Explore the Northern Rail Trail: A Scenic Outdoor Adventure


The Northern Rail Trail, spanning over 50 miles in New Hampshire, is a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts seeking a scenic and peaceful escape. This former railway corridor has been transformed into a multi-use recreational trail, offering opportunities for hiking, biking, horseback riding, and snowmobiling. With its diverse landscapes and historical charm, the Northern Rail Trail attracts visitors from near and far to explore its natural beauty and rich heritage.

Table of Contents

Overview of the Northern Rail Trail

The Northern Rail Trail is a picturesque and historic pathway that spans across New Hampshire, offering a unique outdoor experience for hikers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts. Originally a railroad line, the trail now serves as a scenic route through rural landscapes, charming towns, and serene woodlands. With a total length of 58 miles, the trail provides plenty of opportunities for exploration and recreation.

This multi-use trail is a popular destination for outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and cross-country skiing. Visitors can enjoy the peaceful surroundings and observe the diverse wildlife that inhabits the area. The trail also links to other recreational trails, creating a network of pathways that allows for extended adventures. In addition, the Northern Rail Trail is maintained and managed by local organizations and volunteers, ensuring its preservation and accessibility for all to enjoy.

**Key Features of the Northern Rail Trail:**
– Scenic views of New Hampshire’s countryside
– Historic railroad bridges and structures
– Interconnection to other recreational trails
– Rich wildlife and natural landscapes
– Accessibility for a variety of outdoor activities

Length 58 miles
Surface Crushed gravel
Managed by Local organizations and volunteers

Scenic Highlights and Recreational Opportunities

The Northern Rail Trail offers a variety of for visitors to enjoy. Stretching over 57 miles, this multi-use trail winds its way through picturesque landscapes, providing stunning views of the surrounding forests, streams, and rural countryside.

Along the trail, outdoor enthusiasts can partake in a range of recreational activities, such as:

  • Hiking
  • Biking
  • Horseback riding
  • Cross-country skiing

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely stroll or an exhilarating bike ride, the Northern Rail Trail offers something for everyone to enjoy amid its scenic beauty.

For those looking to make the most of their visit, the trail also features various amenities, including:

  • Picnic areas
  • Restrooms
  • Historical points of interest

Make the most of your visit by taking advantage of these facilities and discovering the rich history and natural beauty that the Northern Rail Trail has to offer.

Trail Access and Parking Information

When visiting the Northern Rail Trail, it’s important to know where to access the trail and where to park. With over 50 miles of scenic trail to explore, there are several access points and parking areas available to visitors.

Trail Access Points:

  • Lebanon: Located near the Lebanon Mall, this access point offers convenient parking and access to the trail.
  • Canterbury: Visitors can access the trail from Depot Road, where there is a designated parking area.
  • Danbury: The trail can be accessed from School Street, where parking is available for trail users.

Parking Information:

  • Parking areas are available at designated access points along the trail.
  • Parking is free of charge for trail users.
  • Be sure to park in designated areas and follow any posted parking regulations.

Tips for Cyclists and Hikers

For cyclists and hikers looking to explore the scenic beauty of New Hampshire, the northern rail trail offers a fantastic outdoor adventure. With a total length of 58 miles, this historic trail spans from Lebanon to Boscawen, providing ample opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts to immerse themselves in nature.

Here are some tips to make the most of your experience on the northern rail trail:

  • Plan your route in advance to ensure you cover the distance that suits your skill level and time constraints.
  • Bring plenty of water and snacks to stay hydrated and fuel your journey along the trail.
  • Wear comfortable and appropriate footwear for the terrain, whether you’re biking or hiking.

Furthermore, be sure to check the weather forecast before heading out and dress accordingly. Always respect nature and follow the trail guidelines to help maintain its natural beauty for others to enjoy.


Q: What is the Northern Rail Trail?
A: The Northern Rail Trail is a multi-use recreational trail located in New Hampshire, USA.

Q: How long is the trail?
A: The trail spans approximately 58 miles, making it the longest rail trail in New Hampshire.

Q: What is the trail’s surface like?
A: The trail surface is primarily gravel and dirt, making it suitable for walking, biking, and horseback riding.

Q: What are some highlights along the trail?
A: The trail passes through picturesque landscapes, including wetlands, forests, and historic railroad corridors. It also connects to several small towns, providing opportunities for rest and exploration.

Q: Are there any amenities along the trail?
A: The trail features numerous parking areas, picnic spots, and restroom facilities at various points along its length.

Q: Is the trail accessible year-round?
A: Yes, the trail is open to the public year-round and is popular for activities such as hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.

Q: Are there any rules or regulations for using the trail?
A: Users are expected to adhere to trail etiquette, including cleaning up after pets, yielding to other users, and respecting private property along the trail.

Q: How can one access the trail?
A: The trail can be accessed at multiple points along its route, with several parking areas providing convenient access for visitors.

In Retrospect

In conclusion, the Northern Rail Trail offers a unique and scenic outdoor experience for hikers, bikers, and outdoor enthusiasts of all ages. With its historic railway track, abundant wildlife, and picturesque landscapes, this trail provides a memorable adventure for those looking to explore the beauty of New Hampshire’s countryside. Whether you’re after a leisurely stroll or a challenging bike ride, the Northern Rail Trail has something to offer everyone. So, pack your bags, lace up your hiking boots, and prepare for an unforgettable journey through the heart of the Granite State.

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