Not too long ago, New Hampshire was criss-crossed with railroads. Trains connected out resource rich state with the cities and ports, and were essential to life. Today, however, the railroads are abandoned, but not forgotten. Hundreds of miles of railroad have been transformed into rail trails. These wide, flat trails take you into the New Hampshire wilderness for a perfect hiking or biking experience. Here are 10 rail trails in New Hampshire that you’ll want to visit.
1. Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail
This trail is easily accessed from Manchester, before running 26 miles to Newfields. The trail follows the former route of the Boston and Maine Rail Road, passing through many of the old mill towns in the area.
2. Presidential Range Rail Trail
This rail trail is in the shadow of the White Mountains, running 18 miles from Whitefield to Berlin. The beautiful Cherry Pond is a highlight of the trip, and a perfect place to bird watch.
3. Ammonoosuc Rail Trail
This 19 mile trail runs from Littleton to Woodville, taking you through the heart of the White Mountains. The town of Bath, complete with a covered bridge, is a great attraction along the way.
4. Cheshire Rail Trail
This trail runs for 30 miles from the Massachusetts border to Keene. The Troy railroad depot and Rockwood Pond (perfect for swimming) are highlights of the trail.
5. Goffstown Rail Trail
This 5.5 mile trail that runs from Goffstown to Pinardville will take you past many bodies of water. The trail is new, so it is perfect for people who are looking for a more well-maintained walk.
6. Cotton Valley Rail Trail
This eight-mile trail on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee is breathtaking year round. The trail that runs from Wakefield to Wolfeboro still has the rails in place in some points, giving you a unique connection to history.
7. Mason Railroad Trail
The Mason trail has some of the best wildlife spotting on a rail trail in New Hampshire. The trail passes through Russel State Forest and Coyne Wildlife Sanctuary during its 7-mile span from Townsend, Mass. to Greenville New Hampshire.
8. Ashuelot Rail Trail
This 21-mile trail is quintessential New Hampshire. You'll love the many covered bridges that dot the trail, and the wildlife that plays peek a boo as you walk along. The trail runs from Keene through Hinsdale.
9. Nashua Canal Trail
This trail in Mine Falls Park in Nashua offers 6 miles of trails that criss-cross the canal, which was hand dug in the 1880s. The waterfall will give you an idea of the industrial past that shaped the park.
10. Northern Rail Trail
The longest rail trail in New Hampshire runs for 58 miles from Lebanon to Boscawen. With such a distance the trail covers a lot of beautiful places, including the beautiful Lake Mascoma.