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Here in Hanover

Winter Fun at Occom Pond!

Feb 20, 2014 01:08AM ● Published by Erin Frisch

Occom Pond in Hanover, New Hampshire, has been hosting the winter escapades of Dartmouth students and Upper Valley residents for more than two centuries. On its banks is the Dartmouth Outing Club, a traditional Dartmouth organization that works to connect students with their beautiful New Hampshire surroundings. This winter, you can take advantage of the wonderful activities offered on and around Occom Pond. Here are six for your family to enjoy.

1. Ice Skating: Whether you want to practice your double Axel jump on figure skates or speed around on hockey blades, Occom Pond is big enough for everyone. You can rent skates at the Dartmouth Outing Club or bring your own. There are perfect changing rooms and rubber paths right from the club onto the pond. Enjoy this family-friendly pond—complete with milk crates to help the little ones keep their balance.

2. Sledding: Be sure to wear a helmet, as this slope is no molehill. You can gain some serious speed going down the sledding hill, which is just across the street from Occom. Bring your sleds, tubes, and toboggans, and enjoy the burn of running up the hill to fly back down again.

3. Cross-Country Skiing: The trails here, which sprawl across the golf courses, are phenomenal. Explore across the bridge and into the woods. The trails are perfectly groomed: 25 kilometers maintained by the Dartmouth Cross-Country Ski Center. You can buy a day or season pass, and you can also take private lessons or group ski clinics for novice skiers.

4. Snowshoeing: Snowshoeing is another vigorous winter activity that will get your heart pumping. You can rent snowshoes or bring your own. Tromp around the fields, blazing your own trail. Just be sure to stay within the roped areas.

5. Pond Hockey: Another thrilling aspect of Occom Pond! Come observe Dartmouth students, and join in a game, too! Bring a helmet and stick (or rent one for two bucks at the Outing Club). You’ll certainly find enough pucks around. Join a pickup game and strut those stick skills you haven’t broken out since high school. Just watch out for flying pucks if you are skating past a game.

6. Marshmallow Roasting: Yes, we consider this a legitimate winter activity. Purchase a cup of hot cocoa, slip your feet out of those stiff skates, and thaw by the outdoor fire pit. And, of course, stuff your face with hot marshmallows! It’s an Occom tradition.

Now go out and enjoy this beautiful winter scenery with these fun activities.

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