Outdoor Activities in the Monadnock Region

No matter the season, the Monadnock Region can almost overwhelm with fun and exciting things to do. It is why so many people love to visit and why so many people choose to stay.

While you are here, you will find moments to breathe, draw in new energy, and connect with the world around you. Perhaps it was best put by renowned composer Leonard Bernstein, who, after spending time at an artists’ retreat here, wrote that a “vastness is inherent somehow in this place.”

Whether you decide to lace up your hiking boots, go cycling around the countryside, or enjoy a laid-back afternoon of berry picking, your “playtime” is sure to be memorable. With more than ten state and federal parks in this part of New Hampshire – including Monadnock State Park – you will never run out of gorgeous, natural spaces to explore.

If you love to climb, you cannot miss the mountain. Mount Monadnock itself is the second most-climbed peak in the WORLD. It has over 35 miles of hiking trails and multiple well-traveled routes to the summit originating in towns across the region. Take your pick based on what kind of climb you are looking for, but no matter your approach, you will be astounded by the journey, and rewarded when you reach the top.

On the rocky, open summit, you can see for miles, picking out Boston’s landmarks, New Hampshire’s White Mountains, and Vermont’s Green Mountains on a clear day. You will truly be in awe as you soak in the magnificent landscape, standing where countless hikers have left bootprints before you.

While Mount Monadnock is often considered a main attraction, the “mountain that stands alone” is accompanied by a wide range of scenic destinations. These include expertly groomed trails for cross-country and downhill skiing, as well as an incredible network of rail trails, great for walking, biking, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Paddling the region’s stunning lakes and rivers is also a favorite activity for many. Bring your own gear or rent canoes and kayaks so you can set out on the rippled water and discover the incredibly diverse wildlife that populates this part of New England.

Whether you go by foot, bike, or boat, you will find that being in nature here beneath the shadow of Mount Monadnock makes for a truly unforgettable experience that will have you coming back for more.

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Name City
Man and woman standing in front of Distant Hill Nature Trail sign
Inspected and Approved

Distant Hill Gardens & Nature Trail

43.083997 -72.364325 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Hiking,

507 March Hill Road, Walpole, NH 03608

Distant Hill is an Environmental and Horticultural Learning Center encompassing fifty-eight acres of forest, fields, and wetlands straddling the town line separating Walpole, NH, from Alstead, NH. Distant Hill is made up of two adjoining properties: Distant Hill Gardens and … Continue reading ...

Green grassy golf course with autumn colored trees, blue skies and Mount Monadnock in the background
Inspected and Approved

Shattuck Golf Club & Cathedral Ballroom

42.833141 -72.069091 Outdoor

Category: Golfing,

53 Dublin Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452

Shattuck Golf Club & Cathedral Ballroom Carved from the granite foothills of Mt. Monadnock, is one of the most visually stunning golf courses you’ll ever play. Course architect Brian Silva calls this “the most spectacular setting I’ve ever come across.” … Continue reading ...

Aerial view of Crotched Mountain partially covered in snow and blue skies with white clouds
Inspected and Approved

Crotched Mountain Ski and Ride

43.012022 -71.878904 Outdoor

Category: Skiing,

615 Francestown Road, Bennington, NH 03442

Crotched Mountain Ski and Ride is a ski area located in Bennington NH that has 5 lifts, 25 trails, a full-service base lodge, snowsports programs, 100% trail lighting, 100% snowmaking capability and is home to the fastest summit lift ride … Continue reading ...

Beautiful property with gravel sidewalk, green grass, mulched landscaping, trees and view of Mount Monadnock
Inspected and Approved

Cathedral of the Pines

42.77476 -71.988371 Outdoor

Category: Hiking,

10 Hale Hill Road, Rindge, NH 03461

Cathedral of the Pines is located at the base of historic Mount Monadnock, the most frequently climbed Mountain in the United States. Situated on a hilltop, with panoramic views, Cathedral of the Pines is a breathtaking war memorial in Rindge … Continue reading ...

Willard Pond

43.018627 -72.020458 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Hiking, Kayaking,

Willard Pond Road, Antrim, NH 03820

Managed by the NH Audubon, Willard Pond is the perfect getaway for a quiet paddle.  The 100 acre pond has no development around it and a pair of nesting loons.  Hike the trail to the scenic overlook above the pond....

Powder Mill Pond

42.956685 -71.934758 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Kayaking,

290 Forest Road, Hancock, NH 03449

Drop in at the boat launch on the Contoocook River, paddle under the historic Greenfield-Hancock County Covered Bridge and the 400 acre Powder Mill Pond will offer you hours of fun and relaxation.  Great place to bird watch too!...

Gregg Lake

43.043707 -71.988687 Outdoor

Category: Fishing, Kayaking,

211 Gregg Lake Road, Antrim, NH 03440

Gregg Lake is 200 acres of fun whether you want to relax on its beach, fish, paddle on your SUP or kayak or zip around the lake on your powered watercraft!...

Miller State Park

42.849887 -71.88715 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Hiking,

13 Miller Park Road, Peterborough, NH 03458

With hiking trails, an auto-road, breathtaking views and home to a Hawk Migration Watch, Miller State Park has a little bit of everything for everyone.  Also known as “Pack Monadnock” or simply “Pack”, Miller State Park is the oldest state … Continue reading ...

Greenfield State Park

42.950975 -71.888118 Outdoor

Category: Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking,

954 Forest Road, Greenfield, NH 03447

This 400 acre state park features ponds, bogs, and a forest that extends to the shore of Otter Lake (kayak rentals available). Walking paths lead to ponds and other points of interest in the park.  There are 252 camp sites … Continue reading ...

Dublin Lake

42.902076 -72.088919 Outdoor

Category: Kayaking,

Lake Road, Dublin, NH 03444

With Mount Monadnock as a backdrop, Dublin Lake is more than 200 acres in size with lots of nooks and crannies to explore while paddling around....

MacDowell Lake

42.893899 -71.984433 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Fishing, Hiking, Kayaking,

75 Wilder Street, Peterborough, NH 03458

Managed by the Army Corp of Engineers, this beautiful park offers a quiet 100 acre lake for padding, several level hiking trails around the lake, picnic pavilions, fishing spots and fantastic birding opportunities!...

Monadnock State Park

42.845419 -72.088458 Outdoor

Category: Birding, Hiking,

169 Poole Road, Jaffrey, NH 03452

Mount Monadnock is the most climbed mountain in North America.  With its bald peak offering sweeping 360 degree views, six trail-heads and forty miles of trails it is no surprise this park is such a popular destination. Mount Monadnock is the … Continue reading ...