SOUTHWEST PARK TRAILS:
COLD BROOK NEIGHBORHOOD TRAIL:
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: July 21, 2016
Length: Southwest Trail; 4.2 mile loop.
Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail; 2.8 mile loop.
Difficulty: Southwest Trails; Moderate. Hard packed dirt, stone-dust and paved trails with some slight hills. On-road section.
Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail; Easy. Flat paved trail.
Starting from Southwest Park; From Route 3 (Everett Turnpike) in Nashua take exit 5W to Route 111 west for 2.8 miles. Turn left on Country Side Drive, which will bring you to Gilson Rd. The Southwest Park parking lot is located straight ahead.
Starting from Maplewood Commerce Center parking lot; From Route 3 (Everett Turnpike) in Nashua take exit 5W to Route 111 west for 2.8 miles. Turn left on Country Side Drive, which will bring you to Gilson Rd. Turn left and follow Gilson Rd to Route 111A (Main Dunstable Rd). Cross over to Buckmeadow Rd, then turn left into Maplewood Commerce Center along Merrit Pkwy. Bear right past the two red silos to a parking lot. The trail starts on your right just past the parking lot.
Southwest Park contains hiking and Mt biking trails along with a multi-use trail that encircles the park. From this Southwest Trail you may also access the scenic Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail from the southern section of the park. This trail travels through wildflower meadows and woods and is a great trail for kids. You can also access the Nashua River Rail Trail from the Southwest Park parking lot. Further north in Nashua are two more trails. See; Nashua Heritage Rail Trail & Mine Falls Park Trails .
Starting from the Southwest Park parking lot; A map board is located next to the parking lot entrance. [Trails are not currently marked so it can get confusing with all the intersecting trails]
Note; The paved trail that runs alongside the parking lot is the Nashua River Rail Trail .
Travel past the map board along the crushed gravel Southwest Trail past a gate and small pond before coming to an intersection.
Note; Straight takes you to Serotta Drive.
Head left through the woods along a wide, hard packed dirt/gravel trail. Look right at 0.2 miles and spot a wooden bridge.
Note; Straight takes you along Mt bike trails.
Head right over the bridge and keep straight at the intersection, as right is hilly. Bear right at the next intersection traveling along a wood rail fence on your left. Pass by one of the informational signs located along the route. Trail splits up a hill, however, both trails merge again. Continue straight along the main wide trail. Pass by some fields on your right followed by a sign for "Terrell Homestead Conservation Area" before emerging from the woods and connecting to a paved trail out to Route 111A at 1 mile. Follow the paved trail left alongside the road and across the entrance for Yudicky Farm Southwest Park to a parking lot at 1.4 miles. Ball fields and a Dog Park located here. Continue straight through the parking lot along a hard packed dirt trail. Turn right before the two boulders blocking the path to a cross-walk over to the Route 111A parking lot 1.6 miles. Here the trail follows along an old paved road. Come to a scenic overlook of Lovewells Pond (Kettle Pond) where you find another informational sign. Head left when you come to a gate and a hard packed dirt trail will take you down and out to a across-light over Ridge Rd at 1.9 miles. Continue along the hilly, hard packed dirt trail as you travel across an Esker. A switchback brings you down and across a bridge where the hilly trail winds through the woods before crossing a boardwalk at 2.3 miles across Cold Brook and Buck Meadow Conservation Area. Trail turns to stone-dust as you travel through a meadow out to and across Buckmeadow Rd at 2.5 miles.
Note; Right across Cherrywood Dr a narrow paved trail takes you east along Buckmeadow Dr before quickly ending.
Note; Straight a narrow paved trail alongside Cherrywood Dr brings you to the Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail. See below.
Follow the narrow paved trail left alongside Buckmeadow Rd and you'll come to Merrit Pkwy (Maplewood Commerce Center) at 2.6 miles.
Note; Head right on Merrit Pkwy, then right past the two red silos to the Maplewood Commerce Center parking lot. Just past this parking lot on your right is the start of the paved Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail. See below.
Continuing along Buckmeadow Rd brings you to Route 111A. Caution No Cross-walk. Cross Route 111A then left across Gilson Rd. Follow the narrow paved trail alongside Route 111A and you'll come to an intersection. Head right along the narrow, hilly, winding trail as it travels through the woods paralleling Gilson Rd. The trail ends after 3.2 miles next to Gilson Rd. Kiosk located here.
Note; You may attempt to loop back to the Southwest Park parking lot from here by heading left along Mt bike trails, however, I'm not sure how easy it would be to find the correct trail. Also the trail starts out sandy.
I chose to return to the park on-road. Head left along Gilson Rd (low volume, but no shoulder and a hilly winding road: Not recommended for kids on bikes). You'll return to the entrance for the Southwest Park parking lot and complete a loop of about 4.2 miles.
Cold Brook Neighborhood Trail
Starting from the Maplewood Commerce Center parking lot; Travel east through the wildflower meadow along the narrow paved trail. After crossing Cherrywood Dr you head into the open woods. After one more street crossing you'll return to Cherrywood Dr at 0.7 miles. Turn right and cross over Cold Brook, then head left down a road to a black fence. The trail continues right along the fence past a small pond. After you travel through a Pine tree stand you'll encounter a gravel trail on your right.
Note; This gravel trail takes you 0.3 miles out to Curtis Dr.
Continuing straight along the paved trail takes you over Cold Brook and out to Sheffield Rd at 1.1 miles.
Note; You may create a loop with a short 0.8 mile on-road section to a paved trail alongside Conant Rd.
Continue straight along Sheffield Rd (residential) out to Searles Rd. Head left on-road (low volume) and travel 0.8 miles to Conant Rd at 2 miles. Head left where a paved trail travels alongside the road. At 2.6 miles you'll come to Merrit Pkwy and the entrance to the Maplewood Commerce Center. Head left along Merrit Pkwy and turn left on Mangerian Lane which will return you to the Maplewood Commerce Center parking lot for a 2.8 mile loop.
CLICK HERE FOR SOUTHWEST PARK TRAILS MAP
CLICK HERE FOR COLD BROOK NEIGHBORHOOD MAP
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BIKE IT OR HIKE IT