About Durham, New Hampshire

A thriving New England university town on beautiful Oyster River is an ideal home for RiverWoods’ newest community.

The Town of Durham was one of the earliest towns formed in the state of New Hampshire. First settled in 1623 and originally known as Oyster River, it was incorporated in 1732 as the Town of Durham. Boasting an illustrious legacy in both agricultural and shipbuilding industries, Durham’s location on the Oyster River kept it a vibrantly developing Seacoast town as New Hampshire grew. In 1893, the New Hampshire College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts was relocated from Hanover to Durham, marking the start of the town’s higher education heritage. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) was formed with the addition of the College of Liberal Arts in 1923, and Durham has thrived as an academic hub ever since.

Durham is home to numerous town-owned conservation lands, including farms, forests and wildlife sanctuaries. The landmark Wagon Hill Farm is a 139-acre property accessible by land and water, known for its iconic historic hilltop wagon and filled with trails and scenic views. The Oyster River Forest, or Sprucewood Forest, is 171-acre town-owned land that includes opportunities for birding, fishing, hiking and cross-country skiing. The land preserves both the town’s permanent water supplies and the habitat for critical New England wildlife and the health of the Great Bay.

As a lively university town, Durham is rich in cultural, athletic, artistic and academic opportunities. Geographically, Durham is one of the smaller university towns in the United States, but UNH is in the country’s top 20% in research funding and holds land-grant, sea-grant and space-grant charters. UNH’s Wildcats are national contenders with more than 20 Division 1 sports teams, and the campus is home to over 30 student-run arts organizations.

The greater Seacoast area surrounding Durham brings even more opportunities to explore. Neighboring cities of Dover and Portsmouth are filled with restaurants, shops, galleries and entertainment venues. The Atlantic coastline is just 15 miles away, with beaches at Wallis Sands State Beach and Odiorne Point State Park. The larger cities of Portland, Maine and Boston, Massachusetts are easily accessible by train from Durham, and New Hampshire’s famed White Mountains are just a pleasant drive away.

This vibrant historic New England community makes it an ideal home for the RiverWoods way of life. Learn more about RiverWoods Durham at an upcoming event, or contact us directly for more information.