If you are looking for a quick day hike in the Monadnock region, try Rhododendron State Park off route 119W in Fitzwilliam. Although this is a perfect hiking spot year-round, the best time to visit is in mid-July, when the park bursts into bloom with fragrant pink blossoms. Rhododendron State Park is named after its 16-acre Rhododendron grove, which is the largest in northern New England and a National Natural Landmark.
When exploring the park, I often feel as though I have entered a magical place hidden away from the rest of the world. Wildflower trails are scattered throughout the park, and the sounds of bumblebees and songbirds echo through the trees. If you have some extra time and snacks available, I highly suggest continuing onto the summit of Little Monadnock via the Metacomet-Monadnock Trail, offering views of Mt. Monadnock and Gap Mountain. If you decide to tackle Little Monadnock during the winter/spring months, you will want to bring snowshoes or crampons with you since parts of the trail can become icy and slippery.
Once you have worked up an appetite from all your hiking adventures, the Fitzwilliam Inn is a great spot to grab a cold beer and something good to eat. The Fitzwilliam Inn was built in 1796 as a stopping point between Boston and northern destinations. The large, white colonial style inn sits on Fitzwilliam common, where it has been an important aspect of the community for over 200 years. The inn prides itself on delicious menu items that are created from as many local ingredients as possible. Some of these items include roasted beet salad, mushroom, swiss & roasted garlic burger, pear and prosciutto wood fired pizza, and house smoked salmon. During the summer months, the inn also offers brews, bands and BBQ on Sunday afternoons.