Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail

Manchester Waterworks, New Hampshire

Distance27.4mi
Elevation Gain1,560ft
Trailhead Elevation50ft
Top457ft
Elevation Min/Max50/457ft
Elevation Start/End50/50ft

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 27.4 miles long and begins at 50 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 54.7 miles with a total elevation gain of 1,560 feet. The Open Land 3 wood and The Board Yard Parking Area and other parkings can be seen along the trail. There are also wetlands, parkings, and a water along the trail. This trail connects with the following: Rockingham Recreational Trail and Fire Road 56.

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Professional Guides

Detailed Trail Descriptions from Our Guidebooks

Outdoors with Kids: Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont (Appalachian Mountain Club Books)
Ethan Hipple and Yemaya St. Clair
View more trails from this guide book
"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." Read more
"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." Read more

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail Reviews

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10/11/2009
A beautiful trail, especially in the fall. We saw magnificent fall foliage colors along with plenty of ponds, streams, and marshes. Since the trail is not paved and is rocky or sandy in parts, it is necessary to have hybrid or mtn. bike tires.
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9/6/2009
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.
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8/10/2009
I agree with the previous reviewers comments. This is a very long and flat and "inter-connected" collection of dirt roads running from Derry to Rockingham. The problem I find, is that there are SO MANY road crossings. The trail is great when you are in the woods, but every so often and sometimes VERY often, you come to a road and you have to stop and then cross over (some of the roads you have to cross are very busy!). Although motorized vehicles are technically NOT allowed on this trail, it is frequented by ATVs and other motorized vehicles on the weekends/summer. In the summer months it is very buggy.
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9/1/2008
I am VERY new to riding so this is an excellent trail for me. Pretty flat, some minor bumps, very fun though. Good sights as lots of strait riding. Cuts through like marsh land, woods, u can see back of some homes, etc. I put on maybe 10 miles here in 1 ride.
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8/28/2007
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.
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9/9/2001
We enjoy this trail! It is a beautiful area. The only drawback is the occasional trash that has been dumped along the trail.
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Trail Information

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

Activity Feed

Dec 2018