It’s been said—and it’s true—that it’s possible to get from anywhere on campus to anywhere else on campus in eight minutes. That may or may not require a pair of Nikes instead of Birkenstocks, but you get the picture. You don’t need a car to get to the football field. There is no need for a campus bus.
Walking to a game or a practice you’ll encounter classmates and friends, professors and administrators, townspeople and their children.
Standing on the corner of the Green, facing Hopkins Center for the Creative and Performing Arts and the Hood Museum of Art, the Hanover Inn and Hanover’s bustling Main Street are to your right. Along the east side of the Green is historic Dartmouth Row: four white brick buildings date from the College’s early years and are now classrooms and faculty offices. To your left, one block down East Wheelock Street, you can catch a glimpse of Alumni Gym, the keystone of the Dartmouth athletic complex.
Cross East Wheelock Street (the traffic stops for you because Hanover is very “pedestrian friendly”) and turn left. You’ll pass two dormitories: New Hampshire and Topliff Halls are on your right. In barely two minutes (probably less because it’s downhill) you reach Crosby Street, where you’ll notice five tennis courts in front of you.
Attached to the west side of Alumni Gym is Davis Varsity House, the location of the Dartmouth football offices and the football locker room—until they move to the new Floren Varsity House later this fall. On display in the trophy cases in Hall-Bennett Lounge are many of the numerous awards recognizing the success of Dartmouth football, including the 1965 and 1970 Lambert Trophy plaques.
In Davis Varsity House you’ll find the John Manley ’40 Weight Room, a 2,600-square foot facility used exclusively by Dartmouth’s football team. In Alumni Gym, the John and Carla Manley Fitness Center is a second facility for use by Dartmouth’s other intercollegiate athletes.
Directly outside the south door of Davis Varsity House is Memorial Field. Dartmouth has played football on this site since the early 1900s. The stadium’s West Stands was completed in 1923 and honors 3,407 Dartmouth men who served during World War I, including 112 who died. Also recognized are Dartmouth veterans of the Civil War and other service.
Cornell was the opponent and a crowd of 14,000 attended when Memorial Field was dedicated on November 3, 1923. Cornell won, 32-7. The largest football crowd at Memorial Field, 21,530, watched the Harvard-Dartmouth game in 1974.
Entering the 2007 season, Dartmouth has compiled a record of 228-115-8 (.650) on Memorial Field, which was the site for Dartmouth's commencement exercises in June 1995 when President Bill Clinton was an honorary degree recipient.
A long foul ball down the left-field line will land on the roof of the Berry Sports Center, home of Dartmouth basketball, volleyball and squash. A home run over the right field fence is likely to land on the roof of Leverone Field House, the recently refurbished (it opened in 1962) home of indoor track at Dartmouth. Leverone is also where Dartmouth football practices in inclement weather.
Alongside Thompson are six outdoor tennis courts but the treat is 25 paces beyond the ice arena. There you’ll find the Boss Tennis Center and Gordon Pavilion, opened in 2000 and unrivaled among indoor tennis facilities in the nation.
The entry walkway to the Boss Center overlooks a football practice field and Scully-Fahey Field that also opened in 2000. This artificial turf field is home for lacrosse and field hockey at Dartmouth.
Beyond Scully-Fahey’s south goal are the NFL-caliber Blackman Practice Fields, a lighted facility for Dartmouth football. Beside the Blackman Fields, the new Whitey Burnham Field, home of Dartmouth soccer. It’s a new facility that can host NCAA tournament games.
All of these facilities to the east of South Park Street are located on what is known historically as Chase Field. A century ago, Chase Field was working farm land.
The facilities—Thompson, the Boss Center, Scully-Fahey Field, the Blackman Fields, Burnham Field—that now dominate Chase Field are, as billed, about an eight-minute walk eastward from the Green and the center of campus. To the west and north of the main campus, you’ll find more—just as close.
Hanover Country Club, a public golf course owned by Dartmouth, is within easy walking distance along Rope Ferry Road (which is Hanover’s Main Street extended) beyond Baker-Berry Library and the complex of academic buildings and new dormitories that comprise the College’s north quadrangle.
Walk down West Wheelock Street toward the Connecticut River (it’s the boundary between New Hampshire and Vermont) and you’ll quickly come to the Dartmouth Boathouse, home of intercollegiate rowing, and the Ledyard Canoe Club, a fixture among programs offered by the Dartmouth Outing Club.
There’s still more, though these athletic and recreational facilities involve transportation beyond your Nike or adidas walking shoes.
The Dartmouth softball team’s field is located at Sachem Field, on South Main Street about a mile south of campus. Equidistant to the north along Route 10 (North College Street, which becomes Lyme Road) and across from Hanover Country Club, is the new (it opened in 2005) clubhouse and playing field of the Dartmouth Rugby Football Club.
Rounding out the remarkably diverse array of resources devoted to intercollegiate and recreational athletics at Dartmouth are (and you’ll need to finally get into your car):
• The Morton Farm in Etna (it’s a village, still part of Hanover, east of the campus) is the home for equestrian sports.
• Located about ten miles north of Hanover, in Lyme, is the Dartmouth Skiway, home of the 2007 national champion Big Green ski team. The Skiway was the site of the NCAA championship meet in 2003 and ranks among the region’s best recreational ski areas.
• On Lake Mascoma in Enfield, about 10 miles southeast of Hanover, is the Dartmouth Corinthian Yacht Club, the home facility for the College’s co-ed sailing team.
• Heading north into New Hampshire’s White Mountains, anyone with outdoor interests will find: Ravine Lodge on Mount Moosilauke (it’s home base for the trips taken by Dartmouth’s first-year students before the fall term begins) and, in the state’s northern-most reaches is the Dartmouth College Grant. The Grant, near the headwaters of the Connecticut River, comprises more than 20,000 acres of wilderness, a mecca for anyone who enjoys fishing, hiking and camping—it’s also the training site for Dartmouth’s cross country teams.
And, here’s a bonus: the Appalachian Trail, the continuously marked footpath that stretches some 2,160 miles from Springer Mountain in Georgia to Mount Katahdin in Maine, passes through the Dartmouth campus. You’ll find the Hiker’s Elm on the southwest corner of the College Green, across the street from the Hanover Inn (this tour began on the southeast corner of the Green). When you’re not taking this walking tour of athletic facilities, you can get some exercise on a short piece of the Appalachian Trail.
When it comes to intercollegiate sports, Dartmouth ranks high in breadth of offerings: There are 34 intercollegiate teams—16 men, 16 women, two co-ed—and programs that meet the recreation and fitness interests of everyone on campus (and residents of Hanover and surrounding communities).
Indeed, there’s something for everyone—almost all within easy walking distance of our starting point on the College Green.