Mt. Jasper is the home to one of the only known prehistoric mining areas of pre-contact Native Americans in the eastern United States! For history buffs… I’ve added a link below which fills you in on the historical details, but be sure to scroll down that page to find the picture of the woman standing in front of the open mine.
The coolest part of this, is you can take pictures of your family in front of this same prehistoric mine opening today! Just climb to the top! Take in the gorgeous views of Berlin with surrounding mountain ranges and maybe sit for a bit and have a snack, but then follow the trail down around to the front facing ledges for this part of the photo shoot!
The climb down to the main opening is a little tricky, but there are bushes to hold on to and it is part of the marked trail area. Many ancient artifacts found around the mining area are on display in the Berlin Public Library on Main Street and more information from the archeological digs (which pictures the mine opening, same as above) can be found by clicking here…
But first, the easiest way to access the Mount Jasper summit is by parking in the “farthest back” parking lot of the Berlin, NH High School (550 Willard St, Berlin, NH 03570) which is the lot nearest to the track and back woods. The trail is not marked in this area, but you will find a gated opening near the very back end of the last lot. You will see a handicap parking sign on the chain-linked fencing right where I’m guiding you towards.
Once you pass through this gate area, it’s about a 2 minute walk down the path (if that) before you find the trail signage on your right. Just follow the blue trail until you take a left on the orange trail to the summit. There is short cut to the summit before you reach the orange trail, but last time I was there I saw no markings and you are always advised to stay on a marked trail.
This hike is a good for most abilities where you cover approximately 1 1/2 miles total up and back down, and it is fairly easy to snowshoe up. OK, I’ll admit that I was feeling my age (and the lack of enough physical activity on a regular basis) the last time we snowshoed up there, but it’s definitely worth the trek to the top! Dogs/children are welcome as long as you clean up after them by leaving no trace and be sure to read all the information signs you will find along the trail. Be safe and have a blast, top to bottom!
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