MONADNOCK BRANCH RAIL TRAIL:
JAFFREY-RINDGE, NEW HAMPSHIRE
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: September 14, 2011
Length: Jaffrey Section; 2 miles
Rindge Section; 6.2 miles
Difficulty: Jaffrey Section; Easy. Flat paved and hard packed gravel rail trail.
Rindge Section; Moderate. Flat, hard packed dirt & gravel rail trail. Southern section less developed.
To Start from Jaffrey; From the junction of Routes 124 & 202 in Jaffrey travel north on Route 202. Take a right on Webster St and park next to the trailhead by Legion Field.
To start from Rindge; From the junction of Routes 119 & 202 travel south on Route 202. Look for the parking lot w/map board on your left where the trail crosses Route 202.
The Monadnock Branch Rail Trail is also called the Jack Dupree Memorial Trail or the Rindge Rail Trail in Rindge, NH. The trail follows the rail bed of the old Monadnock Branch Railroad. This was one of many extension line railroads built to help expand the Fitchburg Railroad/Vermont & Massachusetts Railroad into New Hampshire. This line was to serve the New Hampshire towns on the eastern side of Mount Monadnock, mainly Jaffrey and Peterborough. The Monadnock finally opened from Winchendon to Jaffrey, New Hampshire in December 1870 and then to Peterborough by late spring 1871, from which the Peterborough & Hillsborough Railroad could take traffic further north to Concord. Another section of this old rail trail exists north in Peterborough. See; Common Pathway/Old Railroad Trail .
Starting from Webster Street in Jeffrey; The paved Jaffrey Rail Trail Section heads south past the ball field.
Note; The trail is currently undeveloped heading north towards Peterborough.
You come alongside Route 202 to your right and Rite Aid to your left and come to Route 124. Turn right to reach the cross-light over Route 124 followed by a second cross-light over Stratton Rd. Turn left up Stratton Rd to return to the paved trail heading south on your right at a 1/4 mile. A sign board is located here but no map or trail information was posted on it. You pass by the old RR Depot on your right, although, at least from the outside it retains none of the old depot look. Once you pass by a gate at next to the ball field at 0.4 miles the trail turns to a wide, hard packed gravel. Here you'll find wooden mileage markers every 1/4 mile for the Jaffrey section. You head into the woods and at 3/4 miles you come alongside the Contoocook River. Next, the trail travels alongside Children's Woods & Carey Park. Come to a side trail on your right at 1 1/4 miles on your right that leads to a bridge over a dam for a section of Contoocook Lake. You then travel over a causeway between two sections of the lake, which at this end is more of a marsh. Cross the town line into Rindge at 2 miles. This is where the mileage markers started from. Cross Country Rd (dirt) at 2.4 miles where you'll find a boat launch, Porto-potty and parking on your left. You'll also find a map board here for the Rindge Rail Trail Section. The trail is a bit less developed, with some ATV damage, softer surface and narrower. Spot an old RR granite marker to your left at 2 3/4 miles, followed by an two old RR signal as you cross over S Woodbound Rd. The trail narrows further as you follow a short berm and then travel alongside Route 202 for a bit. Pool Pond is across the road. After heading back into the woods you run into some rail ties still embedded in the trail at 3.8 miles. This was as far as I traveled. The trail should improve and continues south past Route 119 then out to Route 202 where you'll find a parking area and sign board. After crossing Route 202 the trail is supposed to be less developed with more ATV issues all the way to the MA line.
CLICK HERE FOR JAFFREY-RINDGE MAP
CLICK HERE FOR REGIONAL MAP
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