Derry & Windham Rail Trails, NH


• 4-star trail
• 7.8 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Elevation gain nominal
• Merrimack Region | Derry - Windham NH
• Directions: Hood Park | Derry | Windham


Historic Boston & Maine caboose at Windham Junction.

With the joining of Derry and Windham trails to the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor, New Hampshire now boasts a thirteen mile continuous asphalt paved trail from the northern boundaries of Derry all the way to Massachusetts. And more is to come as efforts are underway to bridge the mile-long gap to the 4.5 mile Londonderry Rail Trail just to the North. Eventually there are also ambitions to create a state-spanning 125 mile Granite State Rail Trail along this route.

Today however there's already plenty to enjoy. The Derry and Windham Rail Trails pass mostly through scenic woodland, alongside ponds and creeks, across railroad embankments and through cuttings, with little indication of the surrounding low-density residential neighborhoods.

The restored depot buildings and former Boston & Maine caboose at Windham Junction roughly marks the mid-point of the two trails. From here you could also pick up the old Worcester, Nashua & Rochester Railroad that intersects at this point, although these trails - Windham Greenway to the West, and Rockingham-Fremont to the East - are much rougher and best suited to mountain and gravel bikes.


One of several trailside ponds along the route.

In the town of Derry bikers must dismount as they pass the old Derry station, which is now a restaurant. Further North a short section of quiet road biking is required before returning to a dedicated rail trail by Hoods Pond.

It is possible to continue North beyond the Derry Rail trail and on to the Londonderry Rail Trail with the use of a mile-long undeveloped section of former railroad line North of Madden Road. Expect hardpack ground with bunny hills, muddy patches and a creek crossing that when we visited was spanned by a rudimentary bridge. The plans to complete this connection were initially stymied by property issues, but are now mostly tied up by plans for a new I-93 freeway exit at this location.


The former Derry passenger depot, now a restaurant.

The Derry & Windham Rail Trails have been a great success story, and popularity with walkers, families and cyclists alike show that great trails bring lots of opportunity for recreation, commuting and business growth.

Trail Conditions:
Asphalt paved throughout with protected road crossings. Elevation gain nominal, with slight gradient around 20ft/mi which peaks at Windham Depot in the middle of the route.



More flat surfaces on the Windham Rail Trail.

Sidebar, Fullscreen/Print

Asphalt, Rough, Bike Lane, Road, Historic.

Phone Navigation:
• Derry & Windham Rail Trails | 4★, 7.8mi each way | GPX | AllTrails

Tangents:
• AllTrails Public: Derry | Windham
• TrailLink: Derry | Windham
• Trailspotting NH: Railtrail Map | Railtrail Articles
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

See the websites of Derry Rail Trail and Windham Rail Trail to learn how you can help maintain and improve these trails.

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