Keene

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It has taken me several months to get up the courage to tackle a city. There is just so much to see, I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about it. I finally decided that Keene would be the first city I would tour. It is about 1/2 an hour from my house and I have made many trips there over the last few weeks. Usually I cover a town in a few days, but I knew it would take longer than that to adequately represent Keene. This post is going to be longer than usual, with almost twice the number of pictures. The City of Keene maintains quite a few parks and open spaces. They have a great website with descriptions of the parks and directions.

I visited several of the parks. The first park I visited was Robin Hood Park and Forest. It was a beautiful day and signs of spring were in the air. The geese and ducks have returned now that the waterways are ice free…

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I really enjoyed the quietness of the park, knowing that downtown Keene was only minutes away.

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I love the texture of the birch

I love the texture of the birch

The view from one of the massive ledges

The view from one of the massive ledges

From there, I drove over to Ashuelot Park. This is more typical of a city park, I saw people sitting on benches enjoying the spring day, eating lunches, people walking dogs and pushing children in strollers. I even found one young man playing a mandolin…

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There are plenty of benches and quiet places to ponder the world…

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In the well cared for gardens, I found plenty evidence that spring was here..

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Witch Hazel was bright against the backdrop of black mulch in the gardens

Witch Hazel was bright against the backdrop of black mulch in the gardens

I even found artful flowers in bloom along the trails…

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Another day, my husband and I walked to Beaver Brook Falls. It is an easy walk, the path is an old paved road that has since been gated off…

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It follows Beaver Brook, with many beautiful spots to stop and enjoy the brook…

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After about .7 miles you come to the falls. They are easily seen from the road, but the best view involves a climb down the embankment…

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On the way back, I found a rock formation known as The Old Man of Keene…

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If you’ve read the Why Tour NH page, you know that I never got a picture of The Old Man of the Mountain, so I couldn’t pass up The Old Man of Keene. The rock formations and ledges showed signs that spring was winning the battle against winter…

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In my travels, I sometimes come across something that leaves me wondering and my trip to Beaver Brook Falls proved to be one of those times. I came across a yellow rose tied to a tree. I later found out that it was a memorial…

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We were hungry after our walk to the falls and headed into downtown to find some breakfast. We came across Lindy’s Diner and had an awesome breakfast. The place was quite busy, a testament to how good the food was and the prices were more than reasonable (just note, it is cash only)…

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Open since 1961

After breakfast, we checked out some of the other interesting things in downtown…

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There are many lovely buildings downtown

There are many lovely buildings downtown

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As we drove around other parts of Keene, we found some amazing views…

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Including 3 stone arch bridges…

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I took this one several years ago

I took this one several years ago

We also saw a bit of wildlife…

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My husband, son and I spent an entire day at Stonewall Farm. It was time for their annual horse drawn sap gathering contest. First we walked around the dairy barn, checking out the cows and calves…

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Then we headed across the street to where the sugar house and learning center is…

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Keeping the sap boilng

Keeping the sap boiling

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While we waited for the contest to begin, we checked out the barns with all of the other farm animals…

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And some of the teams of horses that were in the completion…

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The contest consists of a course through the woods. The horse drawn sleigh carries a collection tank. The driver of the sleigh must navigate through the course while the helpers run to the sap buckets on the trees, dump it into pails and pour it into the collection tank. They are graded on many things, including how the horses are managed, time, spillage and if any buckets were missed. It was a lot of fun watching these teams perform the course…

Getting ready

Getting ready

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We weren’t able to stay until the end of the contest, but  when we left, the fastest time was about 9 1/2 minutes.

I really enjoyed my trips to Keene. I know that I did not get to show you everything there is there. I didn’t get any shots of the grounds at Keene State College or Colony Mills. I’ll save that for a revisited post. Keene really is a beautiful, clean city with lots to do and see! If I had been there last October, I could have shown you the Keene Pumpkin Festival. In 2003 they set the world record for most lit jack-o-lanterns. In 2006 Boston broke the record, but there is always next time.

Thank you for sharing my tour of New Hampshire with me. Please feel free to leave a comment!

To find out more about Keene, visit the town’s website or the state website

Click on any pin of the map to see what I found there…

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10 Comments on “Keene”

  1. New Hampshire Garden Solutions April 15, 2013 at 5:57 pm #

    I was just at Beaver Brook Falls yesterday-I had forgotten that you said you were going there. All the snow is gone now and there is a memorial plaque screwed into the tree with the rose. Waterfalls have appeared on the hillsides.

    Robin Hood park is one of my favorite places because of all the unusual mushrooms and slime molds that grow there. I also like to climb Beech Hill every now and then.

    You certainly covered a lot of ground. I’m surprised that we never run into each other!

    • Touring NH April 15, 2013 at 7:46 pm #

      We’ll have to make a point of getting together and shooting!

      • New Hampshire Garden Solutions April 15, 2013 at 9:11 pm #

        Yes-you’ll have to tell me when you do Swanzey. I can show you some interesting places to find wildflowers that many people don’t know about.

      • Touring NH April 15, 2013 at 10:19 pm #

        Sounds like a plan!!

  2. seekraz April 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Very nice photos, Laura…I love the ones of the horses…beautiful creatures.

    • Touring NH April 20, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Thank you Scott. The sap gathering contest was really fun. There were some beautiful pairs there!

      > Date: Sat, 20 Apr 2013 16:56:12 +0000 > To: LauraLMahoney@msn.com >

  3. gallivance.net April 22, 2013 at 11:14 am #

    Your photos are stunning Laura! And I love the horse drawn sap gathering contest! So cool … literally! But my favorite pic has to be the calf. I grew up on a farm with cattle, so the little ones always have a special place in my heart. All the best, Terri

    • Touring NH April 22, 2013 at 12:42 pm #

      Thank you Terri. They had a cow that was due any time, I was hoping she would deliver while we were there. If you go to my Revisited page, you’ll see the calves at Sunnyfield Farm. They were SO adorable! Safe travels. ~Laura

      > Date: Mon, 22 Apr 2013 11:14:39 +0000 > To: LauraLMahoney@msn.com >

  4. Martha Schaefer April 29, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Hi Laura, just getting caught up on your posts. Love the sap gathering shots! Great work!

    • Touring NH April 29, 2013 at 12:28 pm #

      Thank you Martha. It was really a fun event!

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