5 Stops to Spot Seasonal Sights in the Monadnock Region

The long holiday weekend is here, and foliage is popping just about everywhere.  Why not make a trip to the Monadnock Region to see some stunning fall scenery framing some cool spots for photo opps.

View of Ashuelot Covered Bridge - one lane bridge with pedestrian walkways on both sides

Looking at bridge from on the side of the riverbank showing the open trusses on the sides and the red roof

View from inside of the bridge looking down the length of it to the other side

To start our day we headed to the village of Ashuelot in the southwestern corner of the state.  We were there to see what local historians call one of New Hampshire’s most elaborate covered bridges: the Ashuelot Bridge.  Originally it was built as a way to get wood across the river for use by the Ashuelot Railroad as the railroad had a station located right in town.

Long shot of Kris biking on rail trail

Bike parked on railroad trestle with view out to river and foliage along riverbank

Image of old railroad trestle where bike path crosses over river, Kris riding over trestle

With access to the Ashuelot Rail Trail located right next to the bridge we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to break out the bikes for a ride. The trail is about 22 miles long and stretches from Keene to Hinsdale – following the old Ashuelot Railroad.  There’s plenty to see along the route from historical landmarks, abandoned mills, it passes right through several small towns and in some spots you can ride right along the river!

Looking up from bottom of stone staircase of Madame Sherri's Castle

View from top of stone staircase looking down steps

Pillars of rocks and foundation area of what once was a castle in the woods

From there we made our way to Chesterfield to a favorite stop: Madame Sherri’s Forest. Take the short walk and you’ll come to the ruins of the old castle she built here back in the 1920s.   Not much is left now, except the foundation, stone chimneys, the old stone staircase and the stories about the woman who came from New York City to build a castle deep in the woods.  A cool stop for a photo opp and the miles of hiking trails you’ll find here.


Image looking up at the waterfall splashing down over rocks

Waterfall coming down through gorge

Looking at water before it goes into gorge

Bridge that goes over the waterway Kris standing in middle of bridge looking down at water

Next up: Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area.  Talk about a hidden gem! There’s a loop trail that’s just under a mile that leads down through the gorge and offers up great views to the many cascades of waterfalls.  There’s several places where you can stop and simply enjoy the tranquility of the water rushing downstream.  It’s a great walk in the fall, and with a canopy of trees, it’s mostly shaded so is great in the summertime too.

Downtown Keene looking up at Central Square and the park and church at the head of the square some nice foliage in the trees

Viewr into small park in downtown Keene with a gazebo and water fountain

After the gorge it was onto charming downtown Keene – specifically this iconic spot: Central Square offering up a picture perfect view of the city’s Main Street.  The small park with the gazebo and fountain is always decked out for the season and often bustling with activity for various community gatherings.

Inside Terra Nova Coffee Roasters counter area

Close up of mug of drinking chocolate and biscotti

From there we headed to Terra Nova Organic Coffee Roasters located right near downtown.  They have an amazing selection of coffees made from organically grown beans and roasted right no site.  Or choose an espresso, specialty latte or drinking chocolate. I opted for the salted caramel latte – the perfect way to wrap up the day.

With color at or near peak in this region there’s no time like the present to get out and enjoy the view. A reminder to follow our fall travels on Facebook and Instagram!