Off the Beaten Path - Extended UNH Campus Tour Guide

A Self-Guided Tour of UNH

This guide is designed to be a self-guided tour of the UNH campus.  For your convenience the attractions have been placed into three categories:

      Central Campus:  within easy walking distance from any core campus building.

     Extended Campus: a short 10 to 15 minute walk from the core campus.  Areas have been grouped by proximity.

     Regional: Attractions that are located in the areas surrounding campus.

Note: Hours at each location are subject to change.

Extended Campus

UNH Observatory


            Visitors to the UNH Observatory are invited to view the stars through the University’s 14-inch reflective telescope. A guided tour of the sky is presented twice each month, clear skies permitting, free of charge. Observatory visitors see planets, galaxies, binary stars, nebulae, the moon, and other celestial wonders. Visitors are encouraged to dress appropriately and bring a flashlight to assist them in crossing the field in the dark. There is no electricity or heating in the facility, so dress comfortably.

Location: Spinney Lane, Durham

            Drive West on Main Street. Take a right onto Mast Road Extension. Take your first left onto Spinney Lane. Take your first right to stay on Spinney Lane (This doesn’t sound right, I know, but these two roads are both called Spinney Lane! If you were to stay straight, you’d be on O’Kane Rd!). Pull into second dirt parking lot entrance. Look to your left and you’ll see the dome of the observatory.


      Dates and times change frequently so visitors are urged to check their web site for confirmation.

Admission: Free and no reservation necessary


Tirrell Horse Barns and the Smith Equine Center


            The horse barns and equine center are part of the animal science program in the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture and the Thompson School of Applied Science. The University owns approximately 35 horses. These horses are used in the college riding program, the therapeutic riding program, and the pre-veterinary and equine science teaching programs.

            The University hosts two horse trials each year, usually during the first weekends in May and October. A dressage show takes place on the weekend nearest July 4.

Location:  Head West on Main St. Take 3rd Right after the railroad bridge onto Mast Road. Take 1st Right then take 3rd Right to get to the horse barns.


     7 am to 8 pm, Sunday - Saturday


Dairy Teaching and Research Center


            The Thomas P. Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center consists of a tie-stall barn for 100 milking cows, a milking parlor that permits electronic recording of milk weights, a gravity-flow manure system, and natural ventilation. The center is open for visitors to view the animals, tour the facility, and participate in a variety of workshops. Courses are available through the Thompson School of Applied Science and the Department of Animal and Nutritional Sciences.

Location: From campus head west, after the railroad bridge, take the 3rd right, then first left follow road to end.


Organic Dairy Research Farm 

Burley-Demeritt Organic Dairy Research Farm

216 Lee Hook Road

Lee, NH 03861

            UNH was given a $200,000 leadership gift from Stonyfield Farm to help the University establish an organic dairy farm.  The farm is used for research, education, and outreach. Located on 200 acres in Lee, NH, it is the nation’s first land-grant university to have an organic dairy farm.

            In addition to the working land base, the current operation includes a milking Jersey herd, step-up four-stall milking parlor, animal, equipment and storage barns, intensive rotational grazing system, numerous wells for water sampling, manure composting wind rows, staff offices and sample processing space.

Location: 216 Lee Hook Road, Lee, NH

Directions: From UNH Campus, downtown Durham

Take Mill Road to Packers Fall Road. Turn left onto Packers Fall Road to Wiswall Road. Turn right onto Wiswall Road. At the end of Wiswall Road (a two way stop), make a left turn. This road will intersect with Lee Hook Road.  At the intersection turn right. Continue down Lee Hook Road for 0.3 miles. Turn left into farm.


      8 am to 4 pm, Monday -Friday


UNH Greenhouse Complex


            This facility with over 25,000 square feet of greenhouse space is primarily dedicated to research and teaching associated with the NH Agricultural Experiment Station and College of Life Sciences and Agriculture, and also includes teaching greenhouses associated with the Thompson School of Applied Science. Projects include ornamental and food crop breeding, biological pest control, bioremediation, extensive studies of plant genetic diversity in strawberry and mint, as well as substantial undergraduate and graduate instructional activities.

            In addition to on-campus research and teaching, the greenhouse facility is a significant resource for teaching and outreach to our local communities and horticultural professionals across the country. The annual Poinsettia Trials and Spring Open House engage the general public in ongoing research. The conservatory greenhouse with its diverse plant collection and small fish pond is a welcome destination for many visitors.

Location: Across from the Thompson School, Barton/Cole Hall.  Head West on Main St. Take 1st Right after the railroad bridge. Then turn Left.


      8 am – 4:30 pm, Monday – Thursday

      8 am - 12 pm Friday


Thompson School Horticulture Facility


            The Thompson School’s Horticulture Facility sells plants grown by students working toward their associate degree in horticulture. Plant varieties change with the seasons and quantities are sometimes limited. Selections consist of trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, vegetables, and holiday plants. Students and staff members provide horticultural information.

Location:  Cole and Barton Hall. Head West on Main St. Take 1st Right after the railroad bridge.


Tours are available.

During the academic year:

     8 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm, Monday–Thursday

     8 am to 12 pm, Friday and Saturday

Summer hours:

     8 am to 12 pm, Monday and Saturday

     8 am to 4:15 pm, Tuesday–Friday


Thompson School Sawmill


            The UNH Sawmill has been in operation since 1968, supplying the timber industry with qualified graduates of forestry programs from both the Thompson School of Applied Science and the College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. Recently the sawmill installed a new band saw that will recover 12 percent more wood from a log than the existing saw; other renovations include a heated classroom not only for UNH students but also industry groups and others; upgraded electric service; running water and a septic system.

            Lumber produced at the sawmill is available for sale as advertised in local and campus media. Accessible only by dirt road, the University of New Hampshire’s Thompson School Sawmill is one of the university’s more distinctive laboratories.

Location:  Mast Road, Rt. 155A

Head West on Main St. Turn Left onto Mast Road Rt. 155A. Then take your 4th Left.


The Thompson School’s sawmill is available for activities and educational tours, arranged on a space- and time-available basis. Contact Don Quigley or Matt Chagnon at (603) 862-1035.

For an article about the sawmill click here:

The 180 Blue, Stacey’s Buffet, Stacey’s Express at the UNH Thompson School


            Senior students of the Restaurant Management Program operate two public dining facilities.

180 Blue - A restaurant experience located in Cole Hall 144, this restaurant serves both American Regional Cuisine and International Cuisine during different semesters.  Serving at night from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm, this fine dining restaurant is sure to please a wide variety of customers.  Come and see what the Culinary Arts students can do in the kitchen!


Stacey’s Buffet - A buffet offering of menu themes with flair serving on select days during the semester.  Please visit the Stacey’s Buffet webpage for more information, including themes and dates of service.


Stacey’s Express - An express style lunch serving in Cole Hall, is sure to be a favorite with Durham community members, students, faculty and staff alike. Come join us for a hot dish, soup, sandwich, pizza, and salads at very reasonable prices. Stacey’s Express will resume service in the Spring 2011 semester and will serve from 11:30 - 12:30 pm.


New Hampshire Public Television Station


            Licensed to UNH, New Hampshire Public Television (NHPTV) reaches more than 1.6 million viewers in New Hampshire, Maine, Massachusetts, and Vermont via analog channels 11, 15, 49, 52 and digital channels 57, 48, and 49. In living rooms, classrooms, communities, and on the Web, NHPTV programs link regions and provide people with information they need—where and when they need it. Programming consists of original productions, including N.H. Outlook, a weeknight news magazine; Granite State Challenge, a high school quiz contest; Wildlife Journal, a weekly NH outdoors series; PBS shows; and other acquired programs and series. NHPTV is overseen by a 21-member volunteer board and enjoys the support of nearly 40,000 members.

Location:  Mast Road, Rt. 155A

Head West on Main St. Turn Left onto Mast Road Rt. 155A. Then turn Left.


To arrange a tour of the NHPTV Broadcast Center call (603) 868-1100. To inquire about volunteer opportunities contact the volunteer coordinator at (603) 868-4400.


College Woods


            College Woods comprises approximately 250 acres of woods, streams, and small fields. College Woods is the oldest and most intensively used University property for walking, running, and general natural relaxation recreation. It is not uncommon to see walkers, runners, and classes all in one brief stroll through the woods.

History: The original land was donated by Benjamin Thompson, Jr. to New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts (the predecessor to the University of New Hampshire) via his will in 1891. This donation was part of the original gift that moved the College to Durham from Hanover where the College was connected to Dartmouth College.

            All of College Woods has been cut at least once. Wood from these areas was used to build some of the earlier college’s structures. The woods have been encroached upon by University building expansion since it was donated to the College. 

Present Use: Some 60 acres within the main woods area is designated as a Natural Area. This designation places these stands in a preservation status, designated in 1961. Since this time nothing has been done to alter natural process within the Natural Area. Dead or dying trees have only been removed when they pose a hazard to trail traffic and safety.  Recreational activities occurring within the entire College Woods are hiking, walking, skiing, jogging, and bird watching. Other activities occurring in areas outside of the Natural Area are horseback riding, biking, and hunting (except North of the Oyster River).  Occasionally, timber harvests are conducted in areas outside the Natural Area to fulfill specific management objectives. These harvests are used to create areas to support specific educational and research activities.

Location:  College Woods is located on the west side of the main campus.


     Always Available