Otter Brook State Park – 10 minute drive from campus
Great for sightseeing and walking, but not so much for hiking. There is a beach up the road past the dam that is nice for laying out in the sun.
There are a lot of good places to explore here. You can walk out on the dam itself or walk to the end of the road and down to the water. Wear sneakers though, there is a lot of tall grass. Good for all people regardless of hiking experience.
Monadnock State Park – 35 minute drive from campus
This is a serious hike. Do not start the hike at noon unless you bring a flashlight because you will be hiking down in the dark. Give yourself a solid five or six hours to complete this hike. It’s a long one, but it is so worth it, the views are breathtaking. Good for people in moderate shape, if you are not you will make it to the top with a little determination but you will be sore the next day.
Rhododendron State Park – 25 minute drive from campus
This state park has a few hiking trails but honestly it is mostly leisurely walks. When the flowers are in bloom, parts of this park are fragrant and absolutely beautiful. There are a ton of different trails so you never have to take the same one twice. Good for all people regardless of hiking experience.
Pisgah State Park – 40 minute drive from campus
This park has a little bit of everything. You can hike, walk in a leisurely way, have a picnic, bring your dog, the options are pretty endless in New Hampshire’s largest state park. There are some great sight seeing opportunities at the pond and you can even canoe there. Check out their website for other recreational activities that they allow. Good for all people regardless of hiking experience — check the trail maps before heading out, there are a few longer more difficult hikes
Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area – 15 minute drive from campus
Short but moderately difficult hike (you will be fine, you are as healthy now as you will ever be.) Beautiful views of the gorge. Not necessarily a waterfall but lots of cascading water. It’s a very short but rewarding hike and will clock you in at less than a mile of walking. Good for all people regardless of hiking experience.
Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org