Mark your calendar: October event to benefit New Boston rail trail

The New Boston Rail Trail has an event on October 5th: Walk-Run-Bike, New Boston to help raise money to complete the rail trail project to resurface all 4.795 miles of trail. The event includes a 1 mile Kid’s Fun Run, 4 or 8 mile Walk-A-Thon, 25 mile Bike-A-Thon and 5K Adult Obstacle Course. You can register at and check out the video about the rail trail on YouTube

Zombies and rail trails: what’s not to love?

I’m passing on to you this link to an article in today’s New Hampshire Union Leader about a way to support and maintain the rail trail in New Boston. Care for a zombie race on October 6? Then this is the event for you: Rails to Entrails. I like that the race was founded by a couple of teachers looking for a way to help the community.

I’ve written about the New Boston trail before, most recently here. While you’re in the area, be sure to stroll across the town green with its markers, monuments, and gazebo. I’ve been known to pick up post-hike refreshments at the general store across the street.  Pretty town, pleasant trail. And zombies, too.

New Boston town common. The rail trail's trailhead at the 4-H fairgrounds is only a 10-minute walk north of here, off Rt. 13.

New Boston town common. The rail trail’s trailhead at the 4-H fairgrounds is only a 10-minute walk north of here, off Rt. 13. Ellen Kolb photo.


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New Boston Rail Trail

New Boston is celebrating its 250th anniversary this year, with festivities going on all summer. Today, I intended to take a house tour being offered by the town’s historical society. When I arrived on this perfect June day, though, it was clear that the house tour was already doing good business without my help. This gave me time to visit a nearby trail I haven’t seen in too long. The New Boston rail trail follows the Piscataquog River. This is actually a remnant of the same line that is being rehabilitated for recreational use in Goffstown and that runs through Manchester to the baseball stadium. This leafy and cool trail is perfect on a summer day as long as you carry bug repellent. This is a dirt trail, which means it’s occasionally muddy, and it’s open to horses, which means watch your step.

My favorite feature of the trail is the footbridge over the Middle Branch of the Piscataquog. It’s a simple but lovely piece of work. I’ve included a photo of the bridge in this post’s photo gallery. (Hover your computer mouse over each photo for a descriptive caption.)

The trail runs northeast from near the center of New Boston to the Goffstown line. Parking is available at three locations off NH Rt. 13 north of New Boston’s town center: the 4-H Fairgrounds (Hilldale Lane), Gregg Mill Road, and Parker Station.  See the rail trail page on the town web site for further information, including a schedule of trail work days.


A Country Road and a Fine New Book

After an all-day hard rain yesterday that delayed the Red Sox opener and left my local trails even muddier than before, I decided to take my walk on a road this morning. After doing some business in Amherst, I parked on Chestnut Hill Road, in the little pull-off that connects to the Joe English Reservation’s Highland Trail. One glance at the trail confirmed my guess that it was not a day for slogging through the woods in my sneakers. I headed up the road towards New Boston.

It’s a treat to have an hour in the middle of a weekday to spend on a country road in early spring. Next to no traffic passed me. The trees haven’t leafed out yet, so I got a good look at all the songbirds making music. Overcast was lifting, giving me a different view on the way back than I got on the way out of the Uncanoonucs in Goffstown and the hills out past Milford. Forsythia is about a week away from bloom, and daylily shoots are popping up all along the roadside.

Tree damage was obvious in the woods. I expect some of the houses & yards I passed needed quick action the week after the ice storm, but they look fine.

I gave a halfhearted effort at making this a workout, to compensate for my sluggish winter, but I abandoned that plan about five minutes into the walk. It was uphill, and that’s workout enough. I turned around at the New Boston town line & enjoyed going downhill on my way back to the car. Not a bad way to spend an hour — closer to 50 minutes, actually. I went back to the day’s “serious” work in a good frame of mind.

To change the subject, I found a great new book while I was browsing the table from Bondcliff Bookstore (Littleton, NH) at the recent Made In NH Expo. New Hampshire Rail Trails (there’s an easy title to remember) is by Charles F. Martin, and it’s published by Branch Line Press in Pepperell, MA. It’s going right on my shelf full of guidebooks, and will probably be in my backpack on several trips this year. He covers trails all over the state, offering the history of the various rail lines and the prospects for development of more trails. It’s not an encyclopedia, but he manages to cover quite a bit in 300 pages, including maps and a long list of organizations supporting these trails. Development of some trails is proceeding so quickly that even some of Martin’s 2008 information is outdated, but that’s hardly bad news and Martin notes which trails are likely to see extension or upgrading in the near future.

I’m delighted with this book. I’ve already made note of a trail he describes up in Bethlehem. I have a racewalk in that pleasant town next weekend, and I’ll head for the trail as soon as the race is over.