Chesterfield Gorge is located in Chesterfield, New Hampshire on Route 9 about 20 minutes west of Keene. Route 9 is the same physical road as Route 101. It turns into Route 9 west of Keene NH.
Chesterfield Gorge was once owned by George White, a local farmer. He bought the land in 1936 to prevent 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 later donated to the state of New Hampshire.
Chesterfield Gorge is a free nature walk about .7 miles long. It's an easy walk so bringing your children - even babies in a 'baby backpack' - isn't a problem.
There are picnic tables and grilling areas available so you can bring your lunch. However, you need to bring your trash out of the park with you.
Before you hike the gorge trail, be sure to pop into the Visitor's Center. Inside is a display of animal fur, tracks, and droppings (also called 'scat') that you may encounter on your walk. If you have children with you, I'm sure the 'scat' will amuse them.
Also inside is a display of old logging tools donated by Mrs. H. T. Gregory which is really interesting. The rangers in the visitors are very friendly and will answer your questions for you. There is a pamphlet available with the history and map of the gorge.
When walking into the gorge, of course you are going downhill. Within a few minutes you will cross a bridge. Here is a picture from that bridge above...
There are fences along most of the gorge to ensure that you don't fall in. Be sure to stay on the trail. Wandering off the trail could be hazardous and even cost you some money. See Take a Hike! for more details on that.
My husband and I ventured into the gorge and managed to get out before a rainstorm started. You can see that a lot of my pictures are a bit dark. If it had been sunny, they would have been lighter. If you think a rainstorm is coming, don't go into the gorge as the paths could get quite slippery.
There is no admission fee to the gorge and is definitely worth a stop. For a list of gorges in New England see - New England Gorges.