Since their inaugural trek to Goose Pond led by Brian Mattson in September 1999, the Cheshire Walkers Program has offered a series of easy-going walks. Organized by Cheshire Medical Center in partnership with the City of Keene Parks and Recreation Department, members of this program walk every Wednesday in the Spring and Fall in order to increase their physical activity, foster social connection, and learn about the region’s rich history.
This Fall, the walkers partnered with the Monadnock Conservancy and the Historical Society of Cheshire County to offer some very interesting walks, including the following:
Keene: Jonathan Daniels Walk Jonathan Myrick Daniels was shot and killed by an off-duty deputy in Hayneville, Alabama, while saving the life of an African-American teenager Ruby Sales on August 20, 1965. A native of Keene, Daniels became an Episcopalian pastor and civil rights activist by his early 20s. In 1965, he answered Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s call for clergy to come south to participate in the Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama. In 1991, Daniels was made a martyr by the Episcopal Church, one of two Americans recognized as such to date. With seven stops on this walking tour, this walk celebrated Daniels’ life by revisiting community landmarks that once nurtured him into adulthood.
Keene: Ashuelot Rail Trail over the South Bridge An easy walk along the Ashuelot Rail Trail across the new South Bridge (the only major elevation change of the walk). Starting at The Center at Keene and walking past Keene State College and over the brand new South Bridge to the Keene State Athletic Fields at Kriff Road, with an option to continue to Matthews Road (additional 2 miles round trip).
Sullivan: Boynton Mountain A hike up Boynton Mountain led by our Sullivan residents Roger & Ann Sweet! This short and easy hike (not lots or rocks to climb over or streams to cross) meandered through the Allison Nims Piper Memorial Forest of Sullivan, a 191-acre reserve has been in conservation under the Society for the Protection of NH Forests since 1993.
Jaffrey: Mountain Brook Reservation The Gramwick Trail is an easy out-and-back hike through gently rolling terrain along the scenic shoreline of Mountain Brook Reservoir in Jaffrey. The trail is named for Herb and Colette Gramm, who donated the property to the Monadnock Conservancy, and their friend Tom Sedgwick, who helped the Gramms build the trail for the enjoyment of the public.
Chesterfield: Beal’s Knob This trail is a one mile loop and is part of the Pisgah Park Trail system. The trail has an easy to moderate incline up an old country road past interesting stone walls and an active beaver pond to an overlook view of Mt. Monadnock with Crotched Mountain behind it. Work has been done on the outlook to enhance the view.
Stoddard: Daniel Upton Forest and the Farmhouse Beginning with a tour of the 1830’s farmhouse that has not been modernized, this hike continues downhill through an open field with a nice view to the forest road and trail that leads to Beaver Pond, which serves as a heron rookery in the spring. Visit www.uptonfarmandforest.com/history to learn more about the history of the house.
Harrisville: Silver Lake, Child’s Bog Trail This hike offers views of red blueberry fields, fall colors, a great view of Mt. Monadnock over Child’s Bog, and the early New Hampshire carved watering boulder inscribed with “My strength cometh from the hills.”
Richmond: Fish Hatchery Road Learn about the history of the fish hatchery before this area is logged this winter on this relatively easy hike, about 1/4 mile one way with a very easy hill of 250’ to climb to end the walk. Then drive to Monument Road for a second, optional hike to see the monument commemorating the birthplace of Eliza Ballou Garfield, mother of the 20th president of the United States, James A. Garfield.
Alstead: Prentice Hill Prentice Hill sits between Alstead Center and East Alstead, overlooking Lake Warren. This short, pleasant trail winds uphill through mixed forest to the top of the hill, offering nice views of Lake Warren below. The land is owned by Ellen Chase and Margaret Chase Perry, daughters of Heman Chase, a famed Monadnock Region land surveyor and woodworker.
Northfield: Northfield Mountain Recreation and Environmental Center A 4-mile loop walk along cross-country ski trails to a scenic overlook at the summit of Northfield Mountain with great views of the Northfield Mountain Upper Reservoir, returning by a paved road to the Northfield Recreation and Environmental Visitor’s Center. Total elevation gain is 800 ft.
Each outing is rated according to our best prediction of difficulty and distance. Some locations have multiple trails with varying levels of difficulty depending on fitness levels. When choosing a walk, be mindful of your own fitness level. As with all exercise, be sure to check with your doctor before beginning a new regimen.
All are welcome! Click here to learn more about Cheshire Walkers, including descriptions of each walk, where to meet, and contact information for the volunteer leaders.