Keene is situated on the site of an ancient lake bed surrounded by hills. The Ashuelot River Valley, as it is known, beckons outdoor enthusiasts, naturalists, and backwoods adventurers alike. There is no end to the opportunities for four season outdoor recreation including hiking, swimming, fishing, boating, hunting, canoeing/kayaking, golfing, skiing, skating, and sledding.
At 3,165 feet, Mount Monadnock is said to be the most frequently climbed mountain in North America. As the region’s tallest peak, Monadnock offers a challenging day-hike just twenty minutes from Keene. For more serious alpinists, the White Mountains just two hours north offer some of the best hiking and climbing in the Northeast. Closer to Keene, the towering white pine and hemlock of Pisgah State Park, just ten miles from town, make an ideal setting for secluded, peaceful hikes on its fourteen thousand acres.
For white-water kayakers, the lower reaches of the Ashuelot River in nearby Winchester and Hinsdale offer an exhilarating ride. Hundreds of acres of private woods and wetlands surrounding Keene have been set aside as conservation land, and many of them are open for public enjoyment. Skiers and snowboarders also have no shortage of options once the snow starts to fly. For warmer weather fun, the Connecticut River, eighteen miles to the east of town, offers quiet flowing water for canoeing and fishing. Golfers can enjoy a round at several of the region’s courses. In the fall, the Monadnock area comes alive with the color of turning leaves.