The Forested Backdrop

From the steep, woodland eskers of the Connecticut River banks to the nearby ridgelines to the east, the backdrop of forested hills defines the landscape character of downtown Hanover. Many people and groups have worked to build this highly visible natural area within walking distance of the downtown business and institutional district, schools, and residential neighborhoods. As with more rural open spaces, these in-town natural areas contribute to a healthy ecosystem by protecting water resources, diverse plant and animal natural communities, and wildlife corridors.

Because these natural areas are located in the area of town zoned for heaviest use, they are also critically important for:

  • protecting the visual character of Hanover-a rural New England town surrounded by forest and mown fields
  • making publicly accessible connections to nature and various forms of recreation and
  • providing people with physical, mental and emotional refreshment

The segments of this natural backdrop include (starting from the north of town):

The Rinker Tract

  • The Ferguson Field on Route 10, across from Kendal at Hanover
  • Storrs Pond Recreation Area
  • Oak Hill
  • The natural area surrounding the Ray School, including a section along Camp Brook
  • Camp Brook along Reservoir Road from near the Storrs Pond entrance to Grasse Road
  • Balch Hill
  • Velvet Rocks ridge, including the higher elevations and ridgeline to the south and east of the Velvet Rocks ridge above Sand Hill and Greensboro Road
  • Mink Brook corridor to Buck Road trail along sewer easement to Hanover Conservation Council Nature Preserve, the Tanzi Track Nature Preserve, and to City of Lebanon Indian Ridge conservation land through Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center
  • Mink Brook corridor through Tanzi Track to western part of Hanover Conservation Council Nature Preserve over South Main Street (Route 10) to the North and South Esker Nature Preserves, Pine Park Cemetery and the Connecticut River
  • North Esker Nature Preserve north along the Connecticut River, including land west of the Dartmouth College campus, the Dartmouth College golf course, and Pine Park Association land
  • To the east of the golf course and Lyme Road (practice golf course and the town-owned easement along Girl Brook connect back to Balch Hill and the Ray School campus and nature preserve)
  • Kendal at Hanover conservation easement (not publicly accessible) to the Ferguson conserved land on Lyme Road, thus completes the circle to Storrs Pond and the Rinker Tract.

While each of these areas is, or should be, protected, not all are or should be open for public use. Privately held lands protected by conservation easement are an important component for the preservation of our town character and healthy environment.