Hanover, NH


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Hanover: This town is best known as the home of Dartmouth, and the college is a significant contributor to the town’s cultural fabric. However, with its vibrant downtown and an extensive trail network, Hanover is also much more than just a college town. If there’s one place (after Damascus, VA) where the AT and the town are intrinsically connected, that’s Hanover. In recognition of that connection, Hanover has obtained ATC’s Appalachian Trail Community designation – the only community in New Hampshire to have done so.

The AT is in Hanover for almost 15 miles. Coming from Norwich, Vermont, you cross the Connecticut River into Hanover on Ledyard Bridge (NH Rte. 10A) and proceed up West Wheelock Street until you reach the intersection with North and South Main Streets. On your left is Dartmouth’s main campus, and on your right is downtown. At this point, you’re also a half block (straight ahead on East Wheelock Street) from the transportation hub that is served by many public and commercial bus lines. The office for Dartmouth Outing Club (the trail maintainer) is to the left on North Main Street in Robinson Hall.

The AT turns right onto South Main Street – the heart of Hanover’s downtown with many restaurants, clothing boutiques, specialty shops and an outfitter. A block later, you’ll turn left onto Lebanon Street which also has several businesses on it as well. The post office is at the corner of Lebanon and South Main. You’ll proceed down Lebanon until you reach the R.W. Black Community Center at 48 Lebanon. Cut through their parking lot, and cross South Park Street at the crosswalk at the Coop Food Store. You’ll then turn right onto South Park for a short distance where South Park intersects with Lebanon Street. Continue straight on Lebanon Street for a few feet and then turn left where the AT goes back into the woods. The total distance on paved roads from Ledyard Bridge to this point on Lebanon Street is 1.2 miles.

The AT will follow along the edge of Dartmouth’s Chase Field and then begin its ascent of Velvet Rocks. Velvet Rocks Shelter is off the AT on a loop trail, and there are a couple of blue-blazed trails off this loop trail. After reaching the high point on Velvet Rocks, the trail crosses several roads and intersects with numerous blue-blazed trails. We’ve listed 21 such connections. The only major climb is twin-peaked Moose Mountain, with Moose Mountain Shelter in the saddle between those peaks. Just south of Goose Pond Rd., the AT leaves Hanover and enters Lyme.

Did you know? In 2011, CNN and Money magazine ranked Hanover the 6th best place to live in the country.

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