The Greater Merrimack-Souhegan Valley is full of outdoor adventures! The Peabody Mill Environmental Center (PMEC) http://amherstnh.gov/recreation/peabody-mill-env-center/
in Amherst is an environmental and science education center which abuts almost 600 acres of Joe English conservation land. Science and nature programs for children and adults are held regularly year round, as well as guided hikes and snowshoeing.
Beaver Brook Association in Hollis http://www.beaverbrook.org is an environmental education center that has over 35 miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding as well as beautiful gardens at their Maple Hill Gardens. Beaver Brook operates a summer camp for children and coordinates yearlong programming for all ages.
The Horse Hill Nature Preserve in Merrimack, NH boasts a 563± acre property consists of gently rolling to fairly steep terrain and two hills approximately 400' elevation. The land was cleared for pasture many years ago, it has been logged several times, and now consists primarily of mixed hardwood forest with trees between 20 and 60 years of age. The property includes a series of streams, ponds, swamps, and numerous wetlands totaling approximately 60 acres. The varied terrain, habitat, and large areas of undisturbed open space have encouraged a wide variety of wildlife to thrive on the property.
There are numerous town trails to explore throughout the region. Purgatory Falls was once a popular destination for tourists who ‘summered’ at the grand hotels in Mont Vernon and now is a popular hike to view the beautiful falls. Milford and Amherst have numerous town trails. Information may be found on http://milford.nh.gov/conservation/ and http://www.montvernonnh.us/index.php/conservation-home. A more rigorous climb can be had with a hike up Pack Monadnock or Wapack Mountain in Temple – information on Miller State Park, the trailhead for Pack Monadnock, may be found at http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/miller-state-park.aspx or on the Wapack Trail that includes Wapack, Pack Monadnock and North Pack Mountains at http://www.wapack.org/.
What would summer be without swimming? Silver Lake State Park is located in Hollis and Amherst has a town beach located at Baboosic Lake. Goss Park in Wilton is the local swimming hole. And the Towns of Milford and Greenville both has town-owned pools.
In the winter, try out Nordic (cross-country) skiing at Windblown Ski Area located in New Ipswich. http://windblownxc.com
The Arts are alive and thriving in the Souhegan Valley! Andres Art Institute in Brookline features over 75 sculptures from world renowned artists on 140 acres of trails. The public is invited to walk the trails and admire the wide variety of sculptures – a surprise around every bend! The Institute also holds many special events and symposiums throughout the year. http://andresinstitute.org
Wilton is home to the Riverview Mill Artist Collective, two historic mill buildings filled with working artist studios, galleries and shops. Over 30 artist studios. http://www.riverviewmill.com
While in Wilton, take a trip back in cinematic history with a movie at the Wilton Town Hall Theater. Built in 1886, it was first used as a play house for traveling shows and vaudeville. One can still see the original stage that actors used in the late 1800's. It was then converted in 1912 to a silent film house. Its popularity boomed as sound was introduced, and World War II hit, as it was the only local theater to provide current news reels.
The "Big House" seats 250 patrons in comfortable, well spaced seating. The "screening room" is a small, 63 seat theater that was converted from the original vaudeville actors changing room. It features a large screen and excellent, no strain viewing for comfortable film enjoyment. It's received its nick name as it closely resembles a Hollywood studio screening room. http://www.wiltontownhalltheatre.com/
All the world is a stage in Milford at the Amato Center for the Performing Arts, home to the Riverbend Youth Theater Company and the Milford Area Players. Both companies put on numerous productions all throughout the year. See a schedule at http://www.svbgc.org/theater
Our region is rich in history from Monson Village, (http://www.forestsociety.org/ourproperties/guide/?block=108) one of New Hampshire’s first colonial settlements chartered in 1946 and located in what is today Milford, to playing a vital role in the country’s industrial revolution and mill history. A visit to the several historical societies located in the Towns of the Valley will yield numerous tidbits and information on our role in American History – from the American Revolution, Civil War and role in the Abolitionist movement, to this region’s leadership in the manufacturing, granite mining, and agriculture. Several local Historical Societies curate museums that are open to the public.
Amherst Historical Society http://www.amhersthistoricalsociety.com/
Brookline Historical Society https://brooklinehistory.org/
Greenville History https://www.greenvillenh.org/
Hollis Historical Society http://www.hollishistoricalsociety.org/
Lyndeborough History https://www.town.lyndeborough.nh.us/about-us
Mason History http://freedomsway.org/
Merrimack Historical Society https://www.merrimackhistory.org/
Milford Historical Society http://www.milfordhistory.com/
Mont Vernon Historical Society https://montvernonhistoricalsocietynewsletter
New Ipswich Historical Society http://www.newipswichhistoricalsociety.org/
Temple Historical Society https://templehistorical.org/
Wilton Historical Society http://www.wiltonlibrarynh.org/wilton/whs.asp
There is always something happening in the Souhegan Valley! From antique shows to local farmers markets to community events, there are many things to see and do. Be sure to check out these events:
Hollis Strawberry Festival – June, http://www.holliswomansclub.org/
Celebrate Wilton – June http://mainstreet.wilton.nh.us/events.html
Amherst Fourth of July Celebration - http://amherstnh.gov/town-celebrations/july-4th/
Hollis Old Home Days – September http://www.hollisoldhomedays.org/
The Milford Pumpkin Festival – October , http://www.milfordpumpkinfestival.org/
The Hollis Apple Festival – October, http://hollisnh.org/announce/oct_apple_festival.htm