Spring has sprung in Keene, NH, and many students might find themselves wondering what they can do to take advantage of the sun.
There are many places around Keene to get some vitamin D and a view of nature.
Chesterfield Gorge is a spot on Route 9 in Chesterfield near Spofford, about 15 or so minutes from the college campus. This location has a short, easy hiking trail down and around the gorge where hikers can enjoy being surrounded by trees that often grow bright and interesting mushrooms. A river runs through the gorge as well, for any one hoping to hear some flowing water.
Above the gorge before the trail begins, there is a small rest area with a few picnic tables for people to sit and have lunch. The trail is dog-friendly, as long as they are kept on leash. It is a popular spot for students and locals alike, so one can usually expect to exchange some greetings with others there.
The Ashuelot Rail Trail is located essentially adjacent to Keene State. This is a pedestrian and biking trail running 20.6 miles total from Keene to Hinsdale. Part of the trial runs behind the Owl’s Nest buildings and continues over the bridge by Winchester parking lot. Locals often park at the athletic fields on Krif Road, where the trail continues on. Past the pedestrian bridge by Winchester lot is a long path with trees on both sides, with a lot of emerging green.
Sunset Rock is another popular location in Keene, also not too far from campus.
Roughly ten minutes away, this location is a relatively simple walk up a relatively steep slope to a large rock with a view overlooking the city of Keene. This is also a dog-friendly location, as long as they are on a leash. Sunset Rock can be accessed on Chapman Road, and is open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Otterbrook Dam offers some natural views as well. Otterbrook Dam is also about ten minutes away from Keene State. A decent sunset can be seen from this location if caught at the right time. This location doesn’t seem to see a great deal of traffic, but Keene State students have been known to see other students here. The dam is technically located in Roxbury New Hampshire, according to google maps, off of Davis Road.
Robin Hood Park is even closer to campus at 1.8 miles away. This location is pet-friendly as long as, once again, animals are kept on a leash. There is a playground for children, where kids can be seen rolling down a grassy hill with on-looking parents. This location sports a trail around the pond going up into the woods. Robin Hood Park is open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. This location is moderately trafficked, and many locals can be seen enjoying the park and forest.
Stonewall Farm offers many year-round farm tours and activities for a fee. For some of the tours, you must book in advance. Stonewall is a non-profit farm with a “certified organic herd” of cows, according to the Stonewall Farm website (stonewellfarm.org), and is “the oldest and only working dairy farm in Keene. At Stonewall, on some of the tours you can interact with the animals. When you arrive, you will likely see cows, and often they will come to the fence and allow you to pet them. Stonewall is located at 242 Chesterfield Rd, Keene, NH 03431 and is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Look for future editions of the outdoor activities column for a more in depth look into each of these locations.
Abigail Dix can be contacted at: