One of my favorite spots in Keene, NH is a 130 acre forest park known as Robin Hood Park. A large portion of the land that now makes up the park and forest was donated by George Wheelock for the children of the area to enjoy the great outdoors. He was a graduate of Harvard where he studied law; however, his real passion was for nature. Many of the tall pines that now tower over the parks field were planted by him. Wheelock also created the first trails that wind through the park and was even known to have named the park’s prominent rocks.
Many of my childhood memories include picnics, sledding, ice skating and exploring its many trails. In elementary school on cold winter afternoons the teachers would bundle up the students in their warmest woolies to make the short trek up the hill to Robin Hood Park’s winter wonderland for ice skating, sledding and of course a good snowball fight. Hot chocolate, homemade treats and amazing views always made the cold steep walk from our school all worthwhile. In the 1800s, the area ice companies would use the reservoir for commercial purposes during the winter. The ice was cut from the reservoir and stored in sawdust for use in the summer.
Robin Hood Park has a little something for everyone and makes for a great weekend visit or day trip. Visitors can hike the expansive network of trails, have a picnic lunch, enjoy a game of kickball or tennis, read a book under a shady tree, cast a line in the pond or go for a swim in the park’s public pool. This is also a popular spot for dogs and their owners who can regularly be found happily exploring the trails or basking in the sun. After spending time in Robin Hood Park visitors can explore the many shops, cafes and coffee spots down on Main Street. Check it out!