Adventures at Chesterfield Gorge

Chesterfield Gorge is a beautiful place for a walk in Southwestern New Hampshire. Located off of route nine, this is a convenient stop for travelers.  It is home to breathtaking natural features that are hidden in the forest. There are so many components that make Chesterfield Gorge the special place that it is. The property is covered by a wide expanse of forest, where visitors can marvel at the beauty of nature. Wilde brook provides a place to sit and relax. The Gorge itself is a breathtaking feature that shows the strength of nature. Chesterfield Gorge is close to Keene, yet the scenery is so beautiful that it makes you seem faraway. I had a wonderful time exploring the area, and seeing everything that the park had to offer. It the perfect place to spend an afternoon among some of the best scenery in New Hampshire.

Gazing at Natures Beauty. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Gazing at Natures Beauty.
Photo By Colleen Ann.
Looking up the Brook. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Looking up the Brook.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

The Forest

There are 13 acres of land at Chesterfield Gorge. As soon as you begin on the path, you are enveloped by the deep forest. All around you, the large trees rise up, their branches reaching out and creating the heavy canopy. Dappled sunlight peeks through the trees, leaving bright patches of light on the forest floor. There are many Hemlocks, along with a Beech here and there. The land has been protected since 1936, which has allowed the trees to grow tall and strong.  As you walk along the path you are able to admire these beautiful trees, and the habitat that they create. There is something incredibly relaxing about taking a quiet walk among the trees. It allows you to slow down and enjoy nature. I walked through the trees, and admired all of the beauty that surround me. This forest creates a beautiful backdrop for the gorge itself.

Looking up. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Looking up.
Photo By Colleen Ann.
Sun Dappled Forest. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Sun Dappled Forest.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

The Brook

The Wilde Brook is the driving force that created Chesterfield Gorge. Quietly it has spent thousands of years wearing away at the rock, creating this beautiful place. It moves quietly along, slipping between cracks, and falling away through crevasses. Little falls are created where the rocks pinch the water together. Everywhere the water found its way downstream. I stopped for a few moments, climbing down the path, over slippery slippery rocks to get close to the water. Visitors should wear footwear with good traction, and be cautious around the rocks. Yet those who can get close are allowed to study the river and the way that it makes its way through the area. After I had climbed down, I sat on the rocks, and silently studied the water. It moved along gently. Making its way down the bedrock of the gorge, it gathered in pools before slipping between rock, creating tiny waterfalls. We are so lucky in New Hampshire to have access to so many streams, and bear witness to such geological feats.

The Gorge

The biggest feature of the entire park is the Gorge. The pathways lead you down, until you reach the bottom. Here both slopes meet, and this is where the bedrock is exposed. This wide swath of bedrock is the dominating feature of the park. Much of it is covered in a deep green moss, that makes the scene incredibly beautiful. Over thousands of years the water has eroded away at the earth, leaving the bedrock on the surface. In some places there is only a bit of the bedrock showing. In other places the water has left large steep faces of bedrock. The Brook continues on, continually changing the face of the riverbed. In some places the rocks are smooth, and other rocks jut up like jagged teeth. In some places people can come right up to the river, while in others visitors have to gaze down at it. Every part of the gorge is different, which make Chesterfield so special.

Wilde Brook. Photo By Colleen Ann.
Wilde Brook.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

The Park

This incredible place is accessible thanks in part to many parties. The park is maintained by volunteers. They help maintain the path that run through the park. These paths are wide and well maintained, enabling visitors to enjoy the beauty of the gorge up close.  New Hampshire State Parks manages the area, and provides visitors with a welcome center and facilities. Here you can get a snack, or get more information about the area. There also is a large parking area, and a place where dogs can be walked. Chesterfield is a great example of how great things can happen when people come together.

The Gorge. Photo By Colleen Ann.
The Gorge.
Photo By Colleen Ann.

Chesterfield Gorge is an incredible place. I feel lucky that I got an opportunity to visit such a beautiful part of our state. It is a great place to take a few hours and get back to nature. The Gorge is home to incredible scenery, that brings visitors back to a time when things were much simpler. It shows us the power of nature, and reminds us of the beauty of New Hampshire.


Colleen O'Connell

My name is Colleen. I am a writer, and a life-long resident of New Hampshire. Growing up in the Southwestern part of the state, I spent most of my free time outside. As I have grown and matured, my love for New Hampshire and its natural beauty has grown as well. I spend most of my free time hiking, skiing, and exploring the natural beauty of our state. I enjoy the natural wonders of our state, and sharing these experiences and places with others through my writing.

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