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Skatutakee and Thumb Mountains

Length: 4.9 mile loop

Difficulty (click for info): Moderate

Elevation Gain: 900 feet

Rating (click for info): 6/10

Elevation: 1998' (Skatutakee) and 1978' (Thumb)

Prominence: 614' (Skatutakee) and 148' (Thumb)

Driving Directions:
Parking area and trailhead are on Kings Highway, in Hancock, NH. Take Hunts Pond Road off Rt. 123, 2.2 miles west of the western junction of Rt. 123 and Rt. 137 in the center of Hancock. Travel 0.5 miles, then turn left onto Kings Highway. Continue 0.7 miles and turn left again onto a clearly marked spur road to the Harris Center.

Trail Map

About the Hike:
Skatutakee and Thumb are two small mountains located in the center of the Monadnock Region, on the property of the Harris Center for Conservation Education. They both have views to the east, in slightly different directions. Skatutakee offers a wider view that is partially restricted by brush, while Thumb presents a smaller, but more dramatic view from a rocky clearing. The Harriskat Trail starts at the Harris Center building. It immediately crosses the road and a few streams, and wanders through the woods for 0.6 miles until Thumbs Down Trail, your return route, diverges to the right. It is best to visit Skatutakee first, as Thumb has the better view. The trail to Skatutakee is very gradual and has many, almost unnecessary, switchbacks, giving you the sense that you're still on flat terrain. Near the top, you come to some rocky areas on the trail. At the top is a large cleared meadow with many small trees that have grown into the view. The summit, reached in a mile from the junction, is marked with an enormous cairn. The views are wide, ranging from Crotched Mountain across the Wapack Range to Mt. Monadnock.

Turn right at the summit onto Thumbs Up Trail as it descends Skatutakee into the forest, where you walk for a short while. After a mile, turn left to stay on this trail. This is the most difficult part of the hike, and is fairly steep. After a small amount of climbing, the trail abruptly plateaus. It leads to a stone seating area near the summit. To see the full vista, you must walk past the benches and slightly down. The view is not as wide as Skatutakee's, but is unrestricted. You can see much of the surrounding area which you could not from Skatutakee. You can also see Skatutakee and the Wapack Range, and you have a much better view of Mt. Monadnock. The return trail, "Thumbs Down Trail" is 1.1 miles long, slightly less-used than the ascending trail, and passes by a pond.

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