What better way to spend a glorious fall day than a hike up Mt. Mondanock?! One of the Academy’s oldest traditions, Mountain Day is held every fall – instead of heading to class, the entire Cushing community travels north to the famed New England Peak for a day of hiking, relaxing and a barbecue lunch. Once again we lucked out with the weather – blue skies, fall foliage and views for miles.
Mt. Monadnock is claimed to be the most climbed mountain in the world, with 125,000 people hiking to the top year round. With spectacular panoramas extending to all six New England states, the mountain has played a role in cultural history as well, lending itself as the subject of formative thinkers such as Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Cushing’s Mountain Day tradition began under Dr. Hervey Cowell, who served as headmaster from 1887-1926. Every October he would invite a group of students to join him on a hiking trip to one of the local mountains. It was during headmaster James W. Vose’s tenure that the annual climb was formally dedicated to Dr. Cowell in honor of his birthday and Monadnock became the chosen destination. Mountain Day has been celebrated ever since, except for a brief period during WWII when gasoline for the trip to Monadnock was unobtainable.