A hiker makes his way to the summit of Pack Monadnock at the Joanne Bass Bross Preserve in Peterborough, New Hampshire
Joanne Bass Bross Hiker A hiker makes his way to the summit of Pack Monadnock at the Joanne Bass Bross Preserve in Peterborough, New Hampshire © Eric Aldrich/The Nature Conservancy

Places We Protect

Joanne Bass Bross Preserve

New Hampshire

The northeast's oldest interstate trail crosses this scenic preserve.

What makes this place special?

When TNC acquired the Joanne Bass Bross Preserve in January 2001, it not only conserved 501 acres of diverse forests and rocky ridges, it created a large 2,700-acre swath of contiguous conserved lands by connecting Miller State Park on Pack Monadnock Mountain with the Wapack National Fish and Wildlife Refuge on North Pack. Hikers can experience the benefits of this connection firsthand by traversing the 21-mile Wapack Trail, which passes through a corner of the TNC's preserve north of Pack Monadnock. Along the way, excellent views of Mount Monadnock, the White Mountains, and Uncanoonucs can be had from the ledges and rock outrcops. Hawk watching is outstanding during migration periods, with more than 3,400 broad-winged hawks and other raptors observed on a single day in 2010. Northern hardwood forests along the trails provide the opportunity to see spring wildflowers like trillium, pink lady’s slippers, and wood sorrel.

How was this place protected?

The Nature Conservancy partnered with the New England Forestry Foundation (NEFF) and the Monadnock Conservancy to acquire the preserve. The Monadnock Conservancy identified the land and organized local support. NEFF negotiated the agreement with the landowner, and TNC agreed to purchase and manage the land with help from local contributions. The preserve is named after Joanne Bass Bross, who loved the outdoors and spent many afternoons exploring this property.  

How can I explore this place?

You can most directly reach the Joanne Bass Bross preserve from Miller State Park.  From the base parking area, hike up Pack Monadnock on either the Wapack Trail (yellow triangles) or the Marion Davis Trail which passes through the TNC’s land. From the parking area at the summit, follow the Summit Loop Trail (red dots) and look for a small wooden outlook sign (right side of trail), and then follow the path to a scenic overlook and bench dedicated to Joanne Bass Bross.  These trails are moderate, but include several rock slabs and boulders, which can be slippery when wet.