Conservation / Recreation Area Recommendations

The open space protection purposes for each conservation/recreation area are given below to assist in the evaluation of potential projects. They are followed by lists of some specific action suggestions.

Appalachian Trail Buffers

Purpose: to provide an ample buffer around the footpath of the Appalachian Trail (AT) to sustain and increase its wilderness surroundings; to ensure a viable corridor for wildlife; and to retain a woodland backdrop to the areas through which the trail passes.

  1. Work with the Appalachian Trail Conference (ATC) Land Trust to establish buffers where the trail is narrow, and to conserve other properties near the trail.
  2. Make Conservation Fund money available to match ATC Land Trust funds to conserve properties near the Appalachian Trail and in the Trail viewshed.
  3. Recommend that the ATC work with the appropriate landowners to connect the School District parcel in the Moose Mountain West (MMW) area with the AT.

The Appalachian Trail connects Hanover to thousands of miles of hiking trails in more than a dozen states.

Connecticut River

Purpose: to prevent shoreline erosion; to sustain wildlife habitat; to protect as much natural wooded view from the river as possible; to preserve important views of the river; and to provide increased access to the river.

  1. Increase opportunities for public access to and use of the river.
  2. Create a continuous trail along the river.
  3. Protect views of the river from public roads and trails.
  4. Ask U.S. Generating Company to place a conservation easement on their island in the Connecticut River.

Lord's Hill

Purpose: to sustain a substantial wildlife habitat area, and to keep it well connected to other conservation areas; to protect views to and from hillsides and ridgelines of Lord's Hill; to provide a wooded backdrop for development along Dogford and Two Mile Roads; and to create a pedestrian trail system which includes the historic Wolfeboro Road layout, and which provides a hub to connect many existing trails.

  1. Hold a neighborhood gathering to discuss conservation of open space on Lord's Hill.
  2. Establish a public trail network within the Lord's Hill conservation area that links with adjoining conservation areas and trails.
  3. Re-establish a public trail on the alignment formerly occupied by Wolfeboro Road.
  4. Protect views from and to Lord's Hill.

Lyme Connection

Purpose: to extend Hanover's recreation and wildlife corridors by establishing a pedestrian path to connect Slade Brook and the Doyle property to the Menge conservation easement area in Lyme; and to connect currently isolated portions of Hanover, such as Mulherrin Farms, to the existing trail network.

  1. Request Town Meeting to designate Wardrobe Road as a public trail, because of its unique characteristic as a connector to protected property in Lyme.

Mink Brook Corridor

Purpose: to protect water quality, wetlands and habitat in the entire Mink Brook watershed; to protect a historically important element (the brook and its mill foundations) of the Etna section of Hanover; to ensure groundwater recharge of the underlying aquifers; and to create a continuous footpath from the Connecticut River to Moose Mountain.

  1. Protect wetlands and unique habitat areas in the Mink Brook watershed.
  2. Protect a continuous path preferably along the brook from the Connecticut River to Moose Mountain.
  3. Complete the Etna Walkway.
  4. Support the Mink Brook Land Protection Plan under development by the Hanover Conservation Council.
  5. Develop a companion protection plan for management of the town's Mink Brook lands and for privately owned lands.
  6. Encourage Dartmouth College to protect with a conservation easement the nearby "Bottomless Pit", an exemplary level bog and acidic seepage swamp community, thereby enlarging and making more accessible the protected area adjacent to it.

Monahan Valley

Purpose: to provide a pathway and wildlife corridor connecting the AT with the Slade Brook area; to protect groundwater aquifers in the vicinity of Hanover Center; and to protect an important water source fro the Third Hanover reservoir.

  1. Encourage conservation easements on lands with existing protective covenants.
  2. Hold neighborhood meetings focused on protecting other lands in Monahan Valley.
  3. Protect the Cory Road bridge and surrounding properties.

Moose Mountain East

Purpose: to protect water quality in the watersheds of Scales and Pressey Brooks by limiting further development; to augment the multi-town forest block that provides the region with a sustainable core of viable wildlife habitat; and to provide for wilderness recreation.

  1. Properties which would expand the Town Forest, Appalachian Trail corridor and the Marshall/Pressey Brook wetland area should be protected to allow movement of animals through the area from the Appalachian Trail down to Canaan conservation land and Lyme.
  2. Work with adjoining towns to protect the multi-town forest block and to encourage wildlife habitation.
  3. See recommendations Number 1 and Number 2 for the AT Buffers.

Mowed fields offer occasional views of the east side of Moose Mountain.

Moose Mountain West

Purpose: to protect views to and from the hillsides and ridgelines of Moose Mountain; to protect the headwaters of Mink Brook; to provide connections between the AT, Slade Brook, and Mink Brook conservation/recreation areas; to benefit wildlife; and to provide a wooded backdrop to development in the rural residential part of town.

  1. Encourage conservation easements to be placed on properties that abut Class VI roads and currently protected properties in the "F" Zone.
  2. Seek a conservation easement on the Hanover School District's 60 acres near the northern edge of MMW.
  3. Ask UNH to place an easement restricting further development on its 20-acre Moose Mountain ridgetop property on which the TV tower is located.
  4. Recommend that the ATC work with the appropriate landowners to connect the School District parcel with the AT.
  5. See recommendations Number 1 and Number 2 for the AT Buffers.

Slade Brook

Purpose: to provide recreational and wildlife connections from Moose Mountain and the Monahan Valley area to the Connecticut River; to buffer the brook and diverse natural and unusually steep lands along its course; and to ensure groundwater recharge of the underlying aquifers.

  1. Contact owners of unprotected properties about conserving their land in the lower Slade Brook valley.
  2. Protect the two waterfalls on Slade Brook.
  3. Establish a protected trail from Three Mile Road to the Connecticut River along the entire length of the brook.

Trail maintenance is an important part of the recreation system.

Water Company Land

Purpose: to make some or all of the land accessible for public recreation; to sustain wildlife habitat; to connect this area to nearby recreation and habitat areas; and to protect the reservoirs, natural areas and prime agricultural soils from the impacts of development.

  1. Appoint a special task force to investigate permanent protection of the Water Company Lands.
  2. Protect the lands by means of conservation easements.
  3. If no longer needed for water supply, work to convert the Water Company lands to a public recreation and wildlife area.
  4. Encourage conservation easements to be placed on properties to the west and north of the Water Company Lands.

In-Town Open Space Action Area Recommendations

Purposes: to sustain and expand Hanover's in-town natural backdrop and smaller open spaces; to sustain and expand Hanover's physical amenities and recreational opportunities; and to strengthen the role of open space in all in-town planning and development.


  1. Reserve for in-town projects the half of the Land Use Change Tax that is automatically added annually to the Land Acquisition and Capital Improvements Fund for in-town projects.
  2. Seek support for in-town open space projects from various organizations such as the Hanover Improvement Society and local neighborhood groups.
  3. Enhance and permanently protect the natural backdrop surrounding the in-town areas.
  4. Establish design controls in all town ordinances to maintain the appearance of a forested backdrop to in-town areas.
  5. Seek and develop connections between in-town open spaces, and between in-town and rural open spaces.
  6. Ensure that every residential neighborhood has a park or informal open space for local use within a 3- to 5-minute walk of most residences.
  7. Ensure that all downtown development have publicly accessible open space. This should be reflected in the Town's Master Plan and land use ordinances as well as in the initial design, size and placement of buildings in relation to their surroundings.
  8. Consider for continued open space or recreational use the follow open spaces in-town. (The Town-owned properties should be studied for permanent protection using conservation easements. Owners of privately-held open space are encouraged to permanently protect such land with conservation easements.)
    • Tanzi Track
    • Mink Brook-both sides and natural areas through corner of Lebanon Street and Greensboro Road
    • Rinker Tract
    • Ray School grounds and nature preserve
    • Storrs Pond Recreation Area
    • Oak Hill
    • High School and Middle School playing fields
    • Thompson Terrace playing field
    • Balch Hill
    • Open mown field east of North Balch, west of Smith Road
    • Open mown field north of A-Lot, off East Wheelock
    • Woodland surrounded by Ripley Road, School Street, and South Main Street
    • Islands in the Connecticut River
    • Dartmouth Green
    • Bema and College Park
    • Open space across East South Street from Hospice
    • West Wheelock Herb Garden
    • Occum Pond and surrounding fields
    • Hanover Country Club Golf Course
    • Pine Park Association land
    • Athletic fields at Reservoir and Lyme Roads
    • Playing field at Lyme Road and Dresden Road
    • Corner of North Main and Clement Streets
    • Corner of Buell and South Main Streets
    • Corner of Allen and School Streets
    • Corner of Maple Street and Lewin Road.
  9. Encourage Dartmouth College to continue its commitment to a pedestrian-oriented campus.
  10. Develop pedestrian paths on:
    • East Wheelock Street east of Rip Road up to Grasse Road
    • Grasse Road to Dartmouth College residential communities on Grasse Road.
  11. Re-negotiate the Girl Brook Sewer/Trail Easement to allow bicycles to provide a safe bicycle route to the Ray School from the downtown area.
  12. Connect the Girl Brook Sewer/Trail Easement with an accessible path from Verona Avenue.
  13. Protect the sewer easement between Downing and Sargent Streets with a conservation easement.
  14. Re-negotiate the conservation easement along the Connecticut River at the Kendal at Hanover to allow pedestrian access.
  15. Reclassify Highway 34 and the Wolfeboro Road over Oak Hill to Dogford Road to public trails.

Occum Pond provides winter sports for all.