There are 2 summits to Gap Mountain.
The Metacomet Monadnock Trail runs across the North Summit and the northern ridge on its way to Mt. Monadnock. Two parking lots provide access to this trail. It is about 1.4 miles from the South Parking Lot to the North Summit. It is about 1.2 miles from the North Parking Lot to the southern end of the northern ridge. The southern end of the ridge and North Summit are about one tenth of a mile apart. The parking lots were constructed and are maintained by The Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests.
Maps of the trails may be posted at the parking lots. Be sure to read the Reservation Regulations also posted at the trail heads. If you leave your car at either parking lot, plan to return the way you came. There is no easy way to walk between the two parking lots other than over Gap Mt. Need directions to either parking lot? CLICK HERE.
DON'T GET LOST! In climbing Gap Mt., you will be following blazed trails. If you want to know more about blazes and how to keep from getting lost, CLICK HERE
Ascent from the South Parking Lot
From the South Parking Lot, proceed as follows: Immediately behind the sign board at the parking area a yellow blazed trail bears off to the left. (Do not attempt to use the paved road to reach the Trail as this route has been blocked as its use involves illegal crossing of private property.) Follow the yellow blazed trail for 4 tenths of a mile to where the trail merges with the Metacomet Monadnock Trail (white blazes). Continue straight ahead on the M/M trail immediately crossing a stream on a bridge. The trail then climbs steadily through mixed forest to cross a large stone wall at about .5 miles. Bear left beyond the stone wall. The trail continues steadily upward to cross an old woods road at .7 miles. The trail now slabs the side of the mountain bearing right to cross a stone wall at .9 miles then climbing through mixed forest to emerge at an open field with nice views back to the west at 1.1 miles. Turn right at this area and climb steeply reaching a rocky ledge at 1.2 miles. An unmarked trail leads off to the right from the base of this ledge to the South Summit. Follow the marked trail (still white blazes) left steeply up the rocky ledge (there is a pathway around the ledge to the right of the ledge) then over a rocky path emerging on the North Summit at 1.4 miles. If you wish to visit the northern ridge, follow the white blazes down into a swampy area and then back up to the southern end of the ridge (1.5 miles).
NOTE: On returning to the Parking Lot, remember to look for the yellow blazed trail to the Parking Lot on the left just after crossing the bridge.
Ascent from the North Parking Lot
From the sign board in the North Parking lot take the trail to the right of the sign board. Almost immediately you will come to the Metacomet Monadnock Trail (white blazes). The M/M Trail in this area may also be labelled the Royce Trail. Turn to the right (west) here, making sure you are on the white blazed trail. Follow the blazes and do not be lured into taking other footpaths. At .1 miles cross a stone wall and bear to the left slightly up hill on a faint woods track. Soon bear to the right off of this track. At .2 miles, you will cross a woods road. Go directly across this road (bearing slightly to the left) and back into the woods on a faint woods road. At .3 miles there is a rocky crossing of a stream (Quarry Brook). Immediately after crossing the stream bear slightly to the left, again looking for white blazes. At .4 miles cross a stone wall and turn to the right on a path that follows the stone wall soon bearing to the left and uphill. At .5 miles there is a blue blazed trail to the right (East Hill Farm trail).
From this point continue directly ahead uphill following the white blazes. The trail climbs steadily, then slabs the hillside, crossing a usually dry gully at .8 miles. The trail turns left beyond the gully ascending to an old apple orchard at .9 miles. Turn sharply left at the orchard then ascend to come out on brushy open rock ledges at 1.0 miles. There are soon nice views of Mt. Monadnock directly behind you. Continue following white blazed on the rock to cross a stone wall at 1.1 miles and reaching the western end of the ridge at 1.2 miles. To visit the North Summit, follow the white blazes to the left down through a swampy area and steeply up to the North Summit at 1.3 miles.
Return to the trailhead the way you came. A sign on the Metacomet Monadnock Trail reading TRAILHEAD points to the North Parking Lot. (This sign may be missing, so watch for the path to the left .2 miles from the woods road at the base of the mountain. There is a metal M/M Trail marker on a tree just beyond the turnoff to the parking lot.)