Make sure you start at the correct spot! I didn't start where the official entrance was, unbeknownst to me. I ended up lost for 2 hours thinking I was on the "loop" but really I was on a side trail. All the side trails are marked red, which made me SO LOST trying to find my way back. Also, the red and orange markers look very similar in some parts. This area could really use some updating especially due to the fact that all the non main trails are marked red, and I was never able to find a map online to help me find my way back. I had to climb all the way back up the mountain and down again to come out in the correct spot.
Great trail for training, and not too many people. It has a good amount of uphill, lots of opportunity for variation on routes, and a great view when you get to the top and climb the fire tower. it's an awesome hike for dogs as well, good visibility, pretty consistent terrain (no need to worry about rocks or tender paws), 97% in the shade. Just bring a good amount of water for both of you if you are going on a hot or humid day. Have fun!
I hiked this trail the end of may. The weather was fantastic but given the waterfalls and he nearby reservoir it can be a bit "buggy" so be prepared for that. Nothing untypical to new Englanders though. We hiking the trail in 2.5 hours, so as long as you're not stopping every 20 minutes you should be able to complete the trail in well under 4 hours. Lots of dogs are on this trail too, so be aware they are not on leashes.
I have hiked this trail many times, summer and winter. There are at least two ways to reach the summit. The northern trail follows the power lines up and is quite steep, this section can be very icy in the winter months. The southern approach is longer but much less steep. Both trails will lead to the tower at the summit. The views from the tower are awesome! Well worth the hike.
Mount Toby was a pretty easy hike if you take Tower Rd. It's basically a logging road that leads to the Tower at the top. I hiked it in about 3hr 30min in the winter. No snow had fallen but water runoff made some spots very icy. I'll go back to hike the other trails but all in all it was pretty good. You can see Mt Monadnock off to the distance from the top on a clear day. The area has 5 waterfalls which may be pretty fun to see during the fall or early spring.