“A long rail-trail through hardwood forest with rich railroad history.”
— Leslie Kehmeier
This has been hidden from our maps to prevent overlap with existing trails, or because
our research has found there is no legal access.
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.
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.