Although I was a bit apprehensive about the freezing winters in a rural area coming from a major metropolitan city in the South, the Upper Valley has been all adventure and no disappointment since moving here seven months ago! There are constantly things to do and explore, regardless of the weather.
As a transplant from Dallas, Texas, words of wisdom that I first received when we arrived at the Upper Valley was to remember “there is never bad weather here, only bad attire.” I was warned to brace for the rain in the fall and for the New England cold in the winter, and the advice was to invest in quality waterproof and warm gear to be able to enjoy the great outdoors regardless of the temperatures Mother Nature throws at us! Those words ring true, and we are learning to layer and enjoy the sunshine regardless of the amount of snow or temperatures outside!
There are so many winter activities in the Upper Valley, even with COVID-19 hindering normal socialization, there is a plethora of fun to explore and do, as an individual, a couple, and a family! We have found even more activities here than in the Big D (Dallas)! With Vermont now starting to ease restrictions due to the pandemic and open up to those who have received the vaccine and quarantined, in the Upper Valley we can explore New Hampshire as well as across the river into Vermont for fun across state lines including but not limited to the following highly recommended activities! All of the activities below are highly encouraged and will result in smiling memories for years to come! In no particular order I recommend the following:
With numerous entrances and paths, hiking or fat tire mountain biking Boston Lot is fun for all ages! The paths lead to the beautiful lake at the top where we usually let the Tiny Tuckies run around, eat a snack, take in the gorgeous scenery, then load the hiking backpacks back up and head back down. Sachem Village also has entrances of its own to other trails—including Mink Brook and Indian Ridge. Dogs are welcome too! Don’t forget your spikes/coils to add traction to your snow boots and the Trailforks App on your phone to keep you from getting lost!
We love bringing family and friends to enjoy the Winter Wonderland at Billings Farm! Our Tiny Tuckie giggles like crazy while getting cow kisses in the barn, and also is mesmerized to see the other farm animals including sheep, pigs, goats, and chickens up close and in person. Billings Farm has a lovely indoor historical museum and plenty to enjoy outside. Bring your own sled and snowshoes to enjoy the picturesque snow-covered farm fields!
“An awesome outdoor activity during the winter is the Dartmouth Skiway—only a 25-minute (15 miles) drive from Hanover. The Skiway is very family-friendly, affordable, and a great little mountain to learn to ski or get a few runs in before or after lunch. I highly recommend checking out the Skiway for all levels of skiing or boarding!” - Krysta Noble, TP’21
“Our favorite winter activity so far has been going to the Dartmouth Skiway to teach our son to ski. We love to ski ourselves and getting our little guy out there has been a true highlight of the winter season.” - Maggie Glenn TP’22
"I originally would have said hiking during New England’s fall foliage season is our favorite Tuck activity, but two months into winter and we stand corrected. Sam, my T'22 student, and I recently started learning skiing, and hitting slopes on the weekend has become our new favorite activity. The fact that Dartmouth owns a slope and that we’re getting better at it (e.g. we don’t fall more than twice in an hour) has certainly helped with this change of heart!" - Varun Loomba, TP'22
We love meeting up with Tiny Tuckie families at the Dartmouth Outdoor Club (DOC) House to enjoy sledding with the kids down the snowy golf course hills, which offers small and large, steep and shallow sledding hills for all ages. The fire pits and lounge chairs are a beautiful place to be able to socially distance and enjoy the great outdoors while cozying up to a mug of hot cider or cocoa and a snack. Many locals enjoy cross-country skiing through the Hanover Country Club’s golf course as well!
“Since moving to Tuck, I have enjoyed many outdoor activities like skiing, hiking, and swimming. But this winter, my favorite activity has been bringing my dog to Sachem Field to play in the snow!” - Rae Hickox TP’22
Just an 80-minute drive from Hanover, New Hampshire Ice Castles was a huge hit with our little Tiny Tuckie. This is a great place for a date night or fun hang out with friends. We enjoyed the horse-drawn sleigh ride, ice-slides, and forest walk through the LED-lit forest. We recommend purchasing tickets at the sunset time slot so you can enjoy the ice all lit with different colors at night.
“Renting a cabin in the White Mountains can be just as fun in the winter as it is in the summer! With so many cross country and downhill skiing trails nearby, it’s perfect to have a home base where you can come back after a long day and sip some cocoa in front of the fire.” - Lauren Farrar TP’21
Killington is the largest ski resort in the eastern U.S. and just a 40-minute drive from Hanover. It’s the perfect place for all levels and a favorite among the Tuck community. It offers ski and board rentals, lessons, a learning area for beginners, terrain parks, over 150 trails, and more!
This year, Dartmouth opened an outdoor skating rink on the Green for Dartmouth community members. Bring your own skates or rent them on site!