Northwood is a hill town at the headwaters of the Lamprey, Isinglass, and Merrimack River watersheds. The scenic backdrop of the town includes lakes, ponds, forests, hills, and mountains. Elevations range from 310 to 1,184 feet above sea level at the summit of Saddleback Mountain. Northwood is unusual because it does not lie downstream from any other community in any of its watersheds. Because the town is hilly and located at the headwaters of several watersheds, there are many sensitive areas and resources in need of protection. Further, the natural resource limitations, which include steep slopes, erodible soils, and wetlands, impose significant constraints on possible growth and development of the town. In many respects, the natural resource issues more closely resemble those of White Mountain communities rather than those of closer Seacoast and Merrimack Valley communities.
Of the 17,438 acres in Northwood, 9,706 (approximately 56% of the total land area) remained undeveloped and were taxed at the current use rate as of 2004. Included in current use were 8,030 acres of forest; 856 acres farmland; 648 acres wetland; and 173 acres of unproductive land. The community of Northwood is still primarily rural as evidenced by the low amount of commercial and industrial development.
The population of Northwood was estimated at 4,065 for 2006, an increase of 11% from 2000. Census projections predict a slower growth rate of 5% over the next decade.
Northwood has a stable economic base comprised primarily of small-scale and home-based businesses. The three largest employers combined employ about 100 people, while the vast majority of others employ just a few people each.
Several separate entities manage the larger parcels of conservation land in Northwood. The town owns more than 300 acres in the Town Forest. The New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development manages a 660 acre state park and a 130 acre state forest. The Department of Fish and Game maintains several wildlife management areas that contain over 500 acres. UNH manages a 280 acre parcel around Saddleback Mountain, and Coe Brown Academy manages 260 acres of forestry lots.
to learn more see
The Northwood Master Plan