Madison Boulder which is located about 45 minutes from the Inn on Golden Pond is considered to be the largest glacial erratic boulder in North America. The boulder is 83’ long by 23’ high by 37’ wide so it’s not hard to believe it’s a record holder.
The boulder was “deposited” during the last ice age about 15,000 years ago. Geologists believe it was chipped off a ledge about a mile away from its present location. It’s a little hard to get your head around the force of a glacier. The glacier was a mile thick and as it moved it left scratches on the earth’s surface creating what we now know as New Hampshire’s many lakes and mountains. It picked up pieces of debris and moved them, often miles from their original location. This chip was encased in ice for close to 5,000 years before the glacier melted away and left this enormous piece of rock in its current location.
In 1970 the Department of Interior designated the Madison Boulder as a National Natural Landmark, one of eleven in the state of New Hampshire. The boulder is located in the town of Madison, thus its name. The 17 acre site is a NH State Park, but it’s not staffed and there are no rest rooms. But if you’re into big and unusual this should be a stop for you.
New Hampshire is filled with awe inspiring natural beauty. The Inn On Golden Pond is centrally located so you can see most of what the State offers with easy day trips during your stay.
The park if a little off the beaten path so here are the directions. Starting from the town hall in the center of Madison, take Route 113 North (you will pass the Madison Elementary School). At the fire station bear left (you will pass Mooney Hill Road on your right). Travel for approximately 3.7 miles. Take a left onto Boulder Road and follow for approximately 5.2 miles. You’ll see the preserve sign and parking.