DERRY RAIL TRAIL:

DERRY LOOP TRAIL:

DERRY, NEW HAMPSHIRE

-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-

Last Updated:       August 08, 2012

Length:                 Derry Rail Trail; 3.3 miles 

                               Derry Loop Trail; 4.7 miles                   

Difficulty:             Derry Rail Trail; Easy. Flat paved rail trail.

                               Derry Loop Trail; Moderate. Trail consists of paved sections, stone-dust sections and on-road sections. Some hilly sections.

Directions:

To start from Hood Park (Derry Rail Trail); From I-93 take exit 4 to Route 102 east. When you come to downtown look for a wide brick cross-walk. Just past this cross-walk turn left up Manning St and you'll come to Hood Park.

To start from Route 102 (Derry Loop Trail); From I-93 take exit 4 to Route 102 east. When you come to downtown look for a wide brick cross-walk. Just before this cross-walk take a right past the old train station, now the "Depot Square Steak House" and park near the rear. 

The Derry Rail Trail travels along the railroad bed of the old Manchester and Lawrence Branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad. It's part of the regional Manchester- Lawrence Recreational Rail Trail which includes: The Londonderry Rail Trail and South Manchester Rail Trail to the north and the Windham Rail Trail , Salem Bike-Ped Corridor and Methuen Rail Trail (MA) to the south. The Lawrence Rail Trail (MA) has not been developed. The Derry Loop Trail travels around the town of Derry, connecting schools, parks and the rail trail. The Derry Rail Trail is also part of the state wide Granite State Rail Trail, a proposed 120-mile trail extending from Methuen MA to Lebanon NH. The GSRT forms a "backbone" with many other rail trails connecting to it. Heading east, the Freemont Branch starts in Windham while the Portsmouth Branch starts from Manchester. West of Manchester, the rail trail goes over the Hands Across the Merrimack Bridge toward Goffstown and New Boston. Another series of rail trails connect to the Lakes Region via Belmont and Laconia. Each rail trail is a local project. For more information visit; DERRY RAIL TRAIL .

Derry Rail Trail:

Starting from Hood Park along the Derry Rail Trail; Starting from the map board located at the Park entrance the trail travels south. 

Note; Heading north the undeveloped trail travels alongside Hoods Pond before ending near N High St.

Note; The Derry Loop Trail heads through the parking lot and past the basketball courts to a paved trail. SEE BELOW.

Exit the park and follow the bike-lane along Courthouse Lane. Just past the courthouse cross over to a brick lined trail. This travels through a small garden park where you'll find a map board for the Derry Loop Trail. Spot an old RR Mile Marker here as well; M11/L16 or Manchester 11 miles-Lawrence 16 miles. A wide cross-walk takes you over Route 102 and past the old Derry Train Station to the Route 102 parking lot. You'll find a signboard here at 0.3 miles. Continue along the paved trail to a cross-walk over South Ave where the trail continues straight past a cul-de-sac and ball fields. The trail heads into the woods and travels over a berm with green fencing. Beaver Brook runs below. After passing through a small rock cut you'll come to the junction of Norton St & Hall Ave after 3/4 mile. 

Note; The Derry Loop Trail returns to the rail trail here. See Below.

A cross-walk takes you over Kendall Pond Rd, followed by Bowers Rd after 1.7 miles. You'll need to head right, then cross the road to return to the trail. Travel past a large pond to your left and enter a more isolated section of the trail. You'll briefly lose the tranquility of the trail as you skirt close to I-93. After 3.3 miles you pass by an orange gate and come to N Lowell Rd and the end of the trail. The Windham Rail Trail begins across the road.

Derry Loop Trail:

Starting from the Route 102 parking lot along the Derry Loop Trail;  Head north across the wide cross-walk to a small garden park. Here you'll find a map board along with an old RR Mile Marker; M11-L16 or Manchester 11 miles-Lawrence 16 miles. The trail follows a brick lined path along Manning St. The old "Grainery of Derry" building is across the street. The trail can be tricky to follow at times as some of the green "Bike Route" signs are missing. The only map I could find on-line is not as specific as the map board. The trail crosses the street near the courthouse and utilizes a bike lane (low traffic). You'll come to Hoods Pond & Hood Park after 0.3 miles. Head right through the parking lot to the basketball courts and take the paved trail. 

Note; The lower paved trail simply brings you down to the beach. 

The paved trail heads into the woods, turning to gravel after 0.5 miles. Bear right and you'll emerge at the end of a cul-de-sac (Mitchell Ave). Head on-road up Mitchell Ave and turn right on Franklin St Ext, then a quick left on Lincoln St (all residential). Take the cross-walk over Crystal Ave and turn left. A quick right will bring you back to a paved path at 3/4 miles. You come to an intersection with athletic fields on your left. If you continued straight up the hill you'd come to a small playground. STOP. You need to turn left towards the fields. The paved trail ends and turns to hard packed dirt as it travels around MacGregor Park, which is part of the middle school. You return to a paved path and continue around the fields and out to Peabody Annex at 1.3 miles. This begins another on-road section (although their are sidewalks available). Follow Peabody Rd Annex to Peabody Rd and turn right. Bike lane. Take a left when you reach Perley Rd (bike lane) and then a right when you reach Hoodkroft Dr (bike lane). this brings you to E Broadway (Route 102).  No cross-walk is located here and this is a busy rd, so head left along a narrow sidewalk until you come to Crescent St. Here a cross-walk will bring you over E Broadway to the Derry Fire Dept. at 1.9 miles. A paved trail runs around the right side of the FD, past the cell tower and out to S Main St (Route 28 Bypass). Take the cross-walk over S Main St and turn right along the paved trail which parallels the road. At 2.4 miles you turn left into Derry Village Elementary School. The trail then crosses right in front of the school and heads uphill through the woods and passes in front of West Running Brook School. The trail heads right, out the entrance, to a cross-walk over S Main St. Turn right  and follow the paved trail to Fairway Dr. Head left down the paved trail. Just before the road takes a sharp left, the trail turns right into an apartment complex and changes to a hard packed surface before heading through a Pine stand. After crossing a wooden bridge you head up a short hill and come to the Alexander Carr Playground, located at the end of Pierce Ave, after 3.5 miles. A parking lot is located here. From the parking lot the paved trail head left through a Red Pine stand, past another playground, tennis courts and out to Birch St. A cross-light takes you over to Summit Ave where you start an on-road (residential) segment. From Summit Ave take a right on Berry St, then a left on Norton St/Hall Ave. This will bring you back to the Derry Rail Trail at 4.2 miles. Turn right and follow the rail trail back to Route 102 for a 4.7 mile loop.   

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CLICK HERE FOR RAIL TRAIL MAP

CLICK HERE FOR LOOP TRAIL MAP

 

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