There is an abundance of recreational opportunities in the region ranging from laid back and passive to extremely active. The region is a haven for participating in outdoor sports and recreational activities in all 4 seasons. For spectators, the region has many sports teams including the Swamp Bats, New England Collegiate Baseball League Champions; the NH Phantoms soccer team; the Heart of New England Professional Criterium races and a full complement of youth, high school, college and recreational level teams.

Lakes, Ponds & Streams

Whether it's fishing, boating, paddling or swimming, the region has more than 200 bodies of water of every size.
No guarantee, but bass, brook trout, brown trout, rainbow trout, salmon, horned pout, perch, pickerel and wall-eyes can be caught throughout the region.The boater can find everything from peaceful canoeing to sailing to large lakes perfect for water skiing. Good swimming spots are never more than a short drive from anywhere in the county. Here are a few popular water spots:

Lakes and Ponds

ALSTEAD: Caldwell Pond and Newell Pond, Lake Warren
ANTRIM: Gregg Lake, F. Pierce Lake, Steel Pond and Willard Pond
BENNINGTON: Whittemore Lake
DUBLIN: Dublin Lake, Frost Pond and Thorndike Pond
HARRISVILLE: Skatutakee Lake, Chesham Pond
JAFFREY: Contoocook Lake, Frost, Gilmore and Thorndike Ponds
KEENE: Ashuelot River, Goose Pond and Robing Hood Park reservoir
NELSON: Nubanusit, Granite and Silver Lakes; Center and Spoonwood Ponds
RICHMOND: Sandy Pond
RINDGE: Contoocook, Pearly and Monomonock Lakes; Hubbard Pond
STODDARD: Abbott Forest Lake, Highland Lake and Island Pond
SULLIVAN: Chapman Pond and Boster Pond
SURRY: Surry Mountain Reservoir
SWANZEY: Swanzey Lake and Wilson Pond


ALSTEAD: Cold River
MARLOW - GILSUM: Ashuelot River
WESTMORELAND: Partridge, Mill Brooks; Connecticut River

Hike & Bike pathways

Nearly three miles of ten-foot wide paved multi-purpose pathways were created in central Keene from recycled railroad rights-of-way. Another one mile hard-pack gravel trail nestles beside the Ashuelot River.
This park-like setting is reserved for bicyclists, walkers, runners and people on ADA-approved electric scooters. There are trailheads where you can leave your motor vehicle and, when on the trail, you will find convenient benches. These trails provide alternate east-west and north-south passage through central Keene.
Spreading out from central Keene are more than eight miles of packed cinder base trails managed by the State for recreational use by people on mountain bikes, runners, walkers, equestrians, snowmobilers, and cross-country skiers.
This combined trail system, with no cars or trucks, ranges from manicured areas of mowed grass edged with trees and shrubs, through wooded areas with the hills flirting in the distance, to heavily wooded areas providing "long green tunnels". Each trail provides a pleasant surprise around each turn.
It is guaranteed that if you take one trip on these trails you will return again and again.


When you think of skiing, if the first thing that comes to mind is NH, you won't be disappointed in the facilities close to home. Keene is centrally located to every major ski area in New England. Whether you prefer big mountains or small, you're within 2 hours of most of them in NH and Vermont.

Granite Gorge Ski Area, located on Rte. 9 on the Keene/Roxbury NH line, offers downhill skiing, downhill racing, snow boarding, 12 K River Run of groomed trails for Classic and Skating style X-Country Skiing, Snow Tubing and Linking, and Snowshoeing. Lessons and some rental equipment available. The Mountain features a sound system, state-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming, and fully-lighted trails


The greatest aspect of cross-country skiing in Cheshire County is that you can start almost anywhere. Many of the region's hiking trails also make excellent cross-country routes.
There are numerous privately-maintained, groomed areas for cross-country skiing.



Approximately 50 men's and women's softball teams provide plenty of evening and weekend entertainment for people who enjoy watching and playing "America's Game". The level of play is excellent, with national finalists coming from the region.


There are six golf courses in Cheshire County offering a wide variety of challenge, scenery and amenities.
Keene Country Club is a private 18-hole course with tennis courts, swimming pool, full-service restaurant and conference facilities.
Bretwood Golf Course is a championship 36-hole public course.
The Shattuck Golf Course is an 18-hole public course situated at the foot of Mt. Monadnock. It has been voted the #1 golf course in NH.
The Woodbound Inn is a public 9-hole, par-3 course.
Pine Grove Springs County Club is a 9-hole public course.
Hooper Golf Club is a public 9-hole course.


Wheelock Park, Keene is the site of many regional, and 3 world, horseshoe pitching championships. There are pitchers who claim that no finer courts exist anywhere. Stretching 24 deep, the official courts have paved walkways, illumination for evening play, and are completely fenced in to protect spectators from flying "shoes." Wheelock Park annually hosts the State Championships.

State Parks

NH state parks came into existence approximately 100 years ago, through a private gift of land to the State of NH. Today, NH's first state park is known as Miller State Park, and counts among its natural beauties the summit of Pack Monadnock Mountain in Temple. Several of NH's 33 state parks are close enough to enjoy without much traveling.
Annett Wayside Area, Rindge
Located near the Cathedral of the Pines and provides picnic areas with fireplaces.
Chesterfield Gorge Wayside
Here you will find picnic areas with fireplaces, and an interesting walking trail around the deep, natural gorge.
Monadnock State Park, Jaffrey
Hikers have their work cut out for them here on the mountain trails. Camping facilities are available, as well as picnic grounds, with fireplaces.
Otter Brook State Park, Keene
Residents and visitors enjoy the swimming and picnicing facilities here. Fireplaces are available.
Pisgah State Park
21 square miles, 13,300 acres, extends into three towns: Chesterfield, Hinsdale and Winchester. Original parcels were put together by Ansel Dickinson of Winchester (1822-1889), with the first donated to the State in 1968. The area at one time included seven dams providing power for lumber mills. The park has a variety of trails with trailheads in Chesterfield, Hinsdale and Winchester.
Rhododendron State Park, Fitzwilliam
Hiking trails amidst the largest area of wild rhododendron in the northeast.
Wantastiquet State Forest
Includes land in Chesterfield and Hinsdale. The mountain rises 1,100 feet above the Connecticut River with sheer cliffs overlooking it. Original tract of 847 acres donated to the state with two additional parcels of 488 acres in Chesterfield and 90 acres in Hinsdale to be added at a later date.


There are 18 public courts in Keene, 4 lighted, as well as 2 private clubs.

Recreation Facilities

The Keene Parks and Recreation Department has nine full-time and numerous seasonal and part-time staff members providing a wide variety of programs and facilities.
More than 200 programs are offered to preschoolers through Senior Citizens, including the mentally and physically handicapped. The Parks and Recreation Department utilizes all available facilities, including city owned property, schools and private facilities.
For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation office at 312 Washington Street,Keene, NH 03431 - 357-9829.

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