One of the questions we’re most asked by newcomers to the region, is “What makes the Monadnock Region so special?” What first comes to mind is the beauty of the region. The center of the region is Mt. Monadnock, located in Jaffrey, NH. It may be difficult to believe, but it is one of the most climbed mountains in the world. Imagine a map, with Mt. Monadnock at its center and a circle extending 24 miles in each direction. This is The Monadnock Region. The Monadnock Region in New Hampshire extends east to Milford and west to the Connecticut River and Vermont border; North to Sullivan and south to the border of Massachusetts.
The Monadnock Region is a beautiful and vibrant community made up of small towns and hard-working individuals with a passion for their communities. We’re a little off the beaten path, which preserves the special ambiance of this place, but with easy access to the interstate system we can travel to most places in New England within a 2 hour drive. In less than 2 hours you can be in the heart of Boston to take in a ball game, enjoy a gourmet meal, shop until you drop, take in a museum or enjoy a night on the town. We’re huge sports fans and love our winning teams of the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, Boston Bruins and the Boston Celtics. We also have amazing amateur league teams and local sports. Keene, NH is the heart of The New England Collegiate Baseball League, and the home of the Swamp Bats, where we have sent 24 players up to the major leagues. And we have great amateur softball leagues here for women and men taking place at Wheelock Park on most summer evenings.
In less than 2 hours we can be on the coast of NH enjoying the beaches, great restaurants and shopping, or we can be camping and hiking in the northern woods and White Mountains and boating on Lake Winnipesauke and Squam Lakes, among others. It’s less than 2 hours to ski in the Green Mountains of Vermont where we have access to some of the best skiing in the northeast, or in the NH White Mountains. And we have some smaller, family ski areas even closer, like Pat’s Peak in Henniker NH which is less than an hour away from most towns in the Monadnock Region, and boasts some of the best conditions anywhere.
And if you don’t want to travel, you can find everything you need right here. Our region is filled with lots of amenities for outdoor activities on our lakes and rivers, and in our woods. We have many local entertainment options every week at the community theatres nearby, including the highly renowned and historic Colonial Theatre in Keene, which brings in talent from all over the world, including the Russian Ballet, and famous musical talent like Gordon Lightfoot, Arlo Guthrie and Three Dog Night.
Our healthy lifestyles demand healthy food, and we are known as one of the first to provide organic options through our natural food stores, farms, and small local producers before it was popular. Today, we also boast one of the most successful food coops in the area, The Keene Coop, where organic meats, cheeses, dairy, fruits, vegetables, and prepared options are readily available. The Healthy Monadnock initiative was established by Cheshire Medical Center in 2007 and maintains its goal of having the healthiest community in the U.S. Healthy initiatives are achieved through its partnerships with businesses, government, and civic organizations and individuals throughout the community. To promote healthy lifestyles, the Monadnock Region has spent considerable resources in developing its rail to trail system where our community can enjoy activities of horseback riding, mountain biking, walking, cross country skiing and snowmobiling.
There are lots of shopping options available not only in our malls, but in the myriad of small shops, boutiques and antique stores sprinkled throughout the region, where you can spend the day browsing and hunting for that perfect gift or item for your home or garden. And, speaking of gardens, the area is loaded with garden centers, garden clubs, and farm growers so you can make your home a haven with beautiful landscapes, and home grown foods.
If you’re concerned about providing a great education for your children, the Monadnock Region has plenty of options. We have some of the highest ranked public schools in the state which provide a diversity of educational options for students. The Surry Village Charter School has become highly respected as an open enrollment charter school offering a great education through project based learning and a strong sense of community. And The Monadnock Region’s MC2 charter high school offers community-based and in class learning customized to each child’s skills and talents to prepare them for college or careers after high school.
We also have a myriad of private schools, including some top religious-based elementary and high schools and some of the top boarding schools in the country. There are great options for pre-school education, as well, including religious and non-religious based schools, and the highly respected Sophia’s Hearth, Montessori and Waldorf schools.
In terms of higher education, Keene State College, Antioch and Franklin Pierce Universities and River Valley Community College are located right in our community. Keene State College is a public institution located on a beautiful campus in downtown Keene, offering academic programs across the arts and humanities, science, technology, engineering and math. Professional programs are offered as well. Also located in Keene is the well-renowned Antioch University New England, a private graduate school which is part of the Antioch University system. Just a few miles from Mt. Monadnock is Franklin Pierce University, located on over 1200 acres in Ringe. Franklin Pierce offers all levels of degrees, from associate to doctoral programs, and everything in between. They have a broad array of majors including business, arts and sciences, technology and criminal justice. River Valley Community College is also located in Keene, offering associates degrees in many areas including: medical, social services, business, technology, criminal justice and early childhood education.
Another important service people are concerned about is access to healthcare. Fortunately in The Monadnock Region we have great healthcare choices. The Cheshire Medical Center is located in Keene and is part of the Dartmouth Hitchcock community. Along with the Monadnock Community Hospital located in Peterborough, residents of the region have great resources for healthcare located right here. We also have easy access to some of the top healthcare facilities in the nation, with Dartmouth Hitchcock located about an hour away in Lebanon, NH, The Catholic Medical Center also about an hour away in Manchester, NH. The highly renowned Boston hospitals of Massachusetts General, Boston Children’s, Brigham & Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconess are within a two hours’ drive. Living in the Monadnock Region gives us access to some of the best physicians, hospitals and medical providers in the country. Within the last few years, a number of walk-in clinics have also been established in our community, and we have excellent dental, eye, chiropractic and alternative medical professionals located here as well.
For seniors, we have easy access to medical professionals, and also several options for assisted and independent living facilities. For those who choose to stay in their homes, the community provides many home health care providers who offer home care services including medical, food preparation and housekeeping. Additionally, many volunteer organizations support the elderly, often through our numerous religious and charitable organizations. And speaking of religious communities, at last count there were 67 churches in the Monadnock Region, all with active congregations and histories of providing great service to the people of the region.
If you’re looking to give back to your community in other ways, there are a myriad of non-profit and charitable organizations in which to participate. We have active Rotary and Lions Clubs, Women’s and Men’s business groups and environmental organizations like the Monadnock Conservancy. There are several organizations that provide food for the poor and the underemployed. We have family and child advocacy groups, support groups for violence prevention, organizations for the homeless and rescue groups for animals. We have drug and alcohol prevention centers, pregnancy resource groups, and organizations which support the elderly and the disabled.
So, if you are thinking of relocating and looking for a truly special place, check out The Monadnock Region. It’s a place of beauty, full of adventure and lots of amenities. It’s a wonderful place to live, to raise a family, or to retire. It’s a place made up of independent people who work hard to care for and support their communities, and this place they call “Home”.
- What Makes The Monadnock Region So Special? April 19, 2019