Pets: Pets are permitted in Miller State Park.
of Campsites: None
More Information: Day-Use
Located on the 2,290-foot summit and flank of Pack Monadnock in Peterborough,
Miller is the oldest state park in New Hampshire. A winding 1.3-mile
paved road leading to the scenic summit is open for visitors to drive
in summer and on spring and fall weekends. Picnicking and hiking are
popular activities at the scenic mountain park. Three main hiking trails
ascend Pack Monadnock to the summit. The best known is the Wapack Trail,
which is a 21-mile footpath that extends from Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham,
Massachusetts to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield.
tower, no longer used for detecting fires, affords a panoramic view
of the surrounding countryside. Mount Monadnock, 3,165 feet high, can
be seen standing alone twelve miles to the west. It is believed Native
Americans named the area's mountains, and that "pack" means
little. Other peaks and hills of southern New Hampshire and adjacent
Massachusetts can also be seen. On clear days views reach to Mount Washington,
the skyscrapers of Boston and the Vermont hills. Miller is a carry in
- carry out park. Please carry your trash home with you and dispose
of it properly.
first state park was created in 1891 when Charles F. Melendy and Austin
A. Spofford deeded a three-acre tract of land on the summit of South
Pack Monadnock to the state. The following year the park was dedicated
in memory of General James Miller, a hero of the Battle of Lundy's Lane
in the War of 1812.
early years, all-day Sunday picnics at the summit were a popular pastime.
Families would arrive by horse and wagon, with lunches packed in wooden
cheese boxes, gallon jugs and milk cans. In winter people enjoyed sledding,
skiing and snowshoeing on the mountain. Until 1901 cattle were driven
by foot from Massachusetts farms to the park for summer grazing on what
was then open pasture extending nearly to the summit.
called the Pioneer House was built in 1892 on a ridge on the southwest
side of the mountain. Unprofitable for its first proprietor, George
F. Barker, the business was sold three years after opening. The hotel
burned to the ground in 1896, and a new, smaller structure was erected
in its place. The new building was anchored to the rocks by iron rods
and chains. It was used as a hunting lodge until it was abandoned and
fell into disrepair. The building was destroyed by fire in 1924, but
the foundation remains visible today.
a twenty-seven foot steel tower, topped with a wooden lookout cabin
was erected to be used as a forest fire watch tower. The cabin no longer
exists, but visitors can still climb the tower to enjoy the views.
was born in 1776 in Peterborough, New Hampshire, a town just west of
the park. In 1804 he opened a law office in Greenfield where he practiced
for four years. During that time he joined the Hancock Artillery, a
branch of the New Hampshire militia.
and disciplined drill master, young Miller attracted the attention of
Brigadier General Benjamin Pierce who appointed him a major in the 4th
U.S. Infantry in 1808. Miller left his law practice to join his regiment
stationed in Boston.
the War of 1812 at the Battle of Lundy's Lane near Niagara, New York,
Miller was ordered by General Jacob Jennings Brown to storm a battery
of seven British cannons positioned on a hilltop. Miller's reply to
General Brown, "I'll try, sir," became forever linked with
night of the battle that would earn him a promotion to brigadier general,
Miller secretly led his regiment of three hundred men up the hill. Shrubbery
and a rail fence offered protection while Miller planned the attack.
With quick action he ordered his men to fire. Miller and his regiment
successfully charged and overtook the battery. Miller wrote a letter
to his wife, Ruth, describing the battle . . . We fought hand to hand
for some time, so close that the blaze of our guns crossed each other,
but we compelled them to abandon their whole artillery, ammunition,
wagons, and all . . .General Brown told me, the moment he saw me, that
I had immortalized myself."
of 1814, General Miller helped protect Fort Erie from British invasion.
For his accomplishments in this fierce battle, he received a gold medal
from the United States Congress. The award was presented to him by Daniel
Webster at City Hall Park in New York City. Miller was also honored
with the gift of a dress sword from the state of New York.
resigned his army commission in 1819 and accepted the appointed position
of Governor of the Territory of Arkansas. By 1823 poor health forced
him to return home to a farm he had bought in Temple, New Hampshire.
A year later, his health restored, he became collector of customs for
the ports of Salem and Beverly, Massachusetts, a position he held for
twenty-four years. He retired to his farm where he lived until his death
are welcome on the trails of Miller State Park year-round. Three trails
provide hikers access from the base to the summit.
Trail (yellow blazes), a 21-mile footpath that extends from Mt. Watatic
in Ashburnham, Massachusetts to North Pack Monadnock in Greenfield,
New Hampshire, traverses the summit of Pack Monadnock. From the Route
101 parking area at the base of the auto road, to the summit via the
Wapack Trail is 1.4 miles. North of Pack Monadnock the Wapack Trail
continues 3.8 miles through the Wapack National Wildlife Refuge, over
North Pack Monadnock to Old Mountain Road.
Trail (white blazes) begins on the west side of the mountain on East
Mountain Road. The 1.6 mile trail was constructed cooperatively by Peterborough
Boy Scout Troop 808 and the Peterborough Conservation Commission. It
reaches the summit at the picnic area just north of the parking area.
Davis Trail (blue blazes) begins at the Route 101 parking area at the
base of the auto road. It climbs 1.4 miles to the summit.
This information was posted June 24, 2008 and all information, services and fees are
subject to change.