Mason-Greenville Railroad Trail

Within Mason Town Lines:
Liz Fletcher, Commissioner
Mason Conservation Commission
Mann House, Darling Hill Road
Mason, NH 03048
 
West of the Mason Town Line:
 Bureau of Trails
Division of Parks & Recreation

NH Dept. of Resources & Econ. Dev.
PO Box 1856, Concord, NH 03302-1856
Phone 603-271-3254 - FAX 603-271-2629

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling Horse Trail

Mileage Chart & Table of Contents

Miles*

Station

**

Settlement

Municipality

--?-- [MA State Line]     Mason
16.25 Mason FP Mason Mason
19.11 Pratt   Pratt Mason
23.68 Greenville TFP Greenville Greenville

* = Railroad Mileage from Ayer, MA
** Services in 1923: T=Telegraph, F=Freight Accounts, P=Passenger Tickets
Dark Face = Depot presumed to exist in 1923

Mileage and Station Names (1923) from the Official List of Officers, Agents and Stations of the Boston & Maine Railroad, July 1,1923

The Mason-Greenville Railroad Trail runs from the Massachusetts State Line north across the town of Mason to Pratt Pond, where it turns west to cross the edges of of Wilton and Greenville to end at the abandoned granite bridge piers for the high trestle that once spanned Route 31 and the Souhegan River Valley. The trail resumes at the abutment at the west side of the deep valley and continues a short distance to the former Greenville Depot.

The long section of the trail within the town of Mason has been open for public use for several years. The trail surface has apparently been regraded, but one user reported to the Webmaster on October 31, 1999 that its surface was still loose and difficult to bike through. In addition, quite a few spikes and tie plates were brought to the surface, one of which caused a flat tire on the trail user's bike!    

A trail enthusiast in Greenville reported on Sat 7/22/00 that the State had recently purchased the section west of the Mason Town Line, The Webmaster's late evening quick field check on July 7, 2000 of the trail revealed that orange gates had been added at the Adams Hill Road crossing which somewhat confirmed that information.  This message also stated that a group of volunteers will be removing brush from the trail so that 'everybody can enjoy it'. 

NO FACILITIES NEAR THE TRAIL! A spot check of the trail on July 15, 1998 as well as the quick check of July 7, 2000 suggests an absence of trail facilities within reasonable hiking/biking distance of the trail, except at the Greenville end. Indeed, even trail parking is very limited and provided at very few locations.  A restaurant occupies the former Greenville Depot, however, the Webmaster was not able to check its hours of operation. The Webmaster was likewise unable to take the time to look for a convenience store or other trail facilities within the downtown area of Greenville. Trail users are thus urged to bring sufficient food and water for the entire time that they plan to spend away from their automobile, and to likewise ensure that they return to their automobile before nightfall! 

Note that both NH Routes 123 and 124 end at the state line, with ordinary town roads continuing south to Route 119 in Townsend, MA. Travelers from Massachusetts are thus urged to use MA Route 119 to reach the village of West Townsend, then turn north at the sign for Mason then turning from the northwest to due north again onto Mason Road, just north of the intersection of Old Turnpike Road, then continuing north to the beginning of Route 123 at the NH State Line. Route 123 runs north passed the ends of Morse and Depot Roads, then zig-zags until it reaches to the old mills in downtown Greenville and finally passes the Greenville Depot (now houses a restaurant).

Books about the Trail:

A 6.7 mile section of the Rail-trail within Mason from the State Line near Morse Rd to Pratt Pond Road is described in section 19 of  the Official Rails-to-Trails Conservancy New England Guidebook by Cynthia Mascott published in 2000 by Globe Pequot Press. This trail listing contains a photograph, historical description, trail head directions and parking, a trail map, trail details, a local trail manager contact, and much more. 

The trail is described in Great Rail Trails of the Northeast by Craig Della Penna. The information includes a historical background of the trail as well as a detailed description keyed to bicycle odometer readings from the author's in person trip down the trail.

Railroad Abandonment Summary

Item From To Year RR Miles
322 Townsend, MA
(0.7 mi W)
Greenville 1979 B&M 12.9
B&M = Boston & Maine Railroad
From the Directory of Rail Abandonments 1848-1994 in the book Lost Railroads of New England, 2nd Ed. by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1996

Brief History of the Railroad

A brief history of the Peterborough & Shirley was published as Article #43 in The Rail Lines of Southern New England by Ronald Dale Karr, published by Branch Line Press in 1995.

1895 County Atlas - showing railroads [very slow loading]:


Sign images are from the Manual of Traffic Signs, by Richard C. Moeur.

Created on August 19, 1997 by Kenyon F. Karl <Webmaster@new-england-rail-trails.org> based on hand-written information provided by the Mason Conservation Commission, supplemented with information collected during a quick visits to the trail on July 15, 1998 and July 7, 2000. Unintentional errors are likely!

Go to:


Add  Language Translation to your browser from the Babel Fish Tool page from AltaVista:

Free Web Space provided by: