SUGAR RIVER TRAIL:
BOBBY WOODMAN TRAIL:
CLAREMONT-NEWPORT, NEW HAMPSHIRE
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: September 13, 2014
Length: Bobby Woodman Trail; 2.3 miles
Sugar River Trail; 9.2 miles
Total; 11.5 miles
Difficulty: Moderate. Flat, hard packed dirt, cinder, gravel rail trail. Note; ATV's are allowed on the Trail creating some soft sandy sections.
To Start from Claremont; From I-91 take exit 8 to Route 131 east. Continue straight on Route 12 (Main St) for 4.5 miles. Turn right on Routes11 & 12 (Pleasant St). Travel 0.4 miles to a gravel parking lot on your left next to a large white building.
To Start from Newport; From Claremont follow Route 103 east to the junction of Routes 10 &103 in Newport. Turn left and follow Route 10 north about a 1/2 mile to Belknap Ave and turn left. Take your first right where you'll spot a sign for the trail next to the Newton Recreational Facility. You'll need to travel down the gravel road to reach the trailhead gate.
The Sugar River Trail runs from Claremont to Newport. The Claremont portion is called the Bobby Woodman Trail. The Sugar River Railroad was incorporated in the early 1870’s to complete a rail line for the Concord & Claremont Railway from Newport to Claremont. Two out of an original thirteen Concord & Claremont Railway Co. covered railroad bridges still exist in Newport and are known as the Wright’s Bridge and the Pier Bridge. For more information on these covered bridges See; COVERED RR BRIDGES . For more information visit; SUGAR RIVER TRAIL .
Starting from the Pleasant Street parking area in Claremont; The hard packed dirt and gravel Bobby Woodman Trail heads into the woods along a short berm before crossing Broad St at 0.3 miles followed by Chestnut St. Entrance to Monadnock Park to your left. Look left as you cross a small berm to spot an old cement RR Whistle marker. Some sandy sections along here where the ATV's have torn it up a bit. Cross an old RR trestle over the Sugar River and you'll come to Washington St at a mile. This was as far as I traveled. Here the hard packed gravel trail travels between Washington St and local businesses, meaning part of the trail may be blocked by vehicles. After you pass by the Home Depot entrance at 1.8 miles you'll leave the commercial corridor behind and skirt the river. At about 2.3 miles you pass by the Washington Ave parking area and head into the woods along the Sugar River Trail. At 2.9 miles the trail briefly squeezes in between the river and Routes 11 & 103 before leaving the road behind. You'll cross a small bridge where the trail again heads into deep woods. This section I traveled. You'll come to the Wright's Bridge, the first of two covered bridges over the river at 4.6 miles. [According to an Historic American Engineering Record on the Wright’s Bridge (Library of Congress), only eight Railroad Covered Bridges remain in the country]. At 4.8 miles you cross Chandlers Mill Rd (gravel road) where the trail parallels it before crossing back over at 5.4 miles and traveling into the woods. You then cross the Pier Bridge at 5.7 miles which spans the Sugar River a total of 216’ 7”, making it the longest railroad covered bridge in the world! This was as far as I traveled. The trail parallels the river crossing Peabody Brook and Ram Brook before traveling underneath Routes 11 & 103 and coming to a small gravel parking area at 6.7 miles. The trail continues along the river before crossing an old wooden RR bridge over the river at 8.5 miles. This is quickly followed by a second iron RR bridge before coming to the Greenwood Road parking area at 8.8 miles. You quickly cross Oak St before crossing a third RR trestle bridge. (Three RR bridges in less then a 1/2 mile). Cross Oak St again at 11 miles followed by your final iron RR bridge crossing. After passing by a gate you travel along a gravel road out to Belknap Ave at 11.5 miles. A map board is located on your right. This is the end of the trail in Newport.
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