Hiking & Biking Trails in the Monadnock Region
Much of the Monadnock Region is covered by woods, some of which have trails maintained for the pleasure of walkers and hikers. The city of Keene maintains a paved walking and bicycling path which runs from East to West Keene, and further unpaved paths branching out to the south through Swanzey, and northwest through Westmoreland.
These pathways follow the railway bed of the tracks which used to run between Keene and Boston. These are multi-use paths which are under development for road bikes, but are currently perfect for mountain biking, hikers or off-road walkers, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snow machines and horses.
Snow machines are allowed to use the railbed trail from December 15 until the snow cover becomes spotty in the spring. Motorized dirt bikes, All Terrain Vehicles and other motorized vehicles are not allowed usage of the trail at any time.
Click here to see a map of the trail system
Mount Monadnock, with trails off Route 124 in Jaffrey, is a symbol of the Monadnock Region. 3,165 feet high, it is one of the most climbed mountains in the world. The NH department of Parks and Recreation offers a map of routes up the mountain, locations of campgrounds, and other information found at www.nhstateparks.org
A volunteer from the Monadnock State Park also maintains an informational website of interactive trail maps, altitudes and distances of hikes, driving directions to the mountain and FAQ.
Trail Maps are available at the base station, or online at www.qcc.mass.edu
Information: Mount Monadnock State Park, 603.532.8862
Other hiking, walking, snowshoe and skiing trails are below. For information about the use of snow machines or horse back riding in these areas, please contact the organization, state, or township the jurisdiction within which the area is governed.
* The Harris Center for Conservation Education. 83 King's Highway in Hancock, New Hampshire, this nature preserve is maintained by the center and the N.H. Audubon Society and the Society for the Protection of N.H. Forests. Trails are considered light hiking and very accessible.
Harris Center, 603.525.3394.
* Crotched Mountain. A peak located in Francestown whose shoulders extend into parts of Bennington and Greenfield, the mountain hosts a small alpine ski resort on it's northern and eastern faces, and a rehabilitation center along it's southern ridge. The hiking trails to the summit are not technically challenging and are great for families. Maps are available at the base.
For hiking conditions, contact the Crotched Mountain Rehabilitation Center, 603.547.3311.
* Goose Pond. A semi-wilderness area right in Keene. A small parking lot is located off East Surry Road; a trail leads to the pristine pond, and all the way around it.
Information: Keene Parks and Recreation Department, 603.357.9829.
* The Horatio Colony Preserve. A forested area off of West Hill in Keene featuring 3.5 miles of hiking trails maintained by Antioch New England Graduate School.
Information: Antioch New England, 800.553.8920, or Keene Parks and Recreation Department, 603.357.9829.
Click for a map of the preserve.
* The Monadnock-Sunapee Greenway Trail. 47 miles of trail between Mount Monadnock and Lake Sunapee maintained by the Society for the Protection of NH Forests.
For a physical map, call the society at 603.224.9945.
Click for an online map of the Greenway.
* The Wapack Trail. 21 miles of hiking between Greenfield, NH, and Ashburnham, Mass. This trail is considered moderately difficult.
Click for a relief map of the trail.
* Pisgah State Park. 13,000 acres of wilderness in Chesterfield, Hindsdale and Winchester New Hampshire. Great for hiking, hunting and fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Moderate bicycling permitted.
Click for a map of the park.