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Village Spur Rail Trail, Belmont NH


• 4-star trail
• 2.1 miles each way
• Easy difficulty | Easy elevation
• Belmont, NH | Lakes Region
• Driving Directions: Trailhead


Riding over the Rail Trail Covered Bridge.

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The four mile long 1889 railroad branch line terminating in the small New Hampshire town of Belmont was constructed to serve the local textile mill. Though mill production continued until 1970, the railroad ceased to operate in 1929 and the tracks were torn up in 1934. Likely the result of the development of road vehicles but also because the tracks terminated on the wrong side of the Tioga River, requiring additional handling and a cart trip up the hill to the factory. Today the mill has been converted into a senior center, accessible by the Belmont Covered Bridge next to the trail's parking lot.

Belmont's Village Spur Rail Trail is an idyllic trip adjacent to the banks of the meandering Tioga River, surrounded by lush greenery. This is a wide grassy trail with a compacted surface, suitable for almost all bicycles. This varied scenic ride passes through open wetlands, pastures and short sections of woodland. An increasing number of gates are present towards the west end of the trail, erected to hold grazing cattle that weren't present when we visited. 'Kissing gates' are available to pass around the gates in which most bicycles should fit.

Hardpack, Rough, Historic. Expand Map

Belmont Village Spur Rail Trail 4★
2.1 mi, Each way, Easy, Gain 70 ft
Trailspotting Map: AllTrails
Trailspotting Map: GPX Download
Trailspotting Map: Google Earth KMZ

The Village Spur Rail Trail feature two long pedestrian covered bridges. At the Belmont end by the parking lot, the Belmont Covered bridge spans the Tioga River at Slippery Rock and leads up the hill to the former mill building. This bridge was previously known as the Cocheco Bridge in Dover, NH but bought by the town for a single dollar and moved to this site in 2015. The other bridge is the known as the Village Spur Rail Trail Covered bridge and was installed in 2018 as part of an expansion of the rail trail.

The final third of a mile of trail is less frequented, and the surface becomes increasingly grassy and bumpy, though we were still able to ride all the way to west end of the rail trail where a missing river bridge ends our journey. The town wants to extend the rail trail further west in the future, following the historic rail route at least as far as Route 140. Further plans are being considered to link this route up with another future connection between the Tilton and Laconia rail trails.

Trail Conditions:
Hardpack compacted surface easy for most bicycles. The last third of a mile is increasingly rough and grassy.


Trailside pond.


Another Rail Trail Covered Bridge view.


Our map marks where the west end of the trail becomes rougher and grassy.


Belmont Covered Bridge, relocated from Dover.


Pollinators at work along the trail.

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

Nearby Trails:
• 3 miles away: Winnipesaukee River RT
• 6 miles away: Lake Winnisquam & WOW RTs
• Show on map: All nearby rail trails

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Maps, directions and links for all New Hampshire's covered bridges.

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