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In the southeast corner of New Hampshire by the Massachusetts and Vermont state lines, the pleasant college town of Keene is one of New England’s best-kept secrets. The town was first settled way back in 1733, over 40 years before the United States even existed. The primary purpose for this settlement was to ward off and protect against the encroaching French military and their Native American allies. The village was originally named Upper Ashuelot before being razed to the ground and rebuilt by Governor Benning Wentworth. The name Keene was chosen in honor of Sir Benjamin Keene after the town was rebuilt in 1756.
Keene was, for much of its existence, an industrial town with lots of mills and small factories along the Ashuelot River. From 1848 when the first railroad arrived to the Great Depression, Keene was prosperous, before hitting a severe decline like much of the country. Since then, it has rebounded and become known for its tourism and education. It has always been famed for its rolling emerald hills, evergreen forests, and dreamy landscapes, so it is no wonder why so many people book an RV in Keene. When you rent an RV in the sleepy New England town said to be one of the prettiest in the region, you’ll enjoy historic districts, inviting restaurants, locally owned shops, and some epic skiing or snowboarding. The state is tiny and its two largest cities, Concord and Manchester, are less than an hour's drive away.
It may be one of the country’s smallest states, but New Hampshire is full of dazzling parks and enchanting forests that will astonish you from the moment you hit the road with the Keene campervan rental. Keene is such an amazing place to explore and visit, and you don’t even have to leave town to see some of the state’s famously beautiful landscapes. Otter Brook State Park is located within the city limits, with plenty of treats for outdoors enthusiasts to delight in during their trip. This lovely wildlife area is perfect in the summertime, with sunbathing, swimming, boating, fishing, wildlife viewing, hiking, volleyball, and disc golf among other things.
Monadnock State Park is around 20 minutes’ drive from Keene, named for Mount Monadnock which towers over 3,000 feet above the valley floor. This isolated mountain is a recognized National Natural Landmark, and great for climbing and hiking. Here you can go backpacking, camping, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing, making it an excellent place to visit year-round.
Pisgah State Park is one of the state’s largest parks, found several miles outside of Keene. This large protected area is known for its extensive trail network, used for hiking, biking, ATV riding, off-road motorcycling, and snowmobiling in winter, depending on the trail. There are six different trailheads to begin your hike through the park, as well as several ponds, some highland ridges, and a small parcel of old-growth forest dating back centuries.
White Mountains National Forest, named for the White Mountains that it blankets, is home to stunning mountains that are over 4,000 feet tall. Hiking is an absolute pleasure when you bring your Keene RV rental to White Mountains National Forest, and there is even a 100-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail that cuts through the woods. You can go hiking, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and camping in your Keene motorhome rental when you decide to stay longer. There are 23 campgrounds found throughout the park, in addition to several ski and snowboarding areas, and plenty of mountain peaks to climb to if you are up for it.
When you decide to rent an RV in Keene, you will find that there is an assortment of wonderful camping areas to make use of during your travels. From rustic campgrounds maintained by the state to private resorts on the edges of lakes, you won’t be disappointed with your options. Ashuelot River Campground has lots of hiking, canoeing, and swimming opportunities, as well as riverfront campsites, a camp store for buying groceries, and a game/recreation room.
Swanzey Lake Camping Area is a family-friendly campground with spacious campsites and a fully stocked camp store for all your camping supply needs. There are swimming areas, classes and workshops to learn new skills, a game room, basketball hoops, and a playground for young kids.
Brattleboro North KOA is just over the border in neighboring Vermont, and it has a dog park, a pavilion, and a swimming pool for guests to use.
Keene is an exciting city teeming with some fantastic little attractions and lively energy. Gorgeous old buildings line the centuries-old streets, a perfect example of a dreamlike New England town. There is lots to learn about this town, and you can do so at the Horatio Colony Museum. This charming Victorian home invites visitors to peruse its impressive collection of artifacts from the owner’s travels around the world. The home once belonged to a wealthy mill owner in Keene and adequately showcases how the wealthy once lived in town.
The Historical Society of Cheshire County helps you travel back in time with more artifacts, weapons, tools, and other remnants of the past. Over 400 years of history are on display at this magnificent institution, a great way to spend a rainy day. If you have children, the Cheshire Children’s Museum is a fantastic place to keep them occupied for a few hours, while helping engage their minds and learn about the world. The museum is high tech with hands-on exhibits, and even hosts birthday parties for young ones. You will have a hard time prying your kids away from this unique learning environment.
The Colonial Theatre is yet another historic structure in town which has been restored to its former glory. This colonial-style theater still shows films and theatrical productions from time to time, in a quaint atmosphere unlike any other.