Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area
April 19. 2011 9:24PM
Chesterfield Gorge Natural Area spans 13 acres. It offers great opportunities for hiking, as you explore the footpaths along the gorge and enjoy the scenic views.
A short distance from the Visitor Center is trail which is 7/10's of a mile and follows Wilde Brook through Chesterfield Gorge. The beginning of the trail is within a plant community dominated by sun-loving oak and pine trees. Different types of plants need various amounts of sunlight, moisture, and heat to grow. Take note of these changes as you travel through the gorge.
Wilde Brook originates in two ponds uphill from the park. After its waters rush through the gorge, the brook flows into the more gentle waters of Partridge Brook. This stream continues on to merge with the Connecticut River ten miles downstream.
Location: Route 9, Chesterfield
Activities: Hiking, picnicking
Amenities: Visitor Center, picnic tables and flush toilets
Operation Schedule: Mid-May to November
Acreage: 13 acres
One man's generosity played an integral role in the preservation of Chesterfield Gorge. George White, a local farmer, bought the land in 1936 to prevent encroaching loggers from clear-cutting it. He sold fifteen acres of the gorge to the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. The land was then donated to the State of New Hampshire.
The Visitor Center was created and is staffed due to volunteer support. The publications and exhibits in the center highlight the natural and cultural history of the region, as well as provide area information. A major display of early New Hampshire logging tools, donated by Mrs. H. T. Gregory of Norwich, Vermont, may be viewed.