Visit Canaan

Canaan is the Essence of New England!

Canaan is a town of 4,000 people that was chartered in 1761. Its meeting house was built in 1793, and it is still used today for community events, public issues, and social gatherings in the original village now known as Canaan Historic District.

Education has always been highly valued in Canaan. The Noyes Academy, active during the early 1800s, was one of the first American schools to promote education for black students. Today, Canaan hosts two wonderful school systems: Cardigan Mountain School and Mascoma Valley Regional School District. Canaan Elementary School, part of the Mascoma District, has been named a “Blue Ribbon School of Excellence.”

Canaan has more than 12,000 acres of land that have conservation easements that protect it forever. There are 9 ponds and lakes and 2 major river systems, one of which is designated as a New Hampshire Protected River. Cardigan Mountain, at 3,100 feet, is the focal point of the 5,000 acre Cardigan Mountain State Park that borders Canaan.

Outdoor recreation, sports, and cultural events are mainstays of the Canaan way of life. Hunting, fishing, boating, canoeing, swimming, hiking, biking, ATV travel, organized team sports, snowmobiling, and horseback riding are enhanced by the beauty of local mountains and lakes. Annual community events such as Old Home Days, Christmas in Canaan, Arts and Crafts festivals, Farmers’ Markets, Concerts on the Green, Town-wide Yard Sale Galas, and The Meeting House readings – during which renown authors share their works the local townspeople – create the “Canaan Tradition”.

Racing is also part of Canaan’s tradition. There are regular Moto Cross racing events and motorcycle hill climbs. The Canaan Motorclub completed a new track and facility in 2015. This is a nationally competitive, 1.4 mile long, high speed track that hosts professional and amateur race cars, high performance karts, motorcycles, and vintage sports cars.

Finally, Canaan is a community of diverse people with extraordinary skills, and differing views, education and wealth. Tolerance and social and personal responsibility are hallmarks. People are artisans, professionals, skilled trade’s people and manufacturers.

Come experience the land, waters, people and events of Canaan.