Parks and Recreation

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With the gently flowing Connecticut River on the western edge of town, hiking trails running to the 2,300-foot peak of Moose Mountain to the east, and Hanover Country Club, Occom Pond and Storrs Pond, Hanover has everything for an active and healthy lifestyle. The Appalachian Trail passes through Norwich and crosses the Connecticut River to meander straight through downtown Hanover before ducking back into the woods. It’s not unusual for a family out for a short walk to find themselves chatting with “thru-hikers” traveling the 2,190 miles from Georgia to Maine on foot.

The Hanover Conservancy protects over 2,000 acres of land in Hanover and has 11 different hiking trails for all ages and abilities. The Upper Valley Trails Alliance connects trails and people all throughout the Upper Valley. Nearby is Cardigan Mountain, a state park with several trails leading up the 3,000-foot “Old Baldy.” The Upper Valley is a great place to get outside, find a new vista to admire and enjoy nature.

The par-71 public course at the Hanover Country Club measures almost 6,500 yards. Tennis and swimming enthusiasts are right at home at Storrs Pond, a fee-based area that features tennis and basketball courts, a pond and a pool, wooded walking trails, picnic areas and secluded camping sites. Norwich’s Huntley Meadows offers tennis courts and fields for playing Frisbee.

Horseback riders of all ages enjoy Dartmouth’s Morton Farm, where college students and community members ride and board horses. Additional area golf courses, campgrounds, swimming and fishing holes are easy to find and accessible to all. For water sports, the Ledyard Canoe Club rents canoes and kayaks and offers instruction at reasonable rates. You can even reserve the Titcomb Cabin on Gilman Island for an overnight adventure and easy paddle from town, or you can fly fish for native trout at Mink Brook or fish for bass on Goose Pond.

Come winter, the Dartmouth Cross-Country Ski Center offers rentals and memberships for access to more than 25 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails at Hanover Country Club and adjacent Storrs Pond, where the Oak Hill Ski Area hosted the NCAA Championships.

Downhill skiers flock to the Dartmouth Skiway, a family area with a new lodge but an old-time feel featuring skiing and snowboarding. Many of the top ski areas in New England are within an easy drive. The whole family will enjoy sledding at Hanover Country Club or skating on Occom Pond, Campion Rink and Thompson Arena.

Fitness enthusiasts can visit on a daily basis or buy memberships at the River Valley Club just over the town line in Lebanon, at Mighty Yoga or another local yoga studio or at Dartmouth’s state-of-the-art Zimmerman Fitness Center. u