethlehem. My curiosity about this mountain has been satisfied. And now when I see it off in the distance from some mountaintop in New Hampshire, I can take satisfaction in knowing that I've been there.