Referral Guide – Monadnock Region

Granite State Ambassadors
Regional Resource & Referral Guide:

Monadnock Region
Use this document filled with local referrals from Granite State Ambassadors & State Welcome Center attendants as an informational starting point for guest referrals. For business referrals, please reference your local brochures & guides.

Hidden Gems | Covered Bridges | Swimming Holes | Places to Paddle | Hike or Nature Walks | Bike Trails | Picnic Areas | Historical Sites | Other Favorites | Information Resources

Hidden Gems:

Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, 1823 Route 9, Chesterfield – This natural area of 13 acres is maintained by the State of NH. It includes hiking trails through a spectacular gorge.

Madame Sherri’s Forest and Castle, Gulf Road, Chesterfield – 500+ acre forest with “castle” ruins, hiking trails. Madame Sherri, a Parisian-born costume designer built a replica of a French chateau in Chesterfield. Property is now owned by Society for the

Protection of NH Forests.

Old Burying Ground, just north of NH 124, Jaffrey Center – Oldest cemetery in Jaffrey, located behind the meetinghouse. Author Willa Cather is buried here, as well as former slave Amos Fortune who purchased his freedom and became a successful local businessman. He later bequeathed money to the community.

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Covered Bridges: For complete descriptions, visit

Ashuelot Bridge, Bolton Road, Winchester – South side of NH 119. Bridge is 169’ long, built in 1864, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. Considered one of the most elaborate bridges in the state with sidewalks on both sides of the bridge.

Carlton Covered Bridge, Carlton Road, Swanzey – east of NH 32 and ½ mile south of Swanzey Village. Bridge is 67’ long, built in 1869, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. When it was built by local barn builders, a wagon full of hay was used to determine the height and width of the bridge opening.

Coombs Covered Bridge, Old Westport Road, Winchester – west of NH 10, ½ mile southwest of Westport Village. Bridge is 106’ long, built in 1837, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. In 1984, the state recommended by-passing the bridge, but it continues to be used today.

County Covered Bridge, Hancock-Greenfield Forest Road, Hancock and Greenfield – One mile east of US 202. Bridge is 87’ long, built in 1937, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. The original bridge of 1852 was destroy by a flood in 1936.

McDermott Bridge (aka Cold River Bridge), North side of NH 123A, Langdon – 2 miles north of Alstead Village. Bridge is 81’ long, built in 1869, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. Limited to foot traffic only.

Prentiss Bridge (aka Drewsville Bridge), Old Cheshire Turnpike, Langdon – ½ mile south of NH 12A. Bridge is 35’ long, built in 1874, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. The Prentiss Bridge is the smallest covered bridge in NH and is the third at this site. The second bridge built in 1791, was taken over by the Cheshire Turnpike Company in 1805 as part of the turnpike from Canada to Boston. Limited to foot traffic only.

Sawyer’s Crossing Bridge (aka Cresson Bridge), Sawyer’s Crossing Road, Swanzey – One mile north of NH 32. Bridge is 158’ long, built in 1859, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. When the bridge was opened, the town held a celebration with a dance right on the bridge which was decorated with lanterns hanging from the rafters; a lunch was served at midnight and the party went on.

Slate Covered Bridge, Westport Village Road, Swanzey – east of NH 10. Bridge is 142’ long, built in 1862, destroyed by arson in 1993, and rebuilt in 2001.

West Swanzey Bridge (aka Thompson Bridge), Main Street, West Swanzey – east of NH 10. Bridge is 137’ long, built in 1832, and listed on National Register of Historic Places. The bridge is right in the center of town and an important connector. It has a sidewalk on the south side of the bridge.

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Swimming Holes:

Edward MacDowell Lake, Wilder Road, West Peterborough – recreational facility with swimming and boating.

Otter Brook Lake Beach, Off Route 9 East, Keene/Roxbury – recreational facility with swimming, picnicking, canoeing.

Surry Mountain Lake, Route 12A, Surry – recreational facility with swimming, boating, picnicking.

Jaffrey Town Beach, 196 Squantum Rd, Jaffrey – public beach.

Beard Brook, NH 149, Hillsborough – small swimming area, west of town.

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Places to Paddle:

Corps of Engineers Lakes:

McDowell Lake, 75 Wilder St., Peterborough – Follow signs to dam, 4 miles west.

Otter Brook Lake, 480 Branch Road, Keene – East 2 miles on NH 9 to recreation area.

Surry Mountain Lake, 480 Branch Road, Keene – 6 miles north on NH 12A.

Willard Pond, Willard Pond Road, Antrim – Off NH 123, access from Hancock.

Hubbard Pond, Annett State Forest, Rindge – Off Cathedral Road.

Nubanusit Lake and Spoonwood Pond, King’s Highway, Hancock – Off NH 123.

Dublin Lake, West Lake Road, Dublin – public boat launch is located on lake Road, just off NH 101.

Otter Lake, Forest Road, Greenfield – Near Greenfield State Park.

Powder Mill Pond, Forest Road, Greenfield – Access 1 mile east of US 202 in Hancock.

Spofford Lake, NH 9A, Spofford

Thorndike Pond, Upper Dublin/Jaffrey Road, Jaffrey/Dublin border

Highland Lake, Route 123, Stoddard – Access on Route 123 or Shedd Hill Road.

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Hike or Nature Walk:

Pack Monadnock in Peterborough/Temple is a great hike, with a few trails to choose from, leashed dogs OK.

Harris Center for Conservation Education, 83 King’s Highway, Hancock – Miles of trails to explore.

Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area, NH 9, Chesterfield NH – Great walk of about 1/2 mile, beautiful in the fall. (See Hidden Gems above.)

Madame Sherri’s Forest and Castle, Gulf Road, Chesterfield – Society for the Protection of NH Forests. (See Curiosity above.)

Gap Mountain Reservation, Gap Mountain Road, Troy/Jaffrey – north trailhead and a south trailhead, which can be strenuous, leashed dogs OK. Wild blueberries grow at the top. Some views of Mt. Monadnock.

Mt. Monadnock, 116 Poole Rd, Jaffrey, but access also from Dublin and Marlborough – 3,165 feet; has over 30 miles of main and connecting trails for hiking. Day use fees apply. Gilson Pond Campground is open early May to mid-October. No dogs.

Little Monadnock Mountain in Rhododendron State Park, 424 Rockwood Pond Rd., Fitzwilliam – The total hike is about 1.2 miles with an elevation gain of about 700 ft. When the rhododendrons are in full bloom it is a beautiful sight.

Fox State Forest Hills, 309 Center Rd, Hillsboro – Well-developed trail system of about 22 miles that receive year round use by hikers, cross-country skiers, snow-shoers, hunters and mountain bikers.

Cathedral of the Pines, 10 Hale Hill Road, Rindge – Trails through woods, by the lakes, see birds and animals. Dogs welcomed.

dePierrefeu-Willard Pond Sanctuary, Willard Pond Road, Antrim – Multiple hiking trails, part of the NH Audubon Society.

Cranberry Meadow Pond Trail, East Mountain Road, Peterborough – Trail was made possible through the generosity of many private landowners along the corridor and the help of local foresters, the Peterborough Recreation Department and the Peterborough Conservation Commission.

Shieling Forest, Old Street Rd, Peterborough – Operated by NH Division of Forests and Lands; Forestry Learning Center, educational programs, trails.

Wapack Trail, Greenfield – One of the oldest public, interstate hiking trails in the United States. Opened in 1923, it follows the Wapack Range north-south for 21 miles, between Mt. Watatic in Ashburnham, Massachusetts and North Pack Monadnock mountain in Greenfield, NH.

Distant Hills Gardens and Nature Trail, 66 March Hill Road, Alstead – Parking is available at the trail-head just off the paved road.

Horatio Colony Nature Preserve, Daniels Hill Rd., Keene
Pitcher Mountain, NH 123, Stoddard – Parking lot is on NH 123. Hike is easy to moderate. There is a fire tower and lots of blueberries in season

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Bike Trails:

Common Pathway, Peterborough 6.5 miles
Highlights: Contoocook river, old rail bed, sidewalks in town, connects with Old Railroad Trail

Old Railroad Trail, Peterborough 2.7 miles
Highlights: scenic riverside ramble

Cheshire Recreational Rail Trail, North Walpole – Fitzwilliam 42 miles
Highlights: arch bridge over Ashuelot River, break in trail through Keene, charming towns, ride through ravines

Ashuelot Recreational Rail Trail, Keene to Winchester 21 miles
Highlights: Ashuelot River, Views of Mt Cresson, wetlands, bridges

Fort Hill Recreational Rail Trail, Hinsdale 8.9 miles
Highlights: Connecticut River

Monadnock Recreational Rail Trail, Mass line – Jaffrey 7.2 miles
Highlights: downtown Peterborough, ponds, wetlands

Hillsborough Recreational Rail Trail, Hillsborough – Bennington 7.7 miles
Highlights: Railroad Trestles, historic mill sites, Contoocook River

Greenville Recreational Rail Trail, Greenville – Mason 2.2 miles
Highlights: views, small ponds

Explore more at the NH Rail Trails Coalition

  • Harrisville Rail Trail (Harrisville) Segments:
    • Chesham Depot Rail Trail section .5 mile
    • Skatutakee Lake Road & trail section – 1.4 miles
    • East View Trail section – 1.4 miles
    • Jaquith Rail Trail section (Hancock to Harrisville) 1.5 miles
    • New Boston Rail Trail (New Boston) 4 miles

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Picnic Area Favorites:

Edward MacDowell Lake, Wilder Road, West Peterborough – recreational facility with swimming and boating. (See Swimming Holes above.)

Miller State Park, 13 Miller Park Rd, Peterborough – oldest state park in New Hampshire. A winding 1.3-mile paved road leading to the scenic summit is open for visitors to drive in summer and on spring and fall weekends.

Norway Pond, from Depot Road, Hancock – ¾ mile Depot Trail to great picnic spot.

NH State Parks – 7 in the Monadnock Region.

Annett State Forest, Wayside Park, 538 Cathedral Road, Rindge – Offers picnic facilities and ¼ mile hike to Black Reservoir. Hubbard Pond has canoe access.

Mt. Monadnock, 116 Poole Rd., Jaffrey – See Hikes above.

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Historical Sites

Amos J. Blake House – Fitzwilliam Historic Society
The Amos J. Blake house, built in 1837, was designed to be a store with living quarters attached. The Blake family purchased the house in 1865, and Amos, a community leader and state legislator, set up the front rooms to use as his law office. The house remained in the Blake family until 1966. (The house is also said to be haunted.)
Open: Memorial Day to Labor Day plus Special Events (Strawberry Festival & Antiques Show)
66 Rt 119, PO Box 87 Fitzwilliam, NH 03447

Ball Mansion
The headquarters of the Historical Society of Cheshire County are located at the “Ball Mansion,” an 1870 Italianate structure located at 246 Main Street in Keene. The Ball Mansion features exhibit galleries, meeting space, a research library and archives, public restrooms, and free parking.
Open: T/Th/Fr 9-4; 1st & 3rd Sat 9-noon
246 Main St, PO Box 803 Keene, NH 03431 (603) 352-1895

Barrett House aka Forest Hall
The mansion sits on more than seventy acres that include perennial and annual gardens and a Gothic Revival summer house that crowns the hillside overlooking the expansive grounds. Learn about the multiple generations that resided at Barrett House, their lifestyles, and the impressive country estate that represents a vanished way of life from a time when New Ipswich was an active mill town.
Open: June 1 to Oct 15
79 Main St, New Ipswich, NH 03071 (617) 994-6675

Bruder House
The Historical Society of Cheshire County acquired the Bruder House, a brick dwelling built in 1839 that is located adjacent to the Wyman Tavern. The building will become a welcome center and educational venue for the Historical Society.
Open: Under Renovation, not yet open
349 Main St PO Box 803 Keene, NH 03431 (603) 352-1895

Cathedral of the Pines
An open-air complex that was built as a memorial to American war dead. It incorporates a multi-denominational sanctuary, other sacred spaces, and a number of burial grounds. The associated museum has hundreds of artifacts that have been donated to Cathedral of the Pines over the last 60 years.
Open: Year Round
682 Hancock Rd, Harrisville, NH 03450 (603) 899-3300

Cheshire Children’s Museum
Children’s museum featuring interactive exhibits, themed play rooms & toddler-friendly areas.
Open: Year Round
Colony Mill Marketplace, Keene, NH 03431 (603) 903-1800

Distant Hill Trails & Garden
Distant Hill is an environmental and horticultural learning center dedicated to inspiring and empowering children and adults to cultivate an intimate connection to the natural world through education and observation. There is a wheelchair and stroller accessible mile long network of trails and many cultivated gardens and much more to see and learn about.
Open: Trails year round, Gardens May-Sept
507 March Hill Rd, Walpole, NH 03608 (603) 756-4179

Dublin Historical Society
We operate a small museum in an old one-room schoolhouse on Main Street just below the current elementary school.
Open: Sat morning during summer or by appt
8 Church St, Dublin, NH 03444 (603) 563-8545

Francestown Village Store
Established in 1814, the Francestown Village Store was the 2nd oldest continuously operating general store in the state. The Long Store, built by Peter Clark in 1814, has also been the home of two banks (Francestown Saving Bank-1851~1863 & First National Bank of Francestown-1863~1891), the Post Office, a Harness Maker, Jeweler, the Mt. Crotchet Engine Company No. 1., Vadney’s General Store, and perhaps several others along the way, proudly serving our community for over 200 years.
Open: Year Round
74 Main St, Francestown, NH 03043 (603) 547-6861

Franklin Pierce Homestead
his substantial two-story frame and clapboard house was the home of Franklin Pierce, 14th president of the United States, from his infancy until his marriage in 1834.
Open: Memorial Day thru Columbus Day
Rts 9 & 31/301 2nd NH Turnpike, Hillsborough, NH 03244 (603) 478-3165

Frye’s Measure Mill
Shaer & Colonial Box Makers. Daniel Cragin Mill, known today as the Frye’s Measure Mill, is a historic watermill established in 1858.
Open: Summer Only. Call for Holiday & other hours
12 Frye Mill Road Wilton, NH 03086 (603) 654-6581

Hillsborough Heritage Museum
The Museum collects and preserves exhibits and documents pertinent to the history of Hillsborough and the life and Legacy of Native Son Franklin Pierce, our 14th President.
Open: Year Round
5 Central St, Hillsborough, NH 03244 (603) 464-3637

Historical Society of Cheshire County
Operates a Cultural Heritage Center from it’s three iconic buildings on Keene’s Main Street. The museum offers changing exhibits such as “The Story of Toy Manufacturing” and also offers Walking Tours.
Open: Year Round
246 Main St, PO Box 803 Keene, NH 03431 (603) 352-1895

Horatio Colony House Museum
Old-time New England home with period decor, artwork & a garden, also featuring workshops & events.
Open: May thru mid-Oct or by appointment
199 Main St, Keene, NH 03431 (603) 352-0460

Mariposa Museum & World Culture Center
A ‘hands-on’ museum of artifacts from around the world, located in the center of Peterborough in the historic Baptist Church building. We celebrate other cultures with regional exhibitions, performances and programs.
Open: Year Round
26 Main St, Peterborough, NH 03458 (603) 924-4555

Melville Academy Museum
Housed in a private school built in 1833, the museum has two goals — to describe the role of private academies in New England in the early 19th century, and to reflect life in 19th century Jaffrey Center and how its people and history are tied to contemporary times in this small town. The first floor offers exhibits, while the second is set up as a schoolroom.
Open: July & August or by appointment
Thorndike Rond Rd & Blackberry Lane, Jaffrey, NH 03457 (603) 532-4992

Monadnock Center for History & Culture
The Monadnock Center for History and Culture preserves and celebrates our region’s past, enriches its present and shapes its future. The Center’s events and exhibits explore and share our region’s rich history. Its programs, concerts and events enrich cultural life and promote thoughtful discussion and connection to the region.
Open: Year Round
19 Grove St, Peterborough, NH 03458 (603) 924-3235

Rindge Historical Society
The Rindge Historical Society is a nonprofit organization that is responsible for cataloging, maintaining and displaying historical town records and artifacts. In 1994 the society purchased the Freeborn Stearns House, c. 1815, near the town center and converted it into a museum to house its collection. Featured artifacts include the discharge papers of Eleazer Blake signed by George Washington, and the hand painted sleigh of William Dean who was mysteriously murdered in Jaffrey.
Open: Wed 10-noon; 1st Sat of the month 10-2; or by appt
24 School St, Rindge, NH 03461 (603) 899-2341

Sheridon House/Winchester Historical Society
It is the purpose of the Winchester Historical Society to engage in research relating to the Town of Winchester, New Hampshire, to gather and preserve historical and genealogical data and artifacts, to promote research pertaining to the town’s history
Open: call to schedule a tour
391 Black Ashuelot Rd, PO Box 64 Winchester, NH 03470 (603) 239-7399

Stonewall Farm
Stonewall Farm is a nonprofit working farm and educational center. Visit the animal barns, take a variety of farm tours, explore the forest & trails, or visit the organic farm store.
Open: Year Round
242 Chesterfield Rd, Keene, NH 03431 (603) 357-7278

Swanzey Historic Museum
The Swanzey Historical Museum was founded by loyal admirers of Swanzey in 1987 as a community resource for preserving and celebrating the uniqueness of our town. Just as humans need memory to navigate the day, communities need “memory” to understand where we have been. The mission of the Historical Museum is to collect and preserve the artifacts of culture and nature of Swanzey, that we may discover our place in the continuum of history.
Open: midJune to Columbus Day
720 Swanzey Road, Rt 10, Swanzey, NH 03446 (603) 352-4579

Troy Historical Society
The Historical Society collect, preserves, and display historic materials pertinent to the Town of Troy, New Hampshire.
Open: 1st & 3rd Sat year round except July & Sept when its the 2nd & 4th Sat
Kimball Hall, 1-5 Depot St, Troy, NH 03465

Westmoreland Historical Society
The purpose of this Society shall be to preserve and maintain the Park Hill Meeting House and the Corner School House as significant historic landmarks and to promote the use of these buildings for community activities and as museums. The Society seeks to preserve the history of Westmoreland through the acquisition of books, papers, maps, and artifacts
Open: small membership fee to attend special events
Rt 63 @ Park Hill Common, PO Box 105 Westmoreland, NH 03467 (603) 209-2355

Wilton Town Hall Theater
The Wilton Town Hall Theater, built in 1886. It was first used as a play house for traveling shows and vaudeville. One can still see the original stage that actors used in the late 1800’s. It was then converted in 1912 to a silent film house. Its popularity boomed as sound was introduced, and World War II hit, as it was the only local theater to provide current news reels.
Open: Year Round
Main St Wilton, NH 03086 |

Andy’s Summer Playhouse in an old Town Meeting Hall [The original Paul Revere and Sons bell damaged in the fire was recast by Henry N. Hooper & Sons of Boston and placed in the new building, where it remains today in the bell tower.], The first Unitarian Congregational Church [The Unitarian Congregational Church in Wilton Center was dedicated in 1861. It replaced the 1775 Meetinghouse destroyed by a fire in 1859. The church also includes a parish house – the historic “Red House” right across the road. On town there are also 2 Stone Arch bridges, a boxed pony truss an covered bridge, and an Historic Train Station.
Wilton, NH 03086

Wyman Tavern
One of the Historical Society of Cheshire County’s three museum buildings. The Wyman Tavern is a historic house, former tavern, and now a local history museum. Built in 1762 by Isaac Wyman, it also served as the muster ground for militia at the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War.
Open: June thru Labor Day, Thurs – Sat 11 to 4. May – mid-Nov by appt
339 Main St, PO Box 803 Keene, NH 03431 (603) 352-1895

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Other Favorites:

Pack Monadnock Raptor Observatory, Miller State Park located at 13 Miller Park Road, Peterborough – Experience the thrill of seeing the raptor migration in the fall. Be prepared for crowds on weekends and peak flyover times.

Stonewall Farm, 242 Chesterfield Rd., Keene – 123 acres of pastures, gardens, wetlands and forest available for exploration. There is no entry fee to the farm, and visitors are welcomed to tour Stonewall Farm’s barns, fields and forests.

Toadstool Bookshop, Peterborough and Keene in downtown areas – Independent bookstores with a variety of events.

Sharon Arts Center Exhibition Gallery, 30 Grove St., Peterborough – This arts center consists of two parts: a fine-art exhibition space with a rotating array of paintings and crafts by some of the region’s many artists, and a fine craft store selling art, jewelry and pottery made by local artisans. The store entrance is at 20 Depot Street.

L. A. Burdick Chocolates, 47 Main St., Walpole – Home of Burdick’s chocolate and pastry production facility providing chocolates to shops in Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, NYC. Café.

Hannah Grimes Marketplace, 42 Main St., Keene – For local crafts, foodstuffs and gifts, this shop showcases many local products.

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Monadnock Travel Council

Greater Keene & Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
48 Central Square, Keene
(603) 352-1303

Jaffrey Chamber of Commerce
7 Main Street, Jaffrey
(603) 532-4549

Hillsborough Chamber of Commerce
3 School St., Hillsborough
(603) 464-5858

Rindge Chamber of Commerce
P. O. Box 911, 1032 NH-119, Rindge
(603) 899-5051

May 12, 2020

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