WINNIPESAUKEE RIVER TRAIL:
FRANKLIN-TILTON, NEW HAMPSHIRE
-BIKE IT OR HIKE IT-
Last Updated: August 22, 2016
Length: Winnipesaukee River Trail [Eastern Section]; 1.2 miles
Winnipesaukee River Trail [Western Section]; 3.1 miles
Difficulty: Easy. Mostly flat stone-dust rail trail. One slight hill in Franklin.
To Start from Trestle View Park in Franklin [Western Section]; From I-93 take exit 20 to Routes 3 south & 11 west to Franklin. Cross river and turn right into the park across from the RR trestle.
To Start from Tilton [Eastern Section]; From I-93 take exit 20 to Routes 3 & 11 and travel to the east side of I-93 where you'll find Route 140. Just off Route 140 is a McDonalds/Burger King parking area. The trail begins just off Route 140.
The Winnipesaukee River Trail follows an old rail bed and links Tilton, Northfield and Franklin along the Winnipesaukee River. The trail affords views of the Winnipesaukee River including a spectacular view of a gorge frequently used for whitewater kayaking. The area contains many historic and cultural sites including an old railroad trestle, the Sulfite Bridge (an upside down covered bridge on the National Register of Historic Sites) and remains of old paper mills. For more information visit; WINNIPESAUKEE RIVER TRAIL .
Starting from Route 140; The stone-dust Winnipesaukee River Trail travels west from Route 140 past the parking lot, across the RR tracks, then underneath I-93 where it parallels the Winnipesaukee River along the left. On your right the trail parallels the Hobo & Winnipesaukee RR. Use Caution as the trail has a lot of washouts. After 0.9 miles the trail travels between Knapp Rd and the tracks before crossing the RR tracks and continuing left alongside the tracks. The trail turns right as you come to a bend in the river bringing you up to the Salmon Run Conservation Area parking lot at 1.2 miles.
Note; To connect to the Western Section travel left on-road along busy Route 3 (narrow shoulder). Turn left on School St after 0.4 miles and cross the river. Turn right on Elm St and follow to Park St at 0.7 miles. Across this road is the Merrimack Valley RR Function Hall. See below.
Starting from Trestle View Park; A map board is located here at the cinder block building. Continue out to Routes 3 & 11 and turn left along the sidewalk. This will bring you up to a brick promenade overlooking the Winnipesaukee River and the Harris Corliss Wheel (from an old mill). Follow the cross-walk over Route 3 to the start of the Winnipesaukee River Trail. Here you'll find the Sulfite Bridge ( an upside down covered bridge on the National Register of Historic Sites) along with some informational signs. The trail starts out paved as it ascends a ridge with the river below to your left. After 0.5 miles the trail converts to stone-dust as you reach the old rail bed. Left is an old RR trestle across the river [Caution; Bridge is in poor condition]. Traveling right the trail travels above the river along a partially shaded corridor. You'll pass by a granite bench where if you look across the river you'll spot the remnants of an old brick mill building. The trail pulls away from the river for a bit and crosses Cross Mill Rd at 1.2 miles. As you briefly come alongside the river again at 1.7 miles spot the old RR tracks still running alongside the trail on your left. Pass by a scenic little pond on your right at 2 miles. Cross an old RR bridge over Williams Brook before utilizing the dirt Johnson Rd next to the recycling center at 2.6 miles for a short distance. The trail then briefly comes alongside the Hobo & Winnipesaukee RR before turning left off the rail bed, heading through a fence and traveling along an open field. This takes you to a skate park and parking lot along the river at 3.1 miles. To your left is a power dam on the river. If you travel out of the parking lot and across the RR tracks you may turn left passing through two rows of old rail cars and cabooses before coming to the old Merrimack Valley RR Function Hall alongside Park St at 3.3 miles.
Note; To connect to the Eastern Section cross Park St to Elm St (opposite the Function Hall) and travel on-road (residential). Turn left on School St and cross the river. Turn right along busy Route 3 (narrow shoulder) and follow to the Salmon Run Conservation Area parking lot after 0.7 miles. See above.
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CLICK HERE FOR MAP
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