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4 Spring Running Trails: Get Your Mud On

Apr 03, 2018 02:12PM ● By Victoria Pipas
Tired of winter running on a treadmill? Are you desperate to get outside and fly beneath the awning of branches and soon-to-be canopies of leaves once again? Here in the Upper Valley, you’ll find great trails right outside your front door. In fact, the area is brimming with trails that will soon be in good shape for walking and running. Read on to discover the trail closest to you, as well as its distance and contingent amenities. Enjoy the woods!

Storrs Pond:

The Recreation Area at Storrs Pond offers sprawling trails great for running, walking, or even mountain biking in warmer, drier weather. Check out this link for a detailed map of the area. You might enjoy running the 1.8-mile Ring Trail Loop, which can be accessed from the Oak Hill parking lot. This loop is moderate in elevation, but you can extend the length of the run or hike upward of 5 or 6 miles by taking extension trails that lead up Oak Hill. Pets are welcome on these trails, so bring your furry friend for a jog. Be sure to have leashes and water for pets. And check for ticks when you’re done!

Pine Park:

Located on the north side of the Dartmouth College campus, this park branches off the Hanover Country Club golf course and continues for 90 acres of beautiful wilderness. Trails are easily accessible from the golf course or from the Dartmouth Outing Clubhouse on the shore of Occom Pond. You might want to run the trails along the Connecticut River, where you can take a dip or cool your feet off if things get too hot. Maybe you’ll want to pass over some footbridges on your way to the rest of the golf course. All of this awaits on these extensive trail systems, which are used year-round by Dartmouth’s Nordic skiing and cross-country running teams. Check out a map of one of the short trail loops available at Pine Park here, courtesy of the Upper Valley Trails Alliance.

Boston Lot Conservation Area:

This extensive property traversed by trails is nestled on the Hanover–Lebanon town line. Local trails can be accessed from each town. The 439-acre lot has a lake in the center, as well as the modest-sized Burnt Mountain. If you are entering the lot from the Dartmouth–Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC), try the Colburn Hill climb. There are seven miles of running trails in the park, with optional climbs. View all the possible routes on the map available here. Overall difficulty is moderate. Spring wildflowers, including native lady-slipper orchids and yellow violets, will soon be blooming in this area, so come and enjoy them while they last.

Farnum Hill Reserve:

This reserve, located just off Poverty Lane in Lebanon, is a wonderful trail system featuring seven miles of walkable paths. Its climbs are more challenging than those of the Boston Lot and can even be downright difficult at steeper points. There are two sections of ridge trails; a north, middle, and south summit; and ancillary trails that run parallel to these routes and bypass the summits. The South Peak has the highest elevation at 1,336 feet. If you’re interested in the geology, watch for large glacial boulders that have been carried and deposited here—some as large as small cars! With two vehicles, you could park one at the trail head across from Poverty Lane Orchards one mile up Poverty Lane, and park the second just over three miles up Poverty Lane at the other trailhead. This will allow you to run both peaks in the woods and avoid road running. You can scope out a complete map of the reserve here.

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