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Lord's Hill is a very important topographical feature of Hanover's landscape, second only to Moose Mountain in its prominence and visibility. It can be seen from many directions, both from within Hanover and from outlying locations in nearby towns. Its eastern arm provides an important scenic backdrop to the church and community of Hanover Center. Lord's Hill is crescent-shaped, opening to the south. The crescent embraces significant wetlands, a string of beaver ponds, and the source of one branch of Monahan Brook. The center of the horseshoe and the west arm of the ridge are dotted with old houses, homes of more recent vintage, alternating woods and fields, and adjacent farms that are two of the few active remnants of Hanover's former working landscape. A section of historic Wolfeboro Road crosses the lower end of the horseshoe. The ridge itself is wooded, and, with the exception of a couple of houses, completely undeveloped. The hillsides range from moderate to extremely steep and rocky. A network of private paths and old woods roads reveal stunning views from the ridgeline in almost every direction. Wildlife and vegetation are varied and undisturbed. Completely encircled by Dogford and Hanover Center Roads, Lord's Hill is a pivotal location, well-connected to several recreational and forest/wildlife opportunities. Lord's Hill has maintained a natural integrity, in part because there has been little recent logging or development. There are relatively few landowners. Lying close to major commuting roads and just a few miles from downtown Hanover, Lord's Hill is extra-vulnerable to development pressures. However, the landowners from the ridgeline down into and including the horseshoe are few, with a high level of appreciation of the recreational, scenic and other attractive features surrounding them. Long-term protection, either private or public, would offer great benefits for the public as well as for the landowners.
(Photo in print edition) Ridgelines like Lords Hill are visible to all from many locations in Hanover.
Open Space Benefits
- Water Supply - There are at least two large farm ponds (fire protection)
- Surface Water - This area is located at the headwaters of one branch of Monahan Brook south of lower Dogford Road, and east of Elm Road, (which extends into the "horseshoe").
- Wetlands - Within the "crescent" of Lord's Hill are significant wetlands, a string of beaver ponds, and the source of an important branch of Mink Brook.
- Wildlife Habitat - Wildlife is extremely varied and undisturbed. Moose, bear, deer, fox, raccoon, coyote, a rich variety of songbirds, pileated woodpeckers, hawks and owls breed here.
- Biodiversity - Outstanding. "Steps should... be taken to protect wetland resources in this tract, especially those that flow into Mink Brook. Connecting protected lands to the north (Huntington Hill) and south (Waterworks Land) would create a second substantial north-south corridor (with Moose Mountain) for wildlife habitat and biodiversity protection." (Natural Communities and Rare Plants of Hanover, New Hampshire, 1999)
- Productive Soils - With the exception of the ridge, the whole area consists of old farmland, with two farms still active.
- Recreation - There is extensive private use of this area for hiking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing by the landowners. (Photo in print edition) Grazing sheep keep this historic farmland open.
- Connections and Buffers - Protected land in this area could become a critical section of an "outer" greenbelt around downtown. Completely encircled by Dogford and Hanover Center Roads, it is a pivotal location, connecting in almost every direction to important recreational lands. The Appalachian Trail (AT) lies just to the south, and is easily accessed through Paine or Jones Roads on the west side of lower Dogford Road. Higher up, the Hanover Water Company land (more than 1000 acres) abuts Dogford Road, and to the north of the Water Company is Pinneo Hill Farm. West of the Water Company land is Storrs Pond and Dartmouth lands. Off the northwest corner of Dogford Road, the Class VI road known as Spencer Road goes down to Old Lyme Road and Route 10 adjacent to over 450 acres of protected land. To the northeast, the same protected land abuts a large parcel through which Wardrobe Road (Class VI) passes. To the east it connects to the Third Reservoir, the Appalachian Trail and Monahan Valley and Moose Mount West.
- Class VI Roads - A segment of Wolfeboro Road runs through this area.
- Scenic Assets - There are excellent views from many locations on Lord's Hill, especially from the ridgeline and from the farms on Dogford Road. Lord's Hill meets goals for specific types of locales as listed in the 1998 Scenic Locales report (p. 9): Hilltops and Ridges, Roads, Cultural Features, Natural Features and Open Space.
- Historic Sites and Cultural Landscapes - Wolfeboro Road and two remaining active farms are located here. Lord's Hill overlooks and provides a backdrop to Hanover Center. It is a dominant feature as seen from other historic locations such as King Road. Education- Lord's Hill provides a microcosm of Hanover's landscape, land uses, and wildlife habitats. It is a real treasure.