Wagon Hill

GPS: 43.129501 -70.871061


If you live in New England, you probably recognize Durham as the home to the University of New Hampshire. The town lies near the southeast corner of the State, with a total population of around 15,000 inhabitants.

Durham is situated beside the Great Bay at the mouth of the Oyster River. It was originally named Oyster River Plantation, which was settled in 1635 by pioneers who traveled up the Piscataqua River.


These days, Wagon Hill Farm is a 139-acre property owned by the Town of Durham, located 3 miles east of downtown along Route 4. An historic wooden wagon sits atop the hill overlooking the highway, a local landmark well-known among Seacoast residents, UNH students, and tourists alike.

Sunset from the north side of Wagon Hill

The property was once a family farm but it was acquired by the Town of Durham in 1989 for preservation and municipal purposes. It includes a small parking area, a variety of hiking trails, and a shoreline on  the Great Bay.

The old wooden wagon that sits at the top of the hill has been there since this was a family farm. Its placement affords a scenic vista that includes Great Bay and the old farm fields.


The main photogenic attraction at Wagon Hill Farm is the old wooden wagon itself. The best time to come here to photograph is between the months of October and March, when the position of the rising and setting sun makes it more likely to include a colorful sky in the frame.

Sunset from south side of Wagon Hill

The wooden wagon can be photographed at both sunrise or sunset from slightly different angles. I prefer photographing from the north side of the wagon for backlighting purposes, but good compositions are also possible from the south side if you prefer the wagon to be frontlit by the rising or setting sun.


Wagon Hill Farm is easy to find. It lies off Route 4 only a few miles from the center of Durham. As you come up to the farm, turn left into the small parking area across from the main building.

Sunrise from Wagon Hill


Be aware that reaching Wagon Hill Farm requires a careful turn onto a dirt driveway from busy Route 4. The only other risk is a likely encounter with a family dog looking for a friendly pat or sniff!

5 thoughts on “Wagon Hill”

  1. Michael,
    I have mentioned in the past that we moved from South Woodstock VT to Bedford NH last year. In ‘following’ your work on line we have come to appreciate more fullly the beauty and historic significance of our new state of residence and beyond. Before March roars into April we will surely head to Durham for sunset at Wagon Hill. Thank you so very much.

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