Local Sites

Franklin Pierce Homestead

The Franklin Pierce Homestead was the childhood home of the fourteenth President of the United States, Franklin Pierce. Located in Hillsborough, New Hampshire, the home was built in 1804 by Pierce's father, Benjamin Pierce. The home is one of Franklin Pierce's probable places of birth, the other now lying beneath the nearby impoundment of Franklin Pierce Lake. Pierce lived at the homestead until 1834 when he married, with the exception of a seven-year span spent away for school, college, and law study. It is now operated by the Hillsborough Historical Society and has been designated a state park. It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1961.

Stone Arch Bridges 

Once home to more than a dozen stone arch masonry bridges, Hillsborough now has five of these gems, four of which are used every day to support auto, bike and foot traffic. These bridges are registered as historic structures by the Historic American Building Survey, part of the National Park Service. Most recently they have been recognized as a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark, the second in New Hampshire, after the Cog Railway.

Fox State Forest

Fox State Forest protects almost 1,500 acres of forest that includes 22 miles of trails for hiking and biking. The forest is comprised mainly of northern hardwoods, oaks, and white pines, but there is also a stand of 450-year-old black gum trees and a grove of virgin hemlocks. This short loop is perfect for a quick early-morning or late-afternoon ride. It visits the virgin hemlock grove as well as an interesting bog where a 21-foot-thick mat of peat is topped with carnivorous pitcher plants. Along the way you might see wild turkeys, great horned or barred owls, hawks, or white-tailed deer. Highlights include Hurricane Road, the Black Gum Swamp, and Monroe Hill Tower with its views of Crotchet Mountain and Mt. Monadnock.

Hillsborough-Deering to Bennington Recreational Rail Trail

This Rail Trail is division of the NH Trails Bureau and runs 7.7 miles along an old railroad bed. All Recreational Trails are Multi-use Trails. Users of multi-use trails may include:
  • Bikers
  • Cross-country skiers
  • Equestrians
  • Hikers
  • OHRVs
  • Sled dogs
  • Snowshoers

Gleason Falls

A small waterfall is located near the junction of Gleason Falls Road and Beard Brook Road and is a picture perfect spot for picnicking, wading and fishing. The Falls rush under one of our famous stone bridges built in the 1850s and are at their best in the spring. There are remnants of stone mill dam walls on the south side of the brook. Views from the falls toward the stone arch bridge are outstanding, particularly when the water level is high in the spring and during the fall foliage season.

Contoocook River Trail

The Hillsborough Riverwalk, located on the Contoocook River near Grimes Field in southeast Hillsborough is an interpretive trail fit for families and older folks to walk or bike. The trailhead is behind the baseball fields and ample parking is available. The trail starts east of the parking lot as an access road for the first hundred meters or so and then narrows to a footpath just beyond the end of the road. The trail is mostly flat and marked with white painted blazes. Posts with numbers and letters engraved into the tops refer the follower to a guide describing significant events or features at that spot.

Manahan Beach On Pierce Lake

Franklin Pierce Lake, also known as Jackman Reservoir, was formed in 1926 when Jackman Dam and Power Plant was built thereby flooding a section of the North Branch River. The lake covers an area of approximately 519 acres of which about 1/3 is in Antrim and 2/3 is in Hillsborough. In rough measures it is about 2 miles long and a half mile wide. The mean depth is 4.6 meters while the maximum depth is 9.6 meters. A map is available at NH Fish and Game website. It is considered to be a ‘warm water fishery’. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department has determined that the lake contains:
  • Black crappie
  • Bluegill
  • Brown bullhead (hornpout; catfish)
  • Common sunfish
  • Largemouth bass
  • Northern pike
  • Smallmouth bass
  • White perch
  • Yellow perch
The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department also stock it with a small number of rainbow trout and brown trout each year. Boating is allowed but as with all lakes, power boat operators must have a Safe Boater Certificate and they must keep their speed down to steerage speed whenever within 150’ feet of shore. Hillsborough’s Manahan Park is the only public boat ramp and beach on the lake.