Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail

Manchester Waterworks, New Hampshire 03034

Elevation Gain1,442ft
Trailhead Elevation338ft
Elevation Min/Max75/457ft
Elevation Start/End338/338ft

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Rockingham County and Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. It is within Manchester Waterworks. It is 25.7 miles long and begins at 338 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 51.3 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,442 feet. The Open Land 3 wood and The Board Yard Parking Area and other parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also parkings and a water along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Fire Road 56.
Nearby Trails

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This idyllic bike path leads you past lakes and streams, and through dense forests in Manchester. Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail is nestled in one of the more urban corridors of New Hampshire, connecting Manchester to Great Bay on the Seacoast. This segment offers excellent opportunities for biking, swimming, fishing, and wildlife observation.

Since the trail runs so close to water, bring bug spray to keep the mosquitoes at bay. The surface of the path as you continue east is variable, so road bikes are not recommended past the first mile from the parking area on this route. Jogging-type strollers with large wheels should be fine,
but leave the umbrella strollers at home. The trail is a fun challenge for anyone with mountain, touring, or just sturdy kids’ bikes."

"Edged by two lakes, a river, and a pond, this pretty trail is defined by water. It’s New Hampshire at its best. Surface: Gravel and original ballast. Location: Rockingham County."

"Edged by two lakes, a river, and a pond, this pretty trail is defined by water. It’s New Hampshire at its best.

This section of the Boston & Maine Railroad corridor, called the Portsmouth Branch, originally served the textile industry—back when Manchester’s mills made this city the home of the textile revolution. The Portsmouth Branch of the Rockingham Recreational Trail was opened to the public in 1991. Travelers should be aware that this isn’t the only trail in the area known as the Rockingham Recreational Trail.

A few miles south there is a 14.0-mile trail of the same name running from Windham Depot to Fremont. This shorter trail is actually the original Rockingham Recreational Trail, created in the mid-1980s mainly to accommodate the growing popularity of snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, and motorized dirt bikes. The New Hampshire Bureau of Trails currently is working to link the two Rockingham trails to each other and to a third trail to create a large triangular trail network in southeastern New Hampshire."

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Reviews

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We were looking for a good trail for our 8 year old, and this worked out really well. It's straight and flat if a bit bumpy and gravelly in places (you definitely need mountain bike tires). We only did the first 5 miles or so (10 miles there and back) to the second tunnel but really enjoyed how quiet the trail was, and how varied and pretty the landscape was. One day we hope to go back and do more of it, maybe starting at a different point.
This trail is simply not suited to a hybrid bike. It is too rocky and sandy. If you aren't riding a mountain bike, do not ride this trail. It isn't any fun.
We enjoy this trail! It is a beautiful area. The only drawback is the occasional trash that has been dumped along the trail.

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Manchester Waterworks
Nearby City
Manchester Waterworks
Dog-friendly, Kid-friendly, Stroller/Wheelchair Accessible
Additional Use
USGS Manchester North, Candia, and Mount Pawtuckaway quads
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Jul 2018