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Stevens Rail Trail, Hopkinton NH

• 3-star trail
• 2.2 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Elevation gain nominal
• Merrimack Region | Hopkinton NH
• Driving Directions: Trailhead

The nearby Contoocook Railroad Covered Bridge.

A century and a half ago up to ten trains a day would steam across the covered railroad bridge over the Contoocook River, packed with vacationers heading to Lake Sunapee and beyond. Now that same traffic motors up Interstate 89 on a mostly parallel journey.

You can now enjoy a section of this old rail route North of Contoocook - thankfully set back and cushioned from the freeway noise by dense forest - along an excellent hardpack gravel trail surface suitable for walkers, runners and bicycle users alike.

The best starting point for this trail is by the Hopkinton town library at the South End. Although the old alignment immediately North of the river is now built over and privately owned, a half-mile trail through sports fields and woodland links to the town-owned trail beginning at Spring Street. The trail mostly travels through forest, with a creek feeding marshland at the halfway point.

Hardpack, Access, Historic.

Eventually bisected to the North by the I-89 freeway, the trail then leads off to the East on a very pleasant meandering quarter-mile route that connects to Warner Road. There are no parking facilities evident at the end of this trail. We recommend taking time to check out Contoocook Village, and what is known as the world's oldest covered railroad bridge which rests alongside the Contoocook Railroad Museum.

Trailspotting has a guide to all publicly accessible sections of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail project linked at the bottom of this page. A further rail trail can be found off this route, about 1 mile West of Contoocook Village - the West Hopkinton Rail Trail - which continues towards Henniker, Hillsborough and then Peterborough.

Trail Conditions
Hardpack gravel surface good for all. Flat trail.

The hardpack gravel surface is great for runners.

Contoocook Village's old hall at the South end of the trail.

• External Links: TrailLink, Contoocook Railroad Museum
• Facebook Group: Comment on this article

Nearby Rail Trails
• East 3 mi: Mast Yard • South 1 mi: West Hopkinton • West 2 mi: Warner Bagley Field

NH Rail Trails Map
New Hampshire’s first complete rail trail map. Includes links to all rideable trails. Shows live and abandoned railroads.

Concord-Lake Sunapee RT
The Concord Lake Sunapee Rail Trail (CLSRT) is looking for help to link Concord and Lake Sunapee. There are also more CLSRT articles located here.
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