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Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

Boston...
8 posts
Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

We (2 adults one kid )will be staying at Greenfield, NH for October 13-14, 2018 and wish to see some nice fall foliage. Can anyone suggest some places or scenic routes around that area? I'm quite familiar with places like Jaffrey, Troy, Keene, Wilton etc. but have always been there in summer and not much idea how these places look during fall. I wish to take photographs of the foliage preferably along water bodies like lake, river or ponds and don't mind driving around 100 miles or so.

8 replies to this topic
Antrim, New...
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23 reviews
1. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

You will be in an area that is full of small lakes and large ponds. I would definitely go back to the places you know and have been, precisely because they are familiar. You will appreciate the changes. Along the way you will pass lakes and streams, open meadows and mountain views. There are at least 3 easily accessible lakes in Greenfield - Zephyr Lake, Sunset Pond and Greenfield State Park. The route from Greenfield to Jaffrey, Troy and Keene along rte 124, and back along rte 101 should provide all the photo ops you could want. There have been a couple of other recent discussions on the New Hampshire Forums that relate to this area. Read those for more info on the area.

You will not need to drive far if the color is good. Color change had been late this year, so if you are not satisfied with the area, drive north on non- highways until you like what you see, then explore those neighboring towns. 25 miles should do it.

Boston...
8 posts
2. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

That is very informative, thank you.

Boston...
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3. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

"foliage preferably along water bodies"

Not quite right in the area but google: Perkins pond. That's the nicest view (anytime) in the area that includes being along water IMO.

Boston...
8 posts
4. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

One more question: Which rivers would have some fast moving water? Last summer I saw Minewawa brook and the river that flows under the old Cheshire railway bridge (south brranch of Ashuelot ?) had quite some flow.

Also, how about the Contoocook River?

Boston...
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5. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

Generally the contoocook is pretty slow but it depends how much rain we've been getting and of course exactly where along the river. There are some rapids along the river but the only ones I know of could only be seen by crossing private property so I'm not going the mention the location here.

It's usually pretty fast in downtown Jaffrey on one side of main street after water exits the dam on the other side but I get the impression an old factory converted to Condo's in the backdrop setting you are looking for.

Boston...
8 posts
6. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

Thanks

Antrim, New...
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2,251 posts
23 reviews
7. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

The Contoocook is a slow winding river in many places, with many picturesque places to view or take photos. There is a dam on the river behind Noone Falls (an old mill turned into retail and apartments) south of Peterborough on 202. You can access the river from the lower end of the parking lot. There is also a dam right where 136 intersects with 202, north of Peterborough. You will find a lot of fast water in both these places and as the river flows away from the dams.

There is also an extensive rail to trail path, much of which runs along the river. There is a section that starts at Noone Falls and continues down to the Peterborough Shopping Plaza on 101. Then from the parking lot at the Plaza you can follow the trail into town, another very nice section. The trail continues along the river north out of town, adjacent to Summer Street. These are all quick moving sections of river, some white water. You can walk each section individually or the entire section out and back.

There is another section of the river where the trail is in the woods and directly parallel to the river. My directions will be a bit hazy but should get you there. Heading north on 202, a mile or so or of town, you will pass a school bus lot on the left with an open field on the right and a road that bears off to the right at the start of the field. About 1/4 mile or less on the right will be a small parking area and an entry to the trail. You can follow that all the way up to Forest Rd in Greenfield. This is a lovely section along the river.

Father up 202 in Bennington there is the Bennington Paper Mill. Stay on 202 until you see the Mill off to the right. Turn right. The road will take you past the Mill to some very powerful white water. Very different from much of the river before this.

Continue up 202 into Antrim, then take rte 31 heading out of town. At Gregg Lake Rd turn left. The road winds up hill to the lake with a beautiful stream cascading down below the road. Some areas will be private property but there should be plenty of places to get up close and personal with the river.

Continuing up 31, where the road joins rte 9, there is a very picturesque river, i think it is the North Branch, cascading across the rocks along rte 9. Turn left on 9 and you will have a lot of places where you can pull off the road to view or take photos. This is an exciting stretch of river. You can follow it back to an old keystone bridge that has a small parking and viewing area and some exciting white water and falls.

And as long as you are in this area, now, you might as well head back on rte 9 to Hillsboro. Stay on 9 past where rte 31 turns left to Washington. You will come to Beard Rd. This will take you up along Beard Brook with some fabulous rapids and waterfalls for a mile or more, and another historic keystone bridge.

If you want more, continue into downtown Hillsboro. You'll have to get off the rte 9 bypass to go through town. Turn right on rte 149 at the light in the center of town. You will cross a bridge with amazing falls and rapids on both sides. This is the contoocook river, again. I am not sure how easy it is to get down to the falls on the left, but you can turn right after the bridge and follow the river as it approaches these falls.

Finally, if you continue through town, just before the road curves to the left near the entrance back onto 9 there is a road that goes off to the right, it may be called Henniker Rd. This road will follow very close to the contoocook in a stretch that draws a lot of kayakers in the spring when the river swells with class 4 whitewater. It is exciting and beautiful at any time. You can access the river in many spots and the road and river continue right into the town of Henniker.

The drive from Peterborough to Henniker, straight through, would be about half an hour to 35 minutes. But there is a full day of activity in what I've described here, plus the Jaffrey piece that Hank described. If your time is limited, I'd head to North Branch and Beard Brook. But if you have the time, and since you are in the area, check out some of the Peterborough out Jaffrey sections, too.

Boston...
8 posts
8. Re: Scenic areas around Greenfield / Peterborough NH

Awesome and so vivid description Nextsopis, I've covered portion of the river near Peterborough town, looking for more scenic spots tomorrow. Thanks once again

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