About the Twin State Valley Area
The region we service is known as the Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee Region and the Twin State Valley. To the east is Mt. Sunapee, Lake Sunapee and the college town of New London. To the west the charm of Woodstock, VT spills over to other hamlets such as Brownsville (West Windsor), Hartland, Felchville (Reading), Cavendish and Weathersfield. To the north we find Hartford-Quechee (White River Junction), and Lebanon and Hanover, NH, also known as the Upper Valley. To the south are Charlestown and the Precision Valley of Springfield.
Renowned for its scenic beauty, this area has something to offer almost everyone – from bustling towns to remote country solitude. Rolling hills with acres of forest and open meadows, the drama of Mt. Ascutney (the highest freestanding peak east of the Mississippi) and Mt. Sunapee rising up against the sky, and the clear waters of Lake Sunapee, the Connecticut River and their tributaries, all fit into place to create a picture of the essence of New England.
Like much of the Northeast, our towns and villages grew up along the banks of the rivers and streams that could provide power to small grist and saw mills and transportation for goods in and out of the area. Out of these early small enterprises sprang manufacturing and industry such as woolens and other textiles, shoe factories, and precision machine shops. This proud industrial heritage is still evident in the old factory buildings of Lebanon, Newport, and Claremont, NH, and Windsor and Springfield, VT. In fact, until recently the Upper Valley led the world in the manufacture of precision machinery.
The Yankee tradition of industry and excellence remains today. The Upper Valley boasts a thriving economy, attracting businesses large and small, industrial, retail, commercial and service-oriented. In fact, thanks to the advent of the "electronic age" and "telecommuting," the region has an income base as diverse as most major cities.
The region is served by two interstates, I-91 and I-89, as well as by air, bus and train service, all meeting along the banks of the Connecticut River - the area’s historic lifeline. From the Upper Valley it is just a few hours drive to major metropolitan centers such as Boston, Hartford, New York City, Albany and Montreal. However this region offers residents and visitors so much, many people rarely venture outside of the area.
Home to Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH, one of the country’s most prestigious institutions, and Colby-Sawyer College in New London, NH, the Upper Valley boasts of a number of opportunities for continuing education including the New Hampshire Technical School, the University of New Hampshire’s School of Lifelong Learning, Community College of Vermont and Lebanon College. Area high schools and elementary schools routinely meet or exceed national standards of excellence, and there are several fine private schools nearby including Kimball Union Academy, Cardigan Mountain School, and the Putney School.
Dartmouth College has proven to be a magnet for the area, pulling in a wealth of cultural, scientific and business interests. Considered one of the finest research and teaching hospitals in the country is the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and its Norris Cotton Cancer Center which serve patients from throughout northern New England. Closely affiliated with DHMC and its staff are more local hospitals including Valley Regional in Claremont, NH, Springfield Hospital in Springfield, VT, and Mt. Ascutney Health Center in Windsor, VT. Military veterans may also choose the services of the Veterans Administration Hospital in White River Junction, VT.
The region offers a great diversity of cultural opportunities. Dartmouth College is home to the Hopkins Center for Performing and Creative Arts, offering a variety of musical, theatrical, film and fine art events throughout the year. Also on campus is the Hood Museum of Art, housing a permanent collection of works from around the world and hosting ongoing exhibitions.
Sunapee Harbor and New London, NH are each home to one of a number of community theater groups in the area. Woodstock, VT offers the Billings Farm and Museum, a re-creation of a working farm from the 18th century, and the Vermont Institute of Natural Science and Raptor Center (VINS). In Norwich, VT is the Montshire Museum of Science providing educational facilities and something of interest for everyone from preschoolers to senior citizens.
Experience a little of the old Cornish artists’ colony with a visit to St. Gaudens National Historic Site, summer home of sculptor Augustus St. Gaudens, which now hosts workshops, exhibits and other events – as well as providing a geographical "center" for the wealth of art and antique galleries and shops in the area. The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge (the longest in the United States) leads to Windsor, VT, home of the American Precision Museum, a fascinating look at man’s love-affair with machinery, and the Vermont State Craft Center at Windsor.
Obviously, in an area so rich in mountains, hillsides, lakes and streams, many residents and visitors take advantage of the pleasures nature has to offer. Winter sports enthusiasts can find almost any kind of terrain for downhill or cross-country skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling. In the immediate area are Mt. Ascutney, Mount Sunapee, Suicide Six and Okemo Mountain ski areas, and within a hour or so are Killington, Stratton, Sugarbush, and the White Mountain ski areas.
Extensive trail and logging road networks criss-cross the region, maintained by hunters, snowmobilers, State departments, conservation groups and private property owners for use by walkers, hikers, bicyclers, equestrians, hunters, snow travelers and others.
And, of course, there’s always the water. Lake Sunapee continues to be one of the prime recreational draws in northern New England, providing outstanding boating and other water sports. But for those who are looking for a little solitude, there are many small streams and ponds that offer outstanding fishing – both summer and winter.
If golf is your passion, there are a over 10 public and private courses to choose from, such as Quechee, Eastman, Crown Point Country Club in Weathersfield, VT, John H. Cain in Newport, NH, Kearsarge near Sunapee, and Woodstock Country Club in Woodstock, among others.
All in all, there’s so much to see and do in the area, many people wonder how they’ll ever find enough time to fit it in.