Stretching 58 miles across two counties in New Hampshire, the Northern Recreational Rail Trail is the state’s longest multi-use rail trail. It starts in Lebanon and extends to Boscawen, passing scenic views, covered bridges, historic sites, and forests along the way. Take a break beside the Mascoma River, or take in the view from one of the benches along Mascoma Lake. You may notice the occasional railroad spike and other trailside remnants of the trail’s past because the route was once part of the Boston and Maine Railroad. Be sure to stop and check out the Enfield Depot as well as the Potter Place Railroad Station, which serves as a museum and switches up a special historical exhibit each year. Also, keep an eye out for various wildlife on your rail trail adventure; it is common to see eagles, turtles, bear, and moose along some sections.
The Northern Recreational Rail Trail’s surface varies between packed dirt, stone dust, and some crushed stone. The trail is nearly flat and has just over 200 feet of net elevation gain, making it a great option for families, beginners, and people of all ages and abilities. It is used in every season, from walking, running, biking, and horseback riding in the warmer months to cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during the winter. With multiple parking areas and access points, you can opt to enjoy a scenic section as a day trip or use the several inns along the path to extend your ride and see the entire trail.