New Hampshire’s Plethora of Pinnacles

Sketch of a New Hampshire prominence from The mountains of New Hampshire;, 1949. Internet Archive

Pinnacles appear to be very popular in New Hampshire. A pinnacle is defined as a high, pointed piece of rock or lofty peak. There are several such places but how do they differ from mountains or hills? They generally seem to have extremely rocky summits, and are often not tall enough to be deemed a mountain.

[Editor’s Note:  Most geologists classify a mountain as a land form that rises at least 2,000 feet (609.6 meters) or more above its surrounding area. But this is not a sure and hard rule, and it differs in other countries.]

Old postcard of Hooksett Pinnacle, collection of the blog editor.

The Mountains of New Hampshire: A Directory Locating the Mountains and Prominent Locations, by NH State Planning and Development Commission contains an official list of locations officially named as pinnacles

The list includes:
Pinnacle, Acworth, elevation 1800
Pinnacle, Canaan, elevation 1440
Pinnacle, Croydon, elevation 1420
[Banks] Pinnacle, Grafton, elevation 1420
Pinnacle [Park], New Hampton, elevation 1180
The Pinnacle [Peak], Danbury, elevation 1920
The Pinnacle, Fitzwilliam, elevation 1540
The Pinnacle, Hooksett, elevation 484
The Pinnacle, Newport, elevation 1320
The Pinnacle, Orange, elevation 2155
The Pinnacle, Roxbury, elevation 1180
The Pinnacle, Sutton, elevation 1240

Two other well-known pinnacles were left off the above list, namely Lyndeborough’s The Pinnacle and Nelson New Hampshire’s  Osgood Hill aka Nelson Pinnacle.  Many of these New Hampshire Pinnacles are state or town owned, and are hike-able.  Please check ahead before you plan your trip.

If any of my readers knows of another ‘Pinnacle’ located in New Hampshire, I would love to hear from you (please post under comments).

Thanks to Heather Wilkinson Rojo (see comments) — Henry David Thoreau writing about the Hooksett Pinnacle in “A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers.” [just search the text for Pinnacle.]


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4 Responses to New Hampshire’s Plethora of Pinnacles

  1. Ronald Kula says:

    i lived in Hooksett for 20 years and never new about the Hooksett Pinnacle even though I must have driven by it thousands of times

    • Janice Brown says:

      Ron, thanks for reading and commenting. I’m with you! I grew up in the area too and never heard of it. Actually I was amazed that New Hampshire has so many “Pinnacles.” If I understand the news reports correctly, the Hooksett Pinnacle belongs to the town now.

  2. I live near the Hooksett Pinacle. It was made famous by Thoreau in his book about canoeing up the Merrimack River. If you go to the Hooksett Market Basket, there is a sketch and Thoreau’s quote right by the entrance. So big you can miss it! (I live around the corner off Hackett Hill Road).

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