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Old 02-07-2022, 01:03 PM
 
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Greetings,

I am considering moving to NH for a more simple, quieter lifestyle.
I am also considering other areas of New England (ME, VT)

In NH, the other area I am considering is Hanover as it looks on the map to offer many hiking opportunities (?)


I would like to live in a community with:
  1. a population of 8,000K or more (up to a small city)
  2. a college or university as I like the sport, art, and educational opportunities
  3. An area within a 1/2 hour drive of many hikes, including hilly hikes -- this is very important to me
  4. preference for more locally owned businesses vs chains
  5. safe and friendly community, where I could feel comfortable walking in the evenings

Although I know I can drive to the Whites, I would like hikes closer by, especially those offering more challenge.

I want to an area that is not isolated from other towns (as I do like to travel too).

Would Dover/Durham be a good choice?
I like what I see online but it is harder to know from maps and some images whether there are hilly hikes.


Thank you for your time!

Last edited by COCountrygal; 02-07-2022 at 01:18 PM..
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Old 02-09-2022, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Newburyport, MA
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Dover and seacoast NH generally are really an outstanding area, but there is limited topography. There is a great park nearby called Pawtuckaway State Park that is popular for hiking and with rock climbers. The scale is not that big there if you want significant vertical though. There are some nice parks on the south side of Lake Winnipesaukee that have bigger mountains and hiking trails, about 45 mins away. Besides the main UNH campus in Durham, and lively Portsmouth, which are very close, this area is also reasonably close to Boston, MA and Portland, ME, as well as of course the White Mountains to the north, which are just about the biggest part of the Appalachians - rivaled only by the Smokies on the TN/NC border. So there are *a lot* of interesting places that one can either daytrip or overnight on weekends.

As you have identified, another likely suspect is the neighborhood of Dartmouth College,in Hanover, NH. It's more rugged out there than around Dover, both on the NH side and the VT side of the Connecticut River. It's not isolated, as besides Dartmouth, you have a number of good sized towns in that area, and it's right near the junction of two major interstates, I-91 and I-89. Mt Sunapee and Mt Ascutney are nearby and offer some pretty good vertical, but the more challenging mountains in either the Green Mountains of VT or the White Mtns of NH will be at least 45 mins away - like Mt Moosilauke in the Whites, one of the closest 4000-footers - some nice pics here:
http://4000footers.com/moosilauke.shtml
https://newenglandwaterfalls.com/400...moosilauke.php

Last edited by OutdoorLover; 02-09-2022 at 08:43 AM..
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Old 02-09-2022, 10:06 AM
 
Location: New England
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Love Dover. Chose it for our second tour of NH (we moved away then back over a year ago). Great family town, clean, quiet, great local to all things Seacoast and Boston. Would recommend.
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Old 02-09-2022, 10:41 AM
KCZ
 
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I think you're going to have to compromise somewhere. There aren't many small cities (8000+) within 1/2 hour of challenging hilly hikes that have a college. Here's a list of NH towns by population. The major "college towns" (as opposed to a town that happens to have a community college tucked away) are Durham, Hanover, Keene, and Plymouth. The other towns with smaller colleges, e.g. Henniker and Rindge, are quite a bit smaller. Do you have other requirements...employment considerations? Does "not isolated" mean proximity to an airport?





https://worldpopulationreview.com/st.../new-hampshire
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Old 02-09-2022, 10:50 AM
 
Location: Floyd County, IN
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Actually, 35-40 minutes north of Dover up 16 there are the Moose Mountains conservation area in Brookfield/Middleton with some hilly trails, Ossipee Mountains are right down the road, but not as challenging as some of the White Mountains trails.
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Old 02-09-2022, 08:28 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OutdoorLover View Post
... There is a great park nearby called Pawtuckaway State Park that is popular for hiking and with rock climbers. .. There are some nice parks on the south side of Lake Winnipesaukee that have bigger mountains and hiking trails, about 45 mins away. Besides the main UNH campus in Durham, and lively Portsmouth, which are very close, this area is also reasonably close to ...Portland, ME, as well as of course the White Mountains to the north..
As you have identified, another likely suspect is the neighborhood of Dartmouth College,in Hanover, NH. It's more rugged out there than around Dover, both on the NH side and the VT side of the Connecticut River. It's not isolated,...like Mt Moosilauke [/url]
This is all great info! And I do rock climb too And Mt Moosilauke looks beautiful! I am so grateful for all your help; now I have some good multiple choices near the coast (or inland) that might work well for me!

Thank you, again, for your time and such helpful info.
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Old 02-09-2022, 08:40 PM
 
26 posts, read 77,353 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCZ View Post
I think you're going to have to compromise somewhere. There aren't many small cities (8000+) within 1/2 hour of challenging hilly hikes that have a college. Here's a list of NH towns by population. The major "college towns" (as opposed to a town that happens to have a community college tucked away) are Durham, Hanover, Keene, and Plymouth.... Do you have other requirements...employment considerations? Does "not isolated" mean proximity to an airport?]
Thank you. Always compromise I know... trying to get the best of what I want; this is my vision:

- Has range of hiking within a 1/2 hour (does not need to be vertical, just options) and more vertical or challenging within say 45 minutes (this is very important)

- Has major college or university (within say 1/2 hour drive) as I enjoy the college activities and the businesses that spring up as a result of having a college/university (restaurants, co-ops, cafes, etc.)

- Airport within 1 hour

- Has grocers (I prefer organic or locally sourced)

- Safe; friendly but not nosey

- Quaint type of downtown which can be walked in evenings

- Compact (can find all I need in town: food, college, doctors, car servicing...)

- Nice to have non-profits or camps for volunteering

- Not isolated means close enough (15 minutes or so) to other towns and smaller cities. I do not like places that feel dark if that makes sense.

I have worked in university and also am thinking of some self-employment options so I feel comfortable with work.

Thank you so much!
Annie
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Old 02-09-2022, 10:01 PM
KCZ
 
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The major airports that serve NH are in Manchester and Boston, which pretty much eliminates anything north of Laconia.

The real estate market is very depleted right now as out-of-staters with WFH options have fled the pandemic in urban areas. The RE inventory is low and prices are high. While you look, I would check out realtor.com just to see what the market is like in the areas you're considering. Property taxes vary considerably from town to town, and you can see them here... https://www.revenue.nh.gov/mun-prop/...-tax-rates.htm

Towns with <5K population probably aren't going to have the services you want and frequently won't have a large enough population center to make walking worthwhile.

I think you mentioned darkness more in relation to isolation and social atmosphere, but since you brought it up, you should know that the winters here are long and dark. If you have problems with SAD, you really need to visit during the winter and see what it's like here, especially when it's cloudy. There are people that find it intolerable.

Most places are very safe, except maybe Manchester at night and a handful of smaller towns with drug problems. There are farmer's markets and CSA's everywhere in summer, but you're stuck with whatever the local supermarkets have for produce in the winter, which usually is OK but pandemic supply and staffing issues right now have taken a toll.

HTH.
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Old 02-10-2022, 12:22 PM
 
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OP, given your requirements, I actually think Concord would be a nearly ideal location. It is situated at the crossroads of I-89 and I-93. It has a handful of small colleges/universities, but is not a true college town. The colleges are most community colleges, and a law school (UNH School of Law, which was formerly Franklin Pierce Law School, the law school for Franklin Pierce University, which is based in Rindge, in the SW corner of the state.)

It is also the location of St. Paul’s School, which is a top-ranked boarding school.

It is the state capital, so there is a fair amount going on in that regard, but it has also become quite a vibrant center for the arts. Sports… not so much, although a large pond hockey tournament is held there each year. But, it’s not that far from Manchester. They have a beautifully renovated downtown area, tons of independent shops and restaurants/pubs, and a great food co-op, plus a nice farmer’s market.

The city has several large wooded parks including Swope park, which has some fairly challenging hiking. Plus, there are many, many trails on both public and private land and conservation land which are interconnected. Additionally, you’re not far from state parks up I-89, like Rollins State Park and Winslow State Park.

As is the case pretty much everywhere, housing inventory is low and prices are high. But, you will likely see somewhat lower prices there than in Dover/Durham.

I’m not sure a lot of people really know how much Concord has to offer until they live there. It used to be known as the “City in a Coma,” but that’s really not true now. If you’re looking for a huge club scene, you won’t find it, but they do have almost everything else you’re looking for.

I will add that although I think Dover downtown is cuter (because of the layout and mill buildings) Concord’s downtown is WAY nicer than Durham. Durham may be a “college town,” but they don’t have much outside of UNH itself which shows that.
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Old 02-12-2022, 10:27 PM
 
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Default Thank you KCZ and cowbell76

The info you provided is really appreciated.

I hadn't realized the impact of the pandemic on the population and real estate market...

I was in Manchester for college 1 year (before I hiked) and was not impressed with the city at that point; and I cannot even recall if I ever visited Concord. It's good to know there has been renovation.

I am not into the club scene... I did google Swope and it looks beautiful. Also it was nice to see so many state forests and parks in the area (and plenty of water too!) And happy to see so many locally owned businesses in Concord, another big plus.

Thank you, again, for your time and this valuable info!
Annie
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