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Best Rail Trails New England
by Cynthia Mascott (Falcon Guides)
The Ashuelot Railroad opened this line in 1851, offering service between East Northfield in Massachusetts and Keene, New Hampshire. The line was owned by the Connecticut River Railroad until 1860 and then belonged to the Cheshire Railroad until 1877. It was sold back to the Connecticut River Railroad, and in 1893 became the property of the Boston & Maine Railroad. Passenger service was available until 1953.This charming 21.0-mile trail is very pretty and well worth exploring. It passes by the Ashuelot River and through New Hampshire farm country. The surface is sandy at times until it reaches Keene State University, where the trail is much better maintained.
Nature Walks in Southern New Hampshire
by Julia Older & Steve Sherman (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
A multi-use river trail in the heart of a college town. The Ashuelot River starts west of Concord, winds beyond Surry Dam north of Keene, and feeds into the Connecticut River in the southwest corner of the state. This urban trail along the river is heavily used. You’re likely to meet a few joggers, biking children, teenagers taking a shortcut, mothers pushing baby strollers, senior citizens on riverside benches, and dog walkers. Nevertheless, this is an enjoyable example of how a popular in-town trail can create a sense of absorbing remoteness and connection to the natural world.
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