We hiked this trail on a Sunday in mid-July. The parking lot is by the trail head, just off of Shaker Farm Road (a dirt/gravel road).
The beginning of the ascent is moderately steep and proceeds through a forest before opening up to larger rocks. Once you get about halfway up the trail, you begin to glimpse views of distant mountain ranges to the west, and eventually Monadnock's summit to the east. These great views become more expansive the further up you go. The last several minutes of the hike to the summit are pretty mild, with large rocks and some wildflowers. The trail is well-marked.
Although we didn't see many others on the trail itself, there were >30 people at the summit at noon, many of them likely having come up the popular White Dot/Cross trails. Here, I recommend taking a walk around the summit to see the mountain from all sides! There was a nice breeze on the summit, a few degrees cooler than the temperature at the bottom of the mountain.
The descent was somewhat difficult, especially at the beginning, requiring the use of both hands and feet.
Overall, the hike took the four of us a total of 3.5 hours. I highly recommend this moderate/difficult hike. Great views from the summit and the trail!
Moderate/Difficult Trail based on hiking experience. A great day hike. We did the Dublin Trail which crosses and joins the Marlborough Trail near the summit of Mt. Monadnock. It was a tip from a local in the area after we realized Mt. Monadnock state park doesn't allow dogs. The Dublin Trail is off of Old Dublin Road/Old Troy Road and the best part: IT'S FREE! We took our Golden Retriever, Romeo, up with us and he did exceptionally well until a few parts at the very summit which were too steep for our four legged friend to scale. Luckily, by that time we were near the top and above the tree line so we could blaze our own path that was dog friendly, without losing sight of the summit. I HIGHLY suggest this hike as a great go to day hike. Plus, the Dublin Trail is less trafficked so you get more time with nature as opposed to hiking up with a bunch of strangers one after another. We are experienced hikers and it took us 2 hours up and 1 hour down with a nice rest/photo-op at the top.
**Important: Pack VERY warm layers for the top. It is extremely windy at the summit and a clear temperature drop. It may seem stupid on a warm day at the bottom, but once you're at the summit you'll be glad you do."