Sugar River Trail

Sullivan County, New Hampshire

Elevation Gain984ft
Trailhead Elevation788ft
Elevation Min/Max519/796ft
Elevation Start/End788/788ft

Sugar River Trail

Sugar River Trail is a hiking and biking trail in Sullivan County, New Hampshire. It is 11.4 miles long and begins at 788 feet altitude. Traveling the entire trail is 22.8 miles with a total elevation gain of 984 feet. The Sullivan Rail Trail Parking is near the trailhead. The Sugar River Recreation Trail wood can be seen along the trail. There are also parkings along the trail.

Sugar River Trail Professional Reviews and Guides

"This ride's general location is Newport. Scenery includes a wooded river valley. New Hampshire's famous "covered bridge trail" is open to motorized use. There are people who make a hobby of spotting covered bridges. If you know any of these folks and would like to ease their transition into a real leisure-time activity (like, say... mountain biking), be sure to tell them about this trail. It features not one, but two, covered bridges (and some cool steel bridges as well).

They're not just ordinary covered bridges, either: they're Railroad covered bridges, of the Double Web Town-Pratt lattice design, built in 1871 for the Sugar River Railroad and used for nearly a century. The reason for covering the bridges is the roof kept the structural timbers dry, thus preventing rot. They've held up better than many steel bridges of more recent vintage."

"This ride is about going slow and easy. You'll follow one of New Hampshire's premier rail-trails from Newport to its neighbor Claremont. The route crisscrosses the Sugar River via old steel railroad bridges, and even older covered wooden railroad bridges.

While it remains close to civilization, the route stays quiet and secluded for its entire length. Trail Surface: Flat, smooth abandoned rail grade"

"An easy ride on a scenic, riverside rail-trail that visits two covered bridges. The Sugar River Trail is a 10-mile section of the Claremont-Concord Railroad that was abandoned in 1977, then turned into a multi-use trail that parallels the scenic Sugar River as it winds its way from Newport to Claremont.

The trail has very little elevation gain and we have given it a moderate rating only because the out-and-back distance is 20.0 miles, although you can spot a car in the town of Claremont if you would prefer a shorter ride. In addition to exploring the wooded shoreline of the river, the Sugar River Trail also passes through two covered railroad bridges."

"Think rivers and streams and a dozen bridges. The Sugar River Recreational Trail is a wonderland of forest treasures."

"Think rivers and streams and a dozen bridges. The Sugar River Recreational Trail is a wonderland of forest treasures. Surface: Gravel and original ballast. Location: Sullivan County."

Sugar River Trail Reviews

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Overall this is a nice trail to ride. It follows the Sugar river most of the way so the babbling of moving water is never far away! I will say it is sandy in many spots which makes the ride a bit more than your typical pleasure ride. And since the trail is open to OHRV's it is torn up in a few spots, though if you meet an OHRV on the trail they seem to be very courteous! Be aware that the trail is mostly downhill from Newport to Claremont, which means mostly uphill from Claremont to Newport. This being an old railbed, the steepness of the grade is low, but 10 miles of mostly uphill could wear on you! There are also a couple of pretty good swimming holes if you are so inclined!
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this trail was like riding on the beach. the trail was full of soft sand and dirt and very difficult to ride on. our 7 year old son fell two times in the first mile. we turned around after a couple of miles and went on the road. we were also biten by many mosquitos. i would not recommend this trail unless you have a all terrain vehicle.
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This was one of the worst biking trails I have ever been on. The ATV's have the run of the enitre trail, have torn up the texture, and have rendered about 80% of the trail into 2-3" of fine sand. We felt as if we were biking on sand trails at the cape. Not fun. Although the trail is very beautiful, it should not be considered a bike trail unless it is right after a heavy rain and the ATVs have not been on it at all. We rode the entire length of the trail, and only wiped out two to three times, but were constantly vigilant. About 20 ATV's passed us on this 18-mile ride.

Sugar River Trail Photos

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Trail Information

Sullivan County
Nearby City
Moderate to Difficult
Skill Level
New Hampshire Division of Parks, Bureau of Trails (603) 271-3254
Local Contacts
USGS Newport, Springfield, VT
Local Maps

Activity Feed

Aug 2018