Tourism, Outdoor Recreation & Nature Economy

  • New Hampshire bridge

Leveraging Natural, Cultural and Historical Assets

From forests to farms to historic downtowns, New Hampshire has a wide variety of natural and cultural resources that can enhance quality of life for residents and generate economic benefits to communities. Oftentimes, these assets require proactivity, intentionality, and strategy for communities to leverage them. UNH Cooperative Extension provides communities with support to bring these assets to their full potential.


New Hampshire’s iconic natural beauty, local culture and recreational offerings draw more than 10 million visitors annually. These strengths also have the power to revitalize communities, incentivize investment, and attract new residents and workforce talent. Extension is committed to supporting tourism development that sustains and improves the quality of life for residents and protects our cultural and natural resources.

Learn More

Portsmouth NH waterfront

Outdoor Recreation

We work with communities to leverage their natural and cultural resources to create resilient and sustainable economies that highlight the state's diverse natural resources and unique quality of life.

Learn More

hikers feet on a dirt trail

Nature Economy

We aim to help communities connect the environment and natural resources with community goals to create vibrant economies and high quality of life for all. This can be in the form of assisting communities in identifying and utilizing their natural capital, such as connecting their downtowns with trails and leveraging green infrastructure to reduce or maintain costs of community services.

Learn More


scenic New Hampshire mountain view

Each community and project is unique. We are happy to consult with you about how our team may be helpful to your community's specific needs.

In general, below is a sample of services we have provided or helped to facilitate with our partners:

  • Long-term community-based programming
  • Educational workshops 
  • Project technical assistance
  • Technical reports
  • Community or regional assessments
  • Asset inventories
  • Economic impact analyses
  • Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-methods research
  • Strategic planning and visioning
  • Group facilitation work
  • Funding and grant writing guidance (note: we do not provide direct grant writing services)

Please click the topic area link above for more information about our programs or contact us.



Downtowns and Trails program helps communities utilize the natural and built world
Extension state specialist and professor Shannon Rogers and Extension field specialist Jada Lindblom have worked with the City of Keene on developing ... Learn More
Developing Interconnections for Regional Trails
Almost every community in New Hampshire has some type of trail, whether it be a rail trail, riverwalk, hiking loop or path through a community forest.... Learn More
Destination Management Organization
Just like a fine wine, it takes time to cultivate a good community-driven foundation for sustainably developing tourism and outdoor recreation. Since ... Learn More
The Town of Hopkinton is the fourth community to take part in UNH Extension’s Downtowns & Trails program. As part of the program, a dedicated group of... Learn More
From pick-your-own orchards and farm stays to corn mazes and other farm-based visitor activities, you don’t have to look far in New Hampshire to find ... Learn More
The Benefits of a Capacity Building Approach to Nature-Based Economic Development
On a recent sunny Saturday morning, a group of dedicated community volunteers gathered in the Village of Contoocook, in the Town of Hopkinton, NH, to ... Learn More



Cultivating Farm Experiences is a four-part Zoom webinar series that examines agritourism. Each session focuses on the different aspects of incorporat... Learn More
An increasing number of farms in NH and beyond are incorporating agritourism activities and/or event hosting into their business models. While these c... Learn More
The Nature Economy Collaborative, supported by UNH Collaborative Research Excellence, is pleased to share a brand-new information brief on the communi... Learn More
We aim to help communities connect the environment and natural resources with community goals to create vibrant economies and high quality of life for... Learn More
This report studies possible solutions to trail stewardship challenges in Coos County New Hampshire. Learn More
New Hampshire is fortunate to have many natural assets that support our quality of life and economic vibrancy. In a new info brief we share eight spec... Learn More