When you live in the Upper Valley, going for a hike can be as easy as walking out the door. If you live on a dirt road or your house is surrounded by woods, there’s nothing more natural than striking out for a vigorous walk with no particular destination in mind.
Photo credit: Doug Kerr
But what if you’re tired of walking the same old path? What if you want some company on your hikes? That’s easy, too. There are a lot of trails to explore in the Upper Valley, and lots of resources to help you find the trails and the outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy them.
- Upper Valley Trails Alliance: Sponsored by more than two dozen Upper Valley businesses, the UVTA website offers hikes and walks to suit all ages and abilities. Their Trail Finder covers virtually all of New Hampshire and Vermont, and lets you choose trails by town, activity, or trail name. UVTA also provides information on free indoor walks at public venues such as Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center or the Powerhouse Mall, both in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
- Valley Quest: These fun and informative adventures are sponsored by the local nonprofit Vital Communities. Their mission is to make the region “a better place to live, work, and play.” Valley Quest meets all that criteria. A Valley Quest hike may guide you through rural or urban landscapes, but each one always leads to a hidden treasure. They’re designed for children, but adults love them, too. You can purchase Valley Quest books or find Quests online.
- Snowmobile Clubs: You don’t have to own a snowmobile to take advantage of the hundreds of miles of trails that local snowmobile clubs maintain in both Vermont and New Hampshire. The club trails are extensive, and they pass through some of the most stunning scenery of both states. Check them out at the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) and the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association (NHSA).
- Group Hikes: Tired of going it alone? Various organizations sponsor group hikes year-round in the Upper Valley. You can always find public hikes listed in the calendar section of the Valley News. Other places to look include the Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont; Hanover Conservancy; and the Dartmouth Outing Club, which isn’t just for students and faculty.