Off the Beaten Path - Regional Tour Guide

A Self-Guided Tour of the Region around 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.


UNH Woodlands


            Approximately 4,000 acres of forested property is owned by UNH throughout New Hampshire. About 1,500 acres of Woodlands properties are located in Durham, Lee, and Madbury. Recreation activities include skiing, hiking, hunting (with a special permit), fishing, bird watching, and biking.


            There are no fires allowed on Woodlands properties, no mountain biking in natural areas (including College Woods), and no hunting in College Woods, East Foss Farm, and the Horticultural Farm. Professors, students, and groups are required to register activities with the UNH Woodlands office.

Locations:  See below


Kingman Farm, Madbury (One of the UNH Woodland Areas)


            This property contains 334.7 acres of woodland, including a small portion of wetlands. There is an extensive trail system which runs throughout the property which is ideal for mountain biking, hiking, or running. This land is also used for educational field experience for the UNH Natural Resources Department.  The University of New Hampshire acquired the Kingman Farm in 1961, and they have consistently promoted preservation, sustainability, improvement, and recreation ever since. There has been minimal harvesting of any valuable timber in order to promote these objectives.  The primary recreational uses of the Kingman Farm are mountain biking, hiking, jogging, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and foxhunt training for dogs. There are also a series of mountain bike races held in the fall to raise money for the UNH ski team. In addition the property is used frequently for educational research by UNH.  Hay and experimental crops are grown on Kingman farm, as well as the ongoing research of a composting project.

Location: Kingman Farm is located on Route 155 in Madbury, New Hampshire.


     Trails are always open.

Thompson Farm, Durham (One of the UNH Woodland Areas)


            The property consists of agricultural fields, uneven-aged stands, streams, and wet areas. There is a small working farm area and an extensive trail system, which is in good condition. In addition there is an active beaver swamp on the property.

History: The Thompson Farm has been a working farm since the 1800’s. The land was actively farmed for nearly 50 years before being leased to the Thompson’s in the 1920’s. The Thompson’s purchased the land in the 1940’s. In 1972, Ina Thompson, the last remaining daughter of the Thompson family, gave the land to UNH under the agreement that she receive firewood in the winter and vegetables in the summer and fall while she maintained her chicken coop on the property. Originally, the forest was harvested only for firewood, but more recently the Thompson School has done some undocumented practice cuts, along with a timber sale.

Present use: Mountain biking, cross country skiing, hunting, and running are the main recreational uses of the Thompson Farm woodlands. Sugar maple tapping and timber harvesting are among the other activities practiced in this area. Also important to note is the Airmap station is located on the farm.

Location:  The Thompson Farm, adjacent to Packers Falls Road and the Lamprey River is a 204.7 acre property located in Durham, NH.


     Trails are always open.


West Foss Farm, Durham (One of the UNH Woodland Areas)


            West Foss Farm, approximately 91.8 acres in size, is located off of Mill Road in Durham, NH. There are two small ponds located on the edge of this field. Townspeople and University students use this area extensively for various types of recreation and educational research.

History: The University of New Hampshire acquired West Foss Farm in 1923 from the Boston and Maine Railroad company. East Foss Farm, which borders West Foss Farm, was acquired at the same time. Originally when the land was bought it was managed as a farmland, until UNH designated the land for research and educational purposes shortly after they acquired the land.

Present Use: West Foss Farm is presently open to the public for recreation. The property is used for mountain biking, walking, running, live role-playing combat club activities, boy scout activities, and cross-country skiing. There is a good opportunity to view various types of wildlife including song and game birds, amphibians, and various other types of animals. There is a minimal timber harvesting activity in the area with the exception of small firewood sales.

Location: Mill Road, Durham  

Directions: The easiest access to this property is by a trail located off of Mill Road beginning at the edge of a red pine stand and following the railroad tracks, until it reaches a large open field.


     Trails are always open.

UNH Recreation Area: Mendums Pond, Barrington


            The area is ideal for swimming, boating, and picnicking. Beginners to advanced sailing lessons are available. Canoes, kayaks, and paddleboats may be rented. Students, families, and area residents enjoy the playground equipment, swing sets, picnic pavilions, and paddleboats and water access.

Location:  Located just off Route 4 in Barrington.


From Lee Traffic Circle: Take Rt.4 West toward Concord. Turn Right onto Hall Road. The entrance is on the Left, across from the Ayvez Trailer Park.


     UNH’s Mendum’s Pond recreational area is open daily mid- June through Labor day and weekends in September.

     11:30 am to 7:30 pm

     Day or season passes are available as well as group event services and rates.


     No overnight camping, alcohol, or pets are permitted in the area.


The Browne Center, Durham


            The Browne Center is a teaching, training, & research affiliate of UNH dedicated to advancing experiential learning. This unique facility located on a 103 acre wood sanctuary of the Great Bay Trust. It specializes in action approaches for groups seeking interpersonal change. Since 1987, UNH has been using the Browne Center as a resource. Annually, 9,000 participants engage in the training programs, which are offered year round.

            The Browne Center is an internationally recognized teaching, training, and research site for professional development. It is an auxiliary enterprise of the Outdoor Education Program that can provide students with unique opportunities for teaching, training and research. 

Location:  Durham Point Road 


Head East on Main St. At traffic light take a Right onto Rt. 108 toward Newmarket. Turn Left onto Durham Point Road, drive for 3.3 miles. Turn Right onto Dame Rd. There will be a UNH Browne Center sign. Drive .4 miles, Browne Center will be on your left.

Hours/Availability: Call (603) 868-1772 for an appointment.


UNH Jackson Estuarine Lab, Durham


            Jackson Estuarine Laboratory (JEL) is the largest of three laboratories administered by the UNH Center for Marine Biology. It has a resident staff that includes six faculty members and two technicians. Campus-based faculty also conduct research programs at JEL, and collaborate with resident JEL researchers. Monitoring and research activities of the Great Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve are conducted in partnership with JEL researchers. The lab serves an important educational role. Aside from the classes utilizing JEL facilities, there are postdoctoral researchers, graduate students from five academic departments, and undergraduate research assistants. Ninety percent of the lab’s research funding is derived from competitive state and federal grants.

            JEL’s major focus in recent years has been on the application of scientific expertise to critical environmental and resource management issues including: protection, mitigation, and restoration of critical estuarine habitats; research and development in shellfish (oysters, clams, scallops) and seaweed (nori, Irish moss) aquaculture; effectiveness of storm water control systems; behavior, ecology and genetics of economically important marine resources (lobsters, shellfish, seaweeds); and oil spill impact assessment. Additionally, JEL researchers have entered into partnerships with the private sector to address issues in aquaculture, fisheries, seafood safety, environmental risk and contaminant, and habitat mitigation. Such collaborations have had a direct impact on both local and regional economies.

Location: Durham Point Road 

Directions: Located 5 miles from the main campus on the shores of the Great Bay Estuary. Head East on Main St. Turn Right at traffic light onto Rt. 108 towards Newmarket. Turn Left onto Durham Point Road. Drive 3.8 miles. Turn Left onto Adam’s Point Rd through chainlink fence with “Jackson Estuarine Laboratory” sign. Drive 1 mile.


Contact David Shay at (603) 862-5127 for an appointment.


Shoals Marine Laboratory, Appledore Island, Maine 


            This field station caters to undergraduate students interested in focusing on marine topics in their college majors. The Shoals Marine Laboratory is jointly operated by the Division of Biological Sciences at Cornell University and the Marine Program at the University of New Hampshire.  The Shoals Marine Laboratory offers over 20 summer credit courses designed especially for undergraduate students. Course topics include marine: ecology, geology, research, climates, and law.

Location:  Appledore Island  The Shoals Marine Laboratory (SML) is located on beautiful Appledore Island, in the Gulf of Maine just 6 miles off the coast of Portsmouth, New Hampshire.


     Although public access to Appledore Island is limited, you can visit by participating in the Sea Trek Educational Programs and tours offered by the UNH Marine Docents. You can also take a Great Bay Discovery Cruise to visit the island and lab. To make a reservation call (603) 749-1565.


Coastal Marine Lab, Newcastle, NH


            The Coastal Marine Laboratory (CML) was established in 1989 to provide UNH faculty and students with access to the open waters of the Gulf of Maine and laboratory facilities with full strength seawater capabilities. Located at historic Fort Constitution in New Castle, N.H., at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbor, the CML supports numerous research projects, including: the aquaculture of codfish and summer flounder; the physiological ecology and population biology of lobsters; the feeding behavior, growth, and roe quality of green sea urchins; sea star reproductive biology; as well as a number of other studies on anemones, dog whelks, nudibranchs, and other invertebrates. In addition to the laboratory, CML houses a complete dive locker and is home to the R/V First Light, and the R/V Rock ‘n Roll that provide primary support for the Open Ocean Aquaculture Demonstration Project.

            UNH is currently in the planning phase for developing a larger Marine Research Facility on the New Hampshire coast that will be able to meet the increasing programmatic needs for programs currently housed at the CML. The new facility includes both a laboratory and a pier component. Information on the current status of this capital project can be found at the Marine Research Facility Construction web site.

Location: Wentworth Road, Newcastle 

Directions: Located on Wentworth road, in Newcastle NH just outside of Portsmouth. Take a hard left turn in the road. Driveway on the right. Located in the old mines building of historic Fort Constitution.


Contact Noel Carlson at (603) 433-1290


Seacoast Science Center, Rye

(not a UNH Facility)


            The center’s aquariums and live-animal exhibits interpret Odiorne’s seven distinct natural habitats. Coastal history from the 1600s to the present day is presented in a series of exhibitions such as Saga of a Sunken Sub: Rescue of the Crew of the USS Squalus. Visitor programs are offered on weekends throughout the year and daily during school vacations and the summer; the aquariums, interactive exhibitions, and the Nature Store are always available. Odiorne Point State Park is considered to be the “Birthplace of New Hampshire.” Miles of trails meander through seven habitats: rocky shore, salt marsh, woodlands and meadows, a fresh water and salt pond, as well as a small sandy beach (not a swimming beach). Migratory flyways make Odiorne the best coastal birding site in northern New England.

Location:  Route 1A, Rye  The Seacoast Science Center is located on 135 coastal acres in historic Odiorne Point State Park, Rye, N.H.

Directions: From the Portsmouth Traffic Circle: Take Route 1 By-Pass South to Beaches/Hampton. After 1 mile the road connects with Route 1 South. Follow Route 1 South approximately 1 mile at the third traffic light traffic light . Elwyn Road will be on the left. Turn left on Elwyn Road, go past the Urban Forestry Center (on your left), then go approximately 1.3 miles to the stop sign at Foyes Corner. Go straight at the stop sign onto Route 1A South. Continue for 1.8 miles, over the wood bridge, past Odiorne boat launching ramp (on left), to the main entrance of Odiorne Point State Park (on left).


Seacoast Science Center

     10 am to 5 pm, Daily

Odiorne Park

     8 am to dusk, Daily.


     Center admission is $3 for adults, $1 for children 3-12, and free for children 3 and under.

     Park admission is $3 a person; free for children under 12 and New Hampshire residents 65 and over.