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  1. #1
    GoldenBear's Avatar
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    Upper Darby, PA
    Journal Entries

    Post Walking through Norwich VT & Hanover NH

    There's tons of information on hiking the AT through these two towns, starting with this pdf:
    Apparently, both cities welcome hikers

    Still, some people like having a visual preview of what they'll see as they go through towns.
    And, earlier this year, I stated in a blog, "I had originally planned to take photos of how to hike through Norwich and Hanover, just like I did for North Adams. Sorry, but I just didn't have the time. Maybe later."
    If such a visual record is of no interest to you, or if you feel that providing one is superfluous, then there's no need to read any further -- that's all this post is going to do.
    As always, I've add white lines and arrows to make clear the directions and turns you travel along. I also like to include blazes -- often up close -- in my photos, so you'll know what to look for at a specific point along the trail.
    Also note that this post assumes you are hiking north. SOBO's can simply read this backwards. !taht od yllaretil nac ouy fi dezama eb ll'I

    After leaving the area of Happy Hill Shelter and going underneath some power lines, you descend a hill that has a few streams. As I noted in my July 9 blog, water was pretty scarce between Podunk Brook and Elm Street in Norwich, so you may be really glad to see these. However, unless you are REALLY desperate for water, it may be best to wait a few minutes, as you'll find purified water (1) possibly as trail magic along Elm Street and (2) definitely at Norwich Green when you get to the bottom of Elm Street.

    Your first sign of a city is Elm Street, a paved road that goes downhill into the city, which has a hiker kiosk for information.
    Just keep going down this paved road as it passes Hopson Road
    and you'll see some commercial buildings -- and the city green, with its band-stand.
    This is Main Street for Norwich, and it will take you over the Connecticut River and into Hanover.
    If you want to just walk through Norwich, turn right when you get there.
    If you want to visit the town (Norwich Inn, public library, a couple restaurants), turn left here.
    You're now on U.S. Highway 5, heading compass south, and you'll find the blazes on the west ("east") side of the street.
    However, you'll have to cross over to the other side at some point, simply because the side walk ends.
    Notice that you're approaching Interstate Highway 91 (I-91) as you leave Norwich. Just before you actually reach I-91, you'll come to an intersection where U.S. Highway 5 goes right, towards White River Junction, and the road straight ahead is Highway 10A. The A.T. follows 10A, so just keep going straight, towards I-91. Soon you'll go underneath the expressway.
    Continue along 10A and you'll soon see the bridge over the Connecticut River,
    where you can take pride in finishing up another state.

    You're now in Hanover, New Hampshire, home to Dartmouth College. The road is still numbered "10A," but the name is Wheelock Street. The town is a stereotypical small college town, so you'll see a series of buildings and signs related to Dartmouth as you walk up the hill. You're now traveling compass east, and you can travel on either the north or south side of the road. The blazes, however, are on the north.
    Eventually you'll come to Main Street of Hanover, where the Hanover Inn will be on your right and Dartmouth Green will be on your left.
    It's pretty hard to miss Dartmouth Green, with its stately building behind it.
    Although both the city and the college are generally welcoming to back-packers, it only takes a few incidents of entitled hikers to destroy that good will. Find out the rules of where certain activities are welcome, and where these are forbidden. Note also that the rules can change over the years and depending on the school year. Don't presume that, because something was allowed at a certain time, many years ago, that it's okay on the day you arrive. The pdf I noted above is a good place to start, but you can also check the information kiosk on the college green. If you're still not sure, check with the Dartmouth Outing Club (DOC). And this is always a good rule to hike by: if you're not sure, DON'T DO IT!

    Main Street in Hanover
    has a wide variety of stores and restaurants, typical for a downtown area with a nearby small, liberal arts college. There is also a hardware store (fuel by the ounce!), a city library, a pharmacy, and several ATMs.
    When you get to Lebanon Street -- the first street that veers to the left (compass east) -- you'll cross over and head away from the commercial section of the town.
    You'll then go by a series of campus buildings
    as Lebanon Street begins to veer right, ie, compass south.
    As you head compass south, the stadium will be on your left, and the town high school on your left.

    You'll eventually come to a double blaze at the Richard Black Community Center (RBCC), where you'll turn left into its parking lot.
    The pdf above states that, at the RBCC, "Laundry and showers. $3 showers, $2 laundry – includes box of soap, towel, and detergent, pay at the front desk. Summer Hours: 9-5 Monday–Friday (last load by 4 pm)"
    This is an wonderful service being offered to backpackers by a place supported by municipal dollars -- let's not abuse this.
    After walking through the small parking lot, turn right (compass south) on Park Street.
    And you'll almost immediately cross the street
    Now you're at the Co-op Food Store, a place with long-term supplies and a place to sit for a picnic.
    Just beyond that is the Co-op Service Center
    and a sign that SHOULD make it clear to turn left
    underneath a tree canopy.
    The canopy doesn't last long, and then you walk with the soccer fields to your left
    Older posts state that this is the place to camp, but signs today make it clear that this is no longer allowed.
    Instead, just head towards the forest, right in front of you
    and, after re-entering the forest, you'll find
    1) a sign stating you are on the Velvet Rocks Trail, the name used by the DOC decades ago. Just follow the white blaze and you'll be okay.
    2) a hiker information kiosk.
    3) a place to pitch your tent. At least I THINK that's what the yellow blazes mean.
    Beyond this area, the rules are clear for many miles
    Last edited by GoldenBear; 09-08-2014 at 15:26.

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