Snowshoeing In The Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire
One of the things we at Higgerson Team love about living in the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire is the variety of cold weather activities to partake in. Winter is our favorite season and there’s nothing we enjoy more than getting outside during the shortest days of the year. Now that we have some snow on the ground thanks to more seasonal temps, we’re sharing our favorite local spots for snowshoeing.
Balch Hill – Hanover, NH
Balch Hill Natural Area has been a favorite of Hanover, New Hampshire residents for over 50 years. Ten trails provide easy to moderate routes to the 937-foot summit. Its diverse communities include a former pasture and apple orchard at the summit, and forests of pine, hardwoods, and hemlock on the slopes. View the trail map here.
Directions: From the Dartmouth College Green, proceed 1.6 miles on East Wheelock Street to parking at the junction of Grasse and Trescott Roads. Or follow Route 10 north, turn right on Reservoir Road, then right on Hemlock Road. Park before the private drive near the end (2.5 mi from Green).
Parcel 5 – Norwich, VT
Parcel 5 off Beaver Meadow Road in Norwich, Vermont is a 3.2 mile loop meandering through a variety of woodlands with some steep ups and downs. However, there is a short cut back to the parking lot after the first mile. It is marked by a trail map that will point you back to your car. Dogs are permitted on a leash. See the trail map here.
Directions: From Main Street in Norwich, turn left on Beaver Meadow Road. Follow for 2.5 miles, then turn right at a small sign “5” for the entry to the ample parking lot. A trail map with elevations is posted at a kiosk at the parking lot.
The Boston Lot Conservation Area – Lebanon, NH
The 4.4 mile Burnt Mountain Loop is a personal favorite among the 436 acres with seven miles of trail that comprise the The Boston Lot Conservation area in Lebanon, New Hampshire. If you are looking for something slightly shorter the Boston Lot Lake Loop is a nice option. Find maps for all the trails here.
Directions: The most popular way to access the property includes utilizing the parking area adjacent to the Wilder Dam along NH Route 10, and taking the access road approximately 1/2 mile up to the lake area. Additional trail access points include from the Water Tower road directly south of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), as well as both the Indian Ridge Trail and Sachem Village Trail coming in from the North. There are several trails on private property to the South that connect with the Boston Lot system, including trails on the Landmark property owned by Dartmouth College that extend all the way south to Old Pine Tree Cemetery Road.
Faulkner Trail – Woodstock VT
This is a perfect family outing featuring gentle switchbacks that build up to an incredible panoramic view of the village of Woodstock, Vermont from the South Peak of Mount Tom. The distance is 1.7 miles one way. Dogs are permitted on a leash. See the trail map here.
Directions: The Faulkner Trail begins at the trailhead kiosk in Faulkner Park on Mountain Avenue in Woodstock, Vermont. From the green in Woodstock, head east on US-4 then turn right on Mountain Avenue. Parking is along the road, please be respectful of the neighbors. Follow the paved trails in the park to the back of the mowed area and you’ll see the trailhead kiosk.
Hartland Winter Trails – Hartland, VT
This 16-mile network of snowshoeing trails provides a unique opportunity to meander through fields, back woods, and over gently rolling to steep terrain in the Three- and Four-Corners areas of Hartland, Vermont. The trails vary in length and difficulty and are groomed by a volunteer when snow conditions allow. Dogs are allowed on a leash but must be kept out of the groomed ski tracks. Trail map here.
Directions: The primary trailhead for the Hartland Winter Trails is near the Three Corners Fire Station. From the intersection of VT-12 and US-5 in Hartland Three Corners, drive approximately 1 mile west on VT-12. After leaving the village area, you will pass Bischoff Lane on the right. Continue about 0.2 miles and look for the parking lot on the right – across the road from the town highway garage and the fire station.
Lyme Hill Conservation Area – Lyme, NH
The Upper Valley Land Trust’s 250-acre Lyme Hill Conservation Area abuts a number of parcels conserved by private landowners in Lyme, New Hampshire. The land is a mix of forested slopes with stream frontage and wetland and a popular destination for winter recreationalists. Lyme Hill has 3.5 miles of multi-use trails, including an official snowmobile trail. Hike to the summit, out to the wetland, around the looping forest trail, or cross over to the Lower Grant Brook Trail which connects to other trails in Lyme. Find a printable map here.
Directions: Lyme Hill Conservation Area can be accessed from a large parking area located on Route 10 in Lyme about 1.25 miles south of Lyme village. The trails may also be accessed on foot or bike from River Road, where there is a wide shoulder on the west side of the road just south of Grant Brook.
Zebedee Wetland – Thetford, VT
A partnership between the Upper Valley Land Trust and the Thetford Conservation Commission has created a walking trail in Thetford, Vermont in memory of local naturalist and educator, Linny Levin. The .75 mile trail is mostly flat and encircles the wetland. Additionally, it offers several spurs to vantage points looking over the beaver-maintained pond system. There are benches in several locations to have a rest and enjoy the natural surroundings. Find a printable map here. Additionally, the ULVT is hosting a guided snowshoe at Zebedee on Saturday. To reserve a spot click here.
Directions: From Route 113 in Thetford (Exit 14 off I-91) turn north on Houghton Hill Road. Parking for Zebedee Wetland is on the road shoulder after about .35 miles. A green metal gate marks the entry to the property and the trailhead kiosk is beyond the gate.
We’ve been full-time residents here for 28 years, and Rick, whose parents have had homes in Barnard, South Pomfret, East Thetford and now Quechee, grew up here in the summers. And we still love living here! The lifestyle is incomparable. If you’re curious about Upper Valley real estate and you’d like to take a look at homes for sale in Hanover, Lyme, Norwich, Woodstock, or any of the other great small towns that complete the Upper Valley of Vermont and New Hampshire, contact us. Additionally, you can view our current listings here.