Sunday, July 15, 2018

Two for One Weekend: Nashua River and Cheshire Rail Trails

My husband and I attended weekend-long wedding festivities in mid-June in southern New Hampshire, and also explored two rail trails: 12.5 mile Nashua River Trail that spans southward into Massachusetts and a 10 mile segment of the 42 mile Cheshire Rail Trail - that journey stretched northwest from Keene towards Walpole.

The Nashua River Rail Trail was surprisingly all paved and mostly shaded - very welcome on a hot weekend. My favorite part was through a long stretch of forest with pine needles covering the path.

Pedaling beside ponds was a pleasure...

...especially when we discovered a couple snapping turtles near the shore.

Mid-point on the trail.
There were plenty of signs...

and we soon reached the southern terminus in Ayer, Massachusetts.

After a quick snack in the shade, we doubled back to complete 25 miles.

Sunday morning, we located a trail pretty close to where we were staying in Marlboro.What the Nashua River Trail lacked in drama, the Cheshire Rail Trail made up for in dramatic landscapes, steeper climbs, and a few rugged spots. Leaving a hot parking lot, not long after we crossed a well-made and artistically welded bridge over a busy highway.

I appreciate creative benches - this one could double as a bike rack.

Heading north, this paved section quickly left bustling Keene, and passed a golf course...

for nice, shady dirt surface. The incline was noticeable so I took my time. There were many
single track crossings, which made for musings about a local mountain bike community.

We caught up to a couple (or did they catch us?) on suspension mountain bikes, who explained that there was an interesting Narrows section up ahead. My husband and I made that our goal before needing to turn back in time to attend a wedding.

The Narrows was rather dark and inviting, an area near a summit that the railroad appeared to have blasted through. Water seeped down the cliffs.

Unfortunately, it was rough and slow going for our rigid bikes. Pointed rocks protruded from a hard ground - I spent most of my time out of the saddle to gain any momentum.

But we made it through, only to turn around, however the downhill ride made it more manageable on and we noticed rock climbing bolts affixed to the cliffs.

As more and more rail trails are created in this country alone, there's so much to experience! I'm glad we attended the wedding to catch up with old friends, of course, but seizing extra opportunities made the entire weekend worthwhile.


  1. Thanks for bringing these trails to our attention! As a resident of the Los Angeles foothills, I grew up along the Nashua River in Groton, MA - way before the days of the Rails to Trails movement.

    Next time I visit the relatives in MA, I will make plans to bike some of the Nashua River Trail - looks great!

    1. Massachusetts has an abundance of trails. So many trails, so little time...

  2. Cool trials Annie, I am envious of your husbands thumb shifters :-)

  3. Wow, those trails look like lovely places to ride. I always think a bike ride makes an event such as a wedding all the more enjoyable!

  4. Both look like very nice trails.

  5. I gotta go find me a rail trail. I know there are some around here, somewhere...


Due to increased Spam, I am moderating comments. Thank you for your patience.