United States Department of Agriculture

Forest Service

White Mountain National Forest

Pemigewasset and Ammonoosuc Ranger Districts

Route 175, RFD #3, Box 15
Plymouth, NH 03264
Comm (603) 536-1315
TTY (603) 536-3281

File Code: 1950
J.E. Henry Trestle

Date: September 28, 1998

Mr. Kenyon Karl
RR 1 Box 162
Warren, NH 03279-9502

Dear Mr. Karl:

The Ammonoosuc-Pemigewasset Ranger District is re-scoping the public for comments on the proposal to dismantle the J.E. Henry Railroad Trestle. The trestle is located within the Pemigewasset Wilderness approximately 5 1/2 miles from the Kancamagus Highway on the Wildemess Trail, in the Town of Lincoln, Grafton County, New Hampshire. The Forest Service sought public comment on this proposal in 1995. Funding for the project has not been available in the past; there is more potential for funding in 1999.

The J.E. Henry Railroad Trestle is the lone surviving "standing" wooden trestle associated with the East Branch and Lincoln Logging Railroad (1893-1948) operated by New Hampshire logging baron J.E. Henry. The trestle has been examined by Forest Service engineers and a private engineering firm. The engineers' reports indicated the trestle is in an advanced state of deterioration and decay. Supporting timbers are rotten and several vertical supports are no longer attached to ground bases. Vandalism to the trestle also contributes to structural decay as there is evidence of campers burning the bases of the structural uprights. In the summer of 1998, the supporting abutments adjacent to the stream banks were removed as they were no longer intact and had rotted away from the ground. This was done to prevent hikers from walking and climbing on these two sections. The trestle has been posted with warning signs to keep campers and hikers away from the structure. The trestle is a safety hazard and the safety issue must be quickly addressed.

The trestle undervent considerable modification throughout is history. The structure would require an entire rebuilding for survival. Since the trestle Is located within a Wilderness Area the types of tools and methods of rehabilitation would have to meet requirements outlined in Section 4 (3(c)) of the Wildemess Act of 1964. This section states, "there shall be no temporary road, no used of motor vehicles, motorized equipment..., no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport and no structure or installation within any such area." Reconstruction of the trestle may be extremely expensive due to the restrictions ofWilderness which allow only a minimum level of tools and no motorized or mechanized equipment. For example, use of generators, power tools, backhoes or cranes to place structures would not be allowed.

The purpose and need for dismantling and removal of the trestle is the safety hazard due to the advanced state of decay and the danger this poses to hikers who choose to ignore the warning signs and climb on or camp under the trestle.

I invite you to work with us on the analysis for this project based on your interest in management of the White Mountain National Forest. Please send any comments or suggestions to the above address by October 30, 1998. We encourage you to provide input. We will use your comments to evaluate the effects the project will have on the natural and human environment, to develop alternatives, or to change our proposal. If you have any questions or comments, please contact Tracy Anderson at (603) 536-1315, or by mail to the above address.

ANNE F. ARCHIE District Ranger

Copied using a scanner & OCR Software. Unintentional errors are likely!

Locational information derived from AMC White Mountain Guide, 25th ed. (1992) published by the Appalachian Mountain Club:

The trestle is located on the Wilderness Trail near the junction of the Bondcliff Trail. The AMC Guide describes this trail as beginning at the Lincoln Woods Information Center (large parking lot) on the Kangamangus Highway. However that the Forest Service has renamed the initial portion of the trail as the Lincoln Woods Trail. The designated Wilderness Area begins near the junction of Franconia Brook Trail, which is near the Footbridge.

Trail Distance (and walking time) from Kangamangus Highway (Lincoln Woods Parking Area):

The Forest Service trail guide for the Lincoln Woods section (first 3 miles) of the trail has been reproduced on this Web Site. That Web Page also contains an interactive location map that features access to a Yellow Pages directory for the surrounding area.

Note that Wilderness Area rules govern the use of the Wilderness Trail . Accordingly, bicycles are not allowed on the Wilderness Trail (beyond Franconia Brook Bridge)!


The White Mountain National Forest now has an Official Web Site that contains current information about this 'parking permit' program in the 'Recreation' section of the site.

Topo map from TopoZone Web Site USGS Topographic map of Trestle

Distance from Lincon Woods Parking Area - Approximate distance 4.7 miles - elevation gain approximately 402 feet.

Latitude & Longitude for GPS users (NAD 1927 CONUS)

These coordinates have been loaded into a GPS Waypoint file intended use with Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) receivers while on the trail. Accordingly, the file contains the latitude and longitude of each station or other important point along the trail, in a text format intended for use with the Waypoint+ program by Brent Hildebrand. Unfortunately, this software will only run on Windows 95 computers and it currently exchanges data only with Garmin GPS receivers!

Pictures by Mike Redden

Pictures by David Metsky

Related books

The Logging Railroads of J.E.Henry by Bill Gove, published in 1998 by Bondcliff Books.

Logging Railroads of the White Mountains by Francis C. Belcher, Fran Belcher, Sherman Adams, Published in July 1980 by Appalachian Mountain Club.

Sign images are from the Manual of Traffic Signs by Richard C. Moeur.
Created by Kenyon F. Karl <railtrails@crosswinds.net>. Unintentional errors are likely!

Click for Lincoln, New Hampshire Forecast

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