www.new-england-rail-trails.org

Rail-trails of New Hampshire


Northern Line

Boscawen to Danbury-Grafton Line - about 30 miles - open to public use in winter

SnowshoeingSnowmobiling

Danbury-Grafton Line to Downtown Lebanon, NH - about 30 miles - under construction.

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing SnowshoeingSnowmobiling

Potential extension to White River Jct. VT


Hannah Duston Memorial

Penacook, NH - open to public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Cross-Country Skiing  

This trail is approximately 0.1 mile in length providing pedestrian access to the Hannah Duston Memorial located on an island at the mouth of the Contoocook River. Although this trail is of trivial length, it is included in this Web Site as a long-standing example of a 'Rail-with-trail'. Indeed, the currently dormant track must have been a busy railroad main line when the trail was built many decades ago!


Windham

A Potential Rail-trail from Windham Depot to West Windham


Salem to Londonderry

Information about the current condition of this old railroad bed is presented as if it was one continuous trail. Unfortunately, this trail is a patch-quilt of different ownerships and different rules for use, and unfortunate gaps in the trail. Indeed, the extreme ends of this trail are merely abandoned railroad beds that would be suitable for trail purposes once the rails and ties are removed. Acordingly, potential trail users must examine the individual pages of this section to determine whether the sections that they have in mind are suitable for their intended purposes! 


Rockingham Recreational Trail

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Portsmouth & Fremont Branch Rail-Trails

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


East Manchester

This potential trail would extend the Portsmouth Branch Rail-trail through the urban area to South Manchester.

West Manchester - Goffstown

This potential trail begins in West Manchester and runs about 8 miles along the Piscatqug River to the edge of Glen Lake, just across the bridge from downtown Goffstown.

Hands Across the Merrimack

Both trails can eventually be joined by means of a dramatic extension using the abandoned railroad bridge across the Merrimack River, crossing the active track across the waterfront, then using a short connecting section of Rail-with-trail. However this expensive project can be temporarily bypassed by means of a potential connecting bike route across the Queen City Bridge.

Manchester to Airport Industrial Park

This potential trail begins near the riverfront, passes the end of the potential East Manchester Trail, and ends at Perimeter Road within the industrial area that runs along the eastern boundary of the airport. Rails and ties occupy this obviously abandoned line except for a short section under I-293. NH-DOT has reportedly acquired this line in this semi-intact condition with the thought could be used to provide carload freight service to the many industries along the line. If that does occur, a trail could still be constructed on otherwise unused land beside the active track using the 'rail-with-trail' concept. 

The Cohas Brook page of the Manchester NH Urban Open Space Web Site outlines the special attractions of a brook crossing near the airport end of this potential rail-trail or rail-with-trail.

Federal Funding Summary

Project Name Year City County Federal $ Local $ Total $
Acq./Develop Goffstown Branch RR 1996 Manchester Hillsborough $137,738 $34,434 $172,172
Acq. Portsmouth Br. RR (Manch. Seg.) & Manchester-Lawrence Br. RR 1998 MANCHESTER 1265 N/A $1,200,000 $300,000 $1,500,000
Develop 8 Ft. Trail in RR ROW 2001 MANCHESTER N/A $296,000 $74,000 $370,000

This list is drawn on April 8, 2000 from a database maintained by the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.  Direct questions to NTEC at 1-888-388-NTEC or by email to ntec@transact.org.

Manchester Riverwalk page of the Manchester NH Urban Open Space Web Site

The Riverwalk will eventually involve a 2 mile walkway along the Merrimack River between Hesser College, located to the south of the city's Millyard, and the Amoskeag Dam at the Millyard's northern terminus.

The Riverwalk does not appear to involve any old railroad beds, and thus can not be classified as a 'rail-trail'. However, it is the most likely means of access from the downtown and Hesser College areas to the abandoned railroad bridge over the adjacent river and thus to the associated potential rail-trail between Manchester and Goffstown.

Magazine Articles:

Newspaper Articles:

NH Executive Council Actions

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION -  Authorized to enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Boston and Maine Corporation to acquire a parcel of land comprising a portion of an abandoned railroad corridor in Goffstown for the purchase price of $6,000.

Item
#124
of the Executive Council Minutes for
December 1, 1999

DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION - Authorized to enter into a Purchase and Sale Agreement with the Boston and Maine Corporation to acquire two parcels of land comprising a portion of an abandoned railroad corridor in Manchester for the price of $209,340.

Item
#138
of the Executive Council Minutes for
October 27, 1999

New Boston - Railroad Bed Trail

Parker Station to New Boston - about 5 miles? - open for public use

Hiking Trail

Miles* Svcs Station Name Municipality
9.62 --- Parker Goffstown
12.28 --- Lang New Boston
14.81 TFP New Boston New Boston

* = Railroad Miles from Manchester
Italics = beyond the limits of the current Rail-trail
Svc (in 1923): T=Telegraph, F=Freight Accounts, P=Passenger Tickets
Dark face station name suggests presence of depot building in 1923

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

Bow Jct - Candia

A potential Rail-trail - Portions currently open on an informal basis


Sugar River Trail

Newport to Claremont - 8 miles- open to public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Claremont Rail-Trail

Within Claremont - short urban section - NOT OPEN for public use.


Mason-Greenville Railroad Trail

NH State Line at Mason to Greenville Depot - two separate sections open to public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Granite Town Rail-Trail  

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Cross-Country Skiing

Within Milford - 2.86 miles - open to public use

Newspaper Articles


Hillsboro Branch Rail-Trail

Bennington to Hillsboro - 7.75 miles - open to public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Peterborough Bike Route

Within Peterborough - approx .5 mile - Open for public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail  


Rindge-Jaffrey

Rindge to Jaffrey - about 6 miles - Open for public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Cheshire County Rail-Trails

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Elmwood - Keene

25 miles - a potential Rail-trail


Cotton Valley Trail
(Wolfeboro-Sanbornville Recreational Trail)
Honorable Russell Chase Memorial Path

Wolfboro - Sanbornville, NH - 12 miles - open to public use

Permitted usage varies by section!


Blackmount Trail

East Haverhill to Woodsville NH - about 9 miles - Proposed.


Jesse E. Bushaw Memorial Trail

Warren to Glencliff - 5 miles- open to public use

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Wentworth to Warren

Wentworth to Warren, NH - 2.5 miles? - open to public use on a seasonal basis

Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Quincy Rail-Trail

Quincy section of Rumney & Plymouth, NH

Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Woodsville-Littleton

Woodsville - Littleton, NH - 19.4 miles

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling
This trail may not be suitable for human and animal-powered usage west of Barrett during the warm-weather months!


Whitefield-Gorham

Whitefield - Gorham, NH - 17.9 miles

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Winnipesaukee River Trails

This recently proposed trail passes through the towns of Franklin, Northfield, Tilton, Sanbornton, Belmont, Gilford, Laconia, Meredith, Center Harbor & Moultonborough on a sewer easement.


Columbia Bridge to Beecher Falls

8.7 miles currently open for winter use only

 Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Stratford Rail-with-Trail

About 4 miles of rail-with-trail as part of a 50 mile trail system.


Canterbury - Lincoln

January 2nd, 2001 to March 19th, 2001 only

Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Railroad tracks in the Conway and Bartlett areas:

December 20th, 2000 to March 31st, 2001 only

Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling

Beginning December 20th, 2000 and ending March 31st, 2001, snowmobile use will be permitted on the Conway Scenic Rail Line. Snowmobiles will be allowed on the section of the rail line beginning at the Albany/Conway Town Line in the south to the concrete barrier at Artist Falls Brook Bridge in the Town of Conway to the north. Snowmobile use beyond that barrier is strictly prohibited.

Also, in the Town of Conway, beginning December 20th, 2000, and ending March 1st, 2001, a section of the Mountain Division Rail Grade will be open for snowmobile use from Bartlett Village to Sawyer River Road.

[Al Smith at the Bureau of Trails in Concord, New Hampshire <nhparks@dred.state.nh.us> - December 29, 2000] 


Dover-Sawyer

A planned rail-trail within Dover from the Depot at Chestnut St. to Sawyer's Mills.


Rochester-Farmington

Hiking Trail Bicycle Trail Horse Trail Cross-Country Skiing Snowmobiling


Rochester-Gonic

Two separate sections open on an informal basis

Lilac City Greenway

A proposal by the City Planning & Development Department


Dover-Gonic

A potential Rail-trail


Rollinsford-Somersworth

Salmon Falls end open for an unknown distance on an informal basis.


Portsmouth to Seabrook Greenway

Planned by the East Coast Greenway - NH State Committee


City of Concord Conservation Lands:

Listed trails are open to the general public for non-motorized usage only.


Rail-Trails in Nashua


Ossipee-Madison

Federal Funding Summary

Project Name Year City County Federal $ Local $ Total $
Acq. Conway Br. RR row 1998 OSSIPEE-MADISON N/A $327,200 $81,800 $409,000

This list is drawn on April 8, 2000 from a database maintained by the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.  Direct questions to NTEC at 1-888-388-NTEC or by email to ntec@transact.org.


New Hampshire Heritage Trail

John's NH Heritage Trail Page (Unofficial)

A 230-mile-long trail from Massachusetts to Canada. Some segments are open to public use, others are still in the route selection and planning stages.

Franklin - Hill - West Side

Franklin Trail Parking Area to Profile Falls - open to public use

With the exception of the first quarter-mile, this trail follows a service road along portions of an old railroad embankment, then uses a long stretch of the abandoned State Highway through the center of the historic Hill village that was abandoned in 1941 due to the construction of the massive flood control dam at Franklin Falls.

Frankin - Sanbornton - East Side

Franklin Falls Dam Parking Area - Sanbornton Town Park - 3.8 miles - open to public use

Hiking Trail  This section of the heritage trail on the East side of the Pemigewasset River is open for hiking purposes only. There is no basis for including it in a list of Rail-trails except as a temporary expediency until a more appropriate Web Site can be found for this hiking trail.


Castle in the Clouds

Moultonborough, NH - Estate Carriage Road - Open to public use on a fee basis

The Castle in the Clouds estate contains a carriage road that is similar in construction to the carriage roads of Acadia National Park in Maine and the new Marsh-Billings National Park in Woodstock, Vermont. The estate is operated as a tourist attraction, and also contains the Castle Springs Bottling Plant. An admission fee may be charged to use the carriage road.


Unspecified Locations

Federal Funding Summary

Project Name Year City County Federal $ Local $ Total $
Acq. various RR rows 2000 STATEWIDE N/A $400,000 $100,000 $500,000

This list is drawn on April 8, 2000 from a database maintained by the National Transportation Enhancements Clearinghouse.  Direct questions to NTEC at 1-888-388-NTEC or by email to ntec@transact.org.


Statewide Bicycle Route System

The State-wide system of 'on-road' bike routes.

The system is intended as a navigational aid to assist cyclists who are unfamiliar with New Hampshire’s roads. Roads on this system are considered to be the best available roads for bicycling to major destinations. For example, if you are looking for the safest route to take you from Keene to Concord, the route shown on the map is the recommended route, based on input from New Hampshire’s cycling community. 


Construction projects that potentially affect Rail-Trails

A table listing the projects from the NH DOT NH DOT Ten Year Transportation Improvement Program 1999-2008 dated July 1997, and the current  NH DOT Project Advertising Schedule, that might affect Rail-trails in the State.

Rail abandonments in New Hampshire 1960-1998

This table lists the abandoned railroad roadbeds that are presumably protected under state law and thus potentially available for interim use as Rail-Trails.

ISTEA Enhancement Funded Projects in New Hampshire

This table lists all of the Transportation Enhancement projects that were funded with Federal ISTEA funding in New Hampshire.

NH-DOT Planned Rail-trail & Bikeway projects

This table lists the Rail-Trail and Bikeway projects listed by NH Department of Transportation in their Ten Year Transportation Improvement Program 1999-2008 for submission to the Legislature in December 1997.


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

Updated on May 28, 2002 by Kenyon F. Karl <Webmaster@new-england-rail-trails.org>.
  Unintentional errors are likely!

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