Route: Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (NH)

Submitted by acadianrunner on Sun, 06/14/2020 - 01:43pm
New Hampshire, US
28.16 mi
Vertical Gain
522 ft

The Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (Portsmouth Branch) is an east-west, 28 mile unpaved rail trail starting in Manchester, NH (New Hamphsires largest city) and ending in Newfields, NH (a small coastal town). It is one of the longest designated rail-trails in New Hampshire, used frequently by runners, bikers, walkers, and in the winter it serves as part of the networks of major New Hampshire snowmobile paths. The route begins in the more urban Manchester (small lot off Tarrytown Rd by Elliot Hospital), but it quickly offers more rural scenery as it passes by Lake Massabesic, a large recreational lake used for Manchester’s water supply. The trail passes a wide array of forests, lakes, and wetlands. It also provides a chance to see remnants of a bygone era, with stone foundations and rennovated train stations (Raymond, NH built in 1893 and Newfield, NH built in 1891). Deer, herons, beavers, rabbits are common, and black bears and moose can be seen as well. The trail ends at the old depot in Newfield, where there is a dirt lot.

The trail passes by a number of opportunities to resupply (restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations in Raymond and Epping). There are a number of road crossings, which leads to the trail having a lot of section running. The trail is gorgeous in fall foliage, fun to x-country ski in the winter, and great to run/bike/walk. There are some unique tunnels that go under highways that require ducking.


GPS Track