A popular 19th-century natural landmark is now hidden within a sprawling forest.
Residents of the Granite State seem to have an affinity for finding faces and figures in the many unique boulders and geological formations that litter New Hampshire. One need look no further than the state’s mascot, the Old Man of the Mountain, which is a naturally-formed profile of a man jutting from the side of a mountain up in the Franconia Notch. Though the Old Man has been gone for more than a decade, no contenders have replaced him as the state’s most loved stone oddity. But about 100 miles south of Franconia Notch, sits a boulder that once served as one of the most popular attractions in New Hampshire. But surprisingly, barely anyone knows about it anymore.
Frog Rock sits deep within the Frances Hildreth Towne Memorial Forest in the town of New Boston, hidden in the dense vegetation. This large boulder is roughly 10 feet tall, and, when viewed from a certain angle, looks remarkably like a frog.
Though it may not be as exciting as the Old Man, Frog Rock was a big deal in the mid-1800s. Located between the towns of Mont Vernon and Goffstown (both of which hosted grand hotels), it was a popular stop for vacationing Bostonians heading north for the summer. Scores of tourists would take carriages from the hotels to picnic at the rock, which at that point sat in the middle of a field. Families would delight at the marvelous and strange stone. The Mont Vernon Grand Hotel even advertised Frog Rock (referred to as “Bullfrog Rock”) on their promotional materials.
But over time, its popularity faded. Both of the nearby hotels burned down, and other geological oddities captured the attention of visitors. Frog Rock fell into relative obscurity and was reclaimed by the forest, as trees replaced the once-coveted field and swallowed the iconic boulder. These days, little information is available online or in the New Boston Historical Society’s records about the once-famous rock. No signs, markers, or plaques indicate its location or how to find it. It sits, quietly, observant, in the deep forest. It serves as an obscure memorial to a time as forgotten as its legacy; a time defined by grand hotels, simple attractions, and small-town charm.
Know Before You Go
Frog Rock is hidden within New Boston's Frances Hildreth Towne Memorial Forest. If you park off of the Francestown Turnpike and take the logging road trail (formerly Frog Rock Road, but not the one that currently shows up on GPS) into the woods until you see the Frances Hildreth Towne Memorial Forest sign, keep walking for about another quarter mile. You'll come to a small fork in the trail. Go to the right, look immediately to your left, and you will see a small clearing where Frog Rock sits triumphantly.
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