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South Manchester Rail Trail, NH


• 3-star trail
• 1.6 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Elevation gain nominal
• Merrimack Region | Manchester NH
• Driving Directions: Parking Nearby


Fishing on the banks of Manchester's Nutt Pond.

Once the powerhouse of the Northern New England states and still the largest city, Manchester grew up around the many textile textile mills constructed below Merrimack River’s Amoskeag Falls. Railroad routes eventually sprung up in all directions with Manchester at the center, though only one live route remains today.

The South Manchester Trail is constructed atop an abandoned Boston & Maine Railroad alignment. Only one paved mile is available to day - passing alongside the watery expanse of Nutts Pond and through a residential neighborhood, for a pleasant but brief trip.

Continuing further along the trail is for the more adventurous. Eventually the plan is to pave the route to the North, ultimately connecting with both the Manchester Heritage Trail and the Piscataquog Rail Trail. Presently it’s an undeveloped, trash-strewn, overgrown and often muddy mess. We imagine this could one day be an awesome car-free commuting route as well as a recreational trail, but today not so much.

Asphalt, Hardpack, Very rough, Live Rail, Historic.


South Manchester Rail Trail 3★
1.6 mi ea way, Easy, Elevation nominal.
Trailspotting Map at AllTrails
Trailspotting Map as GPX Download

Beyond pavement and South of Gold Street is more navigable, but you’ll likely be dodging homeless camping sites on your way. If you make it South of Goffs Falls Road, then you’ll happen across the stand-out feature of the whole trail - the tall timber Cohas Brook Trestle bridge, though the posted signage clearly doesn’t want you here. Crossing the Cohas Trestle isn’t an option unfortunately.

The original railroad alignment is still visible to the South, but it’s soon obliterated by the footprint of Manchester Airport. Plans are afoot to eventually (there’s that word again) connect this section to the Londonderry Rail Trail which begins just Southeast of the airport. For more on this link and how you can help, visit the Londonderry Trailways website.

There are no dedicated car parking spaces along the route of this trail, but there are plenty of street parking options in nearby residential neighborhoods.

Trail Conditions
Asphalt 1.0 mi from South Beech St to Gold St. Hardpack 0.6 mi to South with some homeless camps. North to Manchester is very rough & not recommended. Flat trail. Folk warn of personal safety issues South of Gold St, but we didn't experience any.


Cohas Brook Trestle Bridge, South of Goffs Falls Road.


Solid structure, perhaps one day receiving traffic again?


Abandoned rail, south of the trestle bridge.

Tangents:
• External Links: Public Map at AllTrails
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

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