Townshend State Park (tel. 802/365-7500) and the Townshend State Forest are at the foot of Bald Mountain, 3 miles outside Townshend. The park is a solidly built campground constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in the 1930s. Park here to hike Bald Mountain, one of the better short hikes in the region; a 3-mile loop trail begins behind the ranger station, following a bridle path along a brook. The ascent soon gets steeper, and at about 1.7 miles, you arrive at the 1,680-foot summit, which is not bald at all -- open ledges offer views toward big Mount Monadnock to the east and Bromley and Stratton mountains to the west. The descent is a steeper 1.4-mile trail that ends behind the campground. Ask for trail maps at the park office. The park is open from May through Columbus Day and charges a $3-per-person entrance fee; the campsites cost $14 to $21 per site. To find the park, cross the Townshend Dam (off Rte. 30), then turn left and continue to the park sign.

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