Parks & Recreation
The Lebanon Recreation & Parks Department is dedicated to “inspire play” by providing a variety of quality recreation programs, special events and recreational facilities for the community’s use and enjoyment. The department provides over 130 special events and programs in a typical year, including team and individual sports programs and camps, outdoor adventure, environmental education, and performing and creative arts. Special events include summer concerts in Colburn Park, holiday celebration events, sports tournaments and the popular Lebanon Farmers Market. Lebanon was recently named No. 1 Sportstown in New Hampshire as part of the Sports Illustrated 50th anniversary celebration.
An extensive park and conservation land trail system, skate park, accessible playground/picnic area, ball fields, ski area, outdoor skating rink and a state-of-the-art outdoor pool provide plenty of year-round outdoor recreation enjoyment to residents and visitors of all ages. The scenic state-maintained Northern Rail Trail, complete with the historic Packard Hill Covered Bridge, picnic areas and access to Mascoma Lake, is an all-season attraction for cyclists, walkers, joggers and skiers.
For fun in the sun in the summer, ponds, lakes and golf courses are plentiful. Storrs Pond is 15 minutes north in Hanover; Mascoma Lake is approximately 10 minutes east in Enfield; and Crystal Lake is just beyond. The Mascoma River meanders from Mascoma Lake through Enfield and Lebanon, emptying into the Connecticut River and offering a peaceful, scenic waterway for canoeing or kayaking (though some portage is necessary). Lebanon has its own Carter Country Club for golf and Fore-U Golf for mini golf enthusiasts; several other golf courses providing all levels of challenge can be found within a 20-mile radius.
Two hours by car to the southeast will bring you to New Hampshire’s 13 miles of rugged seacoast, with beaches and the beauty of the Atlantic Ocean.
The non-winter months are also great for hiking, camping and fishing, all of which are plentiful in the surrounding area. The Lebanon Conservation Commission’s professional park ranger maintains more than 25 miles of woodland hiking trails within Lebanon’s city limits. Skiing, snowboarding and tubing are popular sports in the winter months. Just a mile from downtown Lebanon, the Storrs Hill Ski Area offers fine downhill skiing, a snowboard park and the area’s only ski jumps. Whaleback Ski Area is five minutes to the south on Interstate 89, and Dartmouth Skiway is 20 minutes to the north in Lyme. Within a two-hour radius are a dozen world-class ski resorts for both alpine and cross-country enthusiasts of every ability level.
No matter what the season, families can enjoy ice skating in Hanover, or ballet, tae kwan do and karate lessons just minutes from Colburn Park. There are also bowling, pool and other indoor games available in Lebanon and the surrounding area.
For those who like quieter ways to spend their time, the Lebanon public libraries offer reading programs and activities for families and children of all ages. Together, the two libraries provide a total of more than 46,000 volumes of books and audio-visual materials, and both provide Internet terminals and high-speed wireless access. The Kilton Public Library (formerly the West Lebanon Public Library), scheduled to open in July 2010, offers the latest advances in library technology, including expanded space for the collections, an energy-efficient design, and much-needed community services.
The River Valley Club, the CCBA’S Witherell Center, Curves for Women, Anytime Fitness of Lebanon, and the Upper Valley Aquatic Center in White River Junction provide a variety of exercise alternatives for everyone.