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Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Ride

Easy
 3.5 (2) RECOMMENDED ROUTE

A long rail-trail through hardwood forest with rich railroad history.


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Map Key

26.3

Miles

42.4

KM

0%

Singletrack

443' 135 m

High

53' 16 m

Low

303' 92 m

Up

511' 156 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

2%

Max Grade (1°)

This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because our research has found there is no legal access.

Dogs Unknown

E-Bikes Allowed

Overview

The Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail can be done as a point-to-point or out-and-back depending on how many miles you're willing to pedal.

Need to Know

In some places along the route there might be standing water and bogs on both sides of the trail. Bring insect repellent if you're on the trail between late spring and fall.

The trail is open in winter and local snowmobile clubs do a nice job of maintaining the trails during the snowy season.

Description

Start at the western trailhead at Tarrytown Road in Manchester. The route climbs gradually and then steeply for the first six miles or so through hardwood and conifer forests.

About 6.5 miles into the ride, you'll encounter a narrow culvert beneath a road, with limited overhead clearance. This is a good place to dismount and walk your bike. In East Candia, look for a historical marker that describes a demolished railroad depot. It's also the start of an extended downhill section that dives into dense forest.

The route alternates between being on the edge of the forest and traveling through the forest above high-walled cuts blasted through New Hampshire's famous granite, remnant from the days of railroad construction.

In Raymond, you pedal past a restored train station. You can't miss the locomotive and rail cars displayed between the trail and the station. Just beyond town, you'll cross an impressive railroad bridge and then jump back into the beautiful hardwood forest found throughout the route.

The route ends at the Newfields railroad depot marks on the eastern end of the trail. Finish the ride here or turn around to ride back to Manchester.

History & Background

The Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail is a rustic route, rich in railroad structures left over from the days of the Boston & Maine Railroad network. The route follows the Portsmouth Branch. Hurt by the mid-20th-century decline in local manufacturing, the railroad faltered, and in 1988, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation purchased the Portsmouth Branch for conversion into a rail-trail.

Shared By:

Leslie Kehmeier

Trail Ratings

  3.5 from 2 votes

#3194

Overall
  3.5 from 2 votes
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Recommended Route Rankings

#12

in New Hampshire

#3,194

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Photos

One of three tunnels on the Western end of the trail
May 7, 2021 near Auburn, NH
Toward the Eastern end of the trail
May 7, 2021 near Raymond, NH
Railroad museum in Raymond
May 7, 2021 near Raymond, NH
Lake view on the Rockingham Rail Trail.
Dec 13, 2017 near Raymond, NH

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