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Northern Rail Trail

The Northern Rail Trail follows the route of the Boston & Maine Railroad as it winds its way along the Mascoma River.
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Difficulty: Moderate
Length: 24 miles
Duration: Full day
Family Friendly

Overview :  You wouldn’t dream of touring the Louvre in a Lexus, the Prado in a Porsche, or the Vatican in a Volvo. Yet that’s how thousands of... more »

Tips:  - Bring a well-tuned bike with trail tires. High pressure (road) tires aren't suggested.
- Also bring water, snacks, a rain jacket w... more »

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Points of Interest

1. Lebanon trailhead

I wish I would have had access to Everytrail Guides when I biked the Northern Rail Trail. This trailhead was rather difficult to find. It is located near the Lebanon College campus at the intersection of Taylor and Spencer Street. There are businesses fairly near the trailhead for purchasing snacks and drinks.

2. Bridge over Mascoma River

Get used to crossing the beautiful Mascoma River, because you will have the opportunity many times throughout the length of the trail. Each bridge and its view is a little different than the last.

3. I-89 underpass

Although the Northern Rail Trail intersects numerous major roads, most of the crossings are below grade. This keeps the trail safe and stress-free. You will be grateful for the ingenious trail underpasses that allow you to enjoy the scenery without worrying about crossing major highways.

4. Mascoma Lake

Mascoma Lake is home to the Dartmouth College sailing team. But more importantly, the Northern Rail Trail runs right by the "quiet side" of the lake. Summer homes and campgrounds dot the lake, mostly on the other side of the lake. If you are interested in spending the night nearby, you might want to check into the Mascoma Lake campground.

5. Enfield, New Hampshire

The trail follows near Main Street in Enfield, NH at this point. Some of the businesses were closed when I went through so I can't verify the availability of food, beverages or lodging near the trail, but I was told that if you ride just a little ways up Main Street, there are some options available.

6. Donut shop

Between the rail trail and highway 4, you will find a Dunkin Donut shop to replenish yourself w/ the vitals of coffee and donuts.

7. Canaan, New Hampshire

With a grassy picnic area on one side of the trail and a store on the other, this makes a great stopping spot. If you need to grab some snacks or drinks, this is the place. Even if you brought all your water and food with you, it's still a good resting spot.

8. Mirror Lake

In addition to nice lake views, you can also see Cardigan Mountain in the background.

9. Tewksbury Pond

Not to be confused with McElligot's Pool, Tewksbury Pond does not run out to the sea. However, Ashley Anne Zeoli of Enfield, NH did catch an 18" Brook Trout out of here in 2005. This Pond is enjoyed by not only fisherman, but canoeists, kayakers, and of course users of the Northern Rail Trail.

10. Grafton, New Hampshire

The Grafton Country Store makes a nice stopping spot along the trail. It is within sight of the path and just across hwy. 4. The food may not be gourmet fare, but their "bulkies" (sandwiches) definitely fill the void. They also have a decent selection of beverages including good old bottled water. Grab an extra one for the trail.
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11. To be continued...

When I rode the trail, it ended here. However, there are plans to continue this trail all the way to Concord.
As it is, this is an incredible rail trail. I expect that it will be one of the very best once it is completed.