Hanover lies along the eastern bank of the Connecticut River, between the Green Mountains of Vermont and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Hanover is a small town (about 9, 200 residents) whose major employers are Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The downtown area, consisting of about four square blocks of shops, is right next to the College. Hanover has tried hard to preserve the traditional New England small-town qualities; there are no big shopping malls or fast food restaurants. The same holds for Norwich, Vermont, just across the river.
The neighboring towns of Lebanon and West Lebanon in New Hampshire, and White River Junction in Vermont, are slightly larger and offer more in the way of consumerism. All the other towns in the area are quite small, and the local general store still thrives. The area is served by one local newspaper, several radio stations, and a television station. Boston TV is available on cable in most towns, along with the usual array of movie and sports channels.
Amid such rural beauty, it is not surprising that mountain climbing, cross-country skiing, canoeing, and hiking are popular activities. The Dartmouth Outing Club maintains hiking and ski trails all over New Hampshire, and the Appalachian Trail actually goes right through downtown Hanover. The Outing Club leads hikes, bike rides, canoe trips, and ski trips all year round.