See amazing, sweeping views of downtown Keene and West Hill at Sunset Rocks on Beech Hill Preserve. The western facing rock is true to its name for an excellent sunset view. Don’t stay too long because the area closes at sunset. Enjoy the melodies of chirping birds and the company of numerous busy squirrels. It’s a very easy hike, perfect for families or those who just want a view without too much work. Extend the hike by up to 2.5 miles and enjoy the loop trail around the preserve. There are two hiking options on the west side of Chapman Hill. The small parking area is on the east side of Chapman Hill 1.8 miles up from Eastern Ave and it fits less than six cars. Park on the right side of the road across from a gated entrance area. You can take a shortcut that begins at the gated entrance of a paved maintenance path. Walk a quarter mile around the bend, pass a huge water reserve tank, and then bear right onto a double track path. Bare right again after 0.15 miles where the path forks. The rock is on the right in another tenth of a mile. Or walk up Chapman Hill from the parking area by a tenth of a mile to find the Sunset Rocks trailhead on the left (there is a kiosk with a map, but no parking by the trailhead). Follow the wooded trail 0.35 miles to the paved road turn right and the double track path is a few steps away. Total elevation gain to Sunset Rock is 170 feet. After taking in the incredible view, continue around the loop trail exploring the 180-acre preserve and return to the paved path near the water tower that you passed on your way in. Or, return to where the path forked and take the path to the left this time and follow to ruins of an old foundation and a view of Mount Monadnock when the leaves are down. Continue on the trail as it becomes a single track and you’ll arrive in less than a quarter mile at Beech Hill summit at an elevation of 1,030 where a communications tower is located. Continue a short distance farther to the paved road.
Most authoritative (Keene Parks and Recreation manages the preserve, but has no info on it): https://ci.keene.nh.us/parks-recreation
Most informative: https://www.trailfinder.info/trails/trail/beech-hill-preserve