WINDHAM RAIL TRAIL:
WINDHAM, NEW HAMPSHIRE
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 08, 2012
Length: Windham Rail Trail; 3.5 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Flat paved rail trail.
From I-93 take exit 3 to Route 111 west. Take a right on Church St and another right onto N Lowell Rd. After traveling underneath I-93 you'll come to Windham Junction. Turn right up Depot Rd and you'll spot the "Blue Caboose" on your left. The parking lot is on your right.
The Windham 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 Derry Rail Trail , Londonderry Rail Trail and South Manchester Rail Trail to the north and the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor and Methuen Rail Trail (MA) to the south. The Lawrence Rail Trail (MA) has not been developed. The Windham Rail Trail is 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; WINDHAM RAIL TRAIL .
Starting from N Lowell Rd; The wooden 0 Mile Marker post starts from here. Mile markers are placed every 1/2 mile along the trail. Just before this mile marker look left (facing south) to spot an old RR mileage marker reading L13/M14 which meant Lawrence 13 miles/Manchester 14 miles.
Note; The Derry Rail Trail starts just across N Lowell Rd and heads north.
The paved trail heads south and crosses Frost Rd where you'll pass by an old blue B & M caboose before crossing over to the Depot Rd parking lot at 0.2 miles. Here you'll find a sign board just past the restored 1849 Windham Train Depot. The undeveloped ROCKINGHAM RECREATIONAL TRAIL crosses here as well. The trail heads into the woods along a high berm. There are many berms along this old rail bed. The trail is very shaded and includes very slight grades along its route. After passing through a rock cut at 0.6 miles, another high berm takes you past some granite benches overlooking a marsh below. Look for another old railroad mileage marker on your left. The miles were obscured. There are many ponds and marshes along this very scenic trail. A bridge takes you over Mallard Rd. At 1.5 miles you travel across a causeway between a marsh and pond and again at 2.4 miles. At 3.3 miles a tunnel travels under the trail. I believe this was probably used to allow livestock access to both sides of the tracks. The trail currently ends after 3.5 miles at Roulston Rd. No parking lot is located here, however future plans call for the construction of a 30 car parking lot. Future plans also call for the trail to continue south to the Salem town line.
The trail continues south undeveloped, but consists of cinder and hard packed dirt and is very ridable. Mt bike recommended. Continuing south along the narrow trail you'll cross a bridge over Route 111 at 3.9 miles. You'll come to Range Rd next to CYCLES ETC and the Salem town line after 4.3 miles.
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