== Bike-Walk Alliance of NH ==
Friends of the Northern Rail Trail -- Merrimack County
Updates, details, and good news!
June 2009: In Merrimack County the Friends of NRT are working with the town of Franklin to extend the trail into that community and for the town to be the Municipal Manager for that section of the trail. The completed section toward Andover has proven to be very popular.
April 16, 2009: Join us for dinner on April 16th at the New London Inn. Don't miss the next Northern Rail Trail event coming soon, our fundraising dinner scheduled one night only, Thursday, April 16th, 2009 at the New London Inn. Chef Jerrod will offer the items on the Inn's regular menus, which are varied and outstanding, in both dining rooms. There is no set time or set menu, you decide when you want to have dinner and with who, just make reservations, go and enjoy yourselves as you do on any evening out. Please come yourself and, if possible, organize a Dutch treat table with 4 or 6 friends.
Thanks to restaurant
owner, Chef Jerrod, half of the night's proceeds will benefit the rail trail.
Please make reservations before they are filled by calling the New London Inn
at 603.526.2791. Questions? Call Myra Mayman at 603.735.5071.
September 2, 2008: The Friends of the Northern Rail Trail (Merrimack County) continue to be a pace-setter in leading NH toward more rail trails and how to get things done. The August 26 meeting with NH DOT Commissioner and other rail trail advocates was another example of what can be accomplished by working together. See the September Update on this web site for details of that meeting.
Monthly meetings on the third Wednesday continue and are open to the public. They are listed on the Calendar page of this site. Minutes from the August 20 meeting are available here.
April 23, 2008: You Are Cordially Invited To a Rail Trail Book Party
On Wednesday, May 7th, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. New London author Charles Martin will sign copies of his new book, New Hampshire Rail Trails at the Highland Lake Inn, 32 Maple Street, East Andover NH (603.735.6426.) Published by railroad history specialists Branch Line Press, New Hampshire Rail Trails, which will be on sale May 7th and personally inscribed by Mr. Martin for each purchaser, is the definitive guide to New Hampshire rail trails, including 300 pages describing 37 existing and 5 proposed rail trails, 181 pictures and 95 maps.
The rail trails are rated for scenery and surface, and each entry has information about where it starts, where it ends, the mileage, scenery and trail surface, permitted uses, who owns the rail trail and who maintains it. There is also historical information about the railroad that built the original rail bed.
Mr. Martin, a Harvard- and Berkeley-educated mathematician, spent two years researching and photographing New Hampshire rail trails, mostly by bicycle. He says, "I think New Hampshire is incredibly lucky to have such a wonderful network of rail trails. Its one of the least known attractions in the state. Thats one of the reasons I thought the book was needed."
Special guest, Craig Della Penna, who is widely recognized as the foremost expert on rail trails in the Northeast will attend the Book Signing Party. He worked for twenty years in the railroad industry and for eight years as the New England Field Representative for the Rails to Trails Conservancy. Craig is the author of rail trail guides to New England, New York, and New Jersey.
The book signing party is open to all and refreshments will be served. The Highland Lake Inn, the Welcome Center for the Northern Rail Trail, overlooks the latest segment of hard-pack-covered rail trail built by the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County (FNRT-MC), of which Mr. Martin is the Treasurer.
Come imbibe and nibble, see the rail trail and its first Welcome Center (Highland Lake Inn), get your copy of this useful and interesting publication, and launch the bicyclists', pedestrians', and equestrians' season on the Rail Trail.
The price of New
Hampshire Rail Trails is $19.95. For further information, call Myra Mayman (603)735-5071.
May 7, 2008, Time: 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Location: Highland Lake Inn, 32 Maple St., East Andover, NH 03231
Phone: 603 735 6426 firstname.lastname@example.org
April 21, 2008: We just learned today that we won our fourth (out of four applied for) Recreational Trails Pprogram (RTP) Grant! This one is for $30,000 to go from East Andover 2.5 miles to the Andover/Franklin line. This will put us within striking distance of Franklin and tie that large (for this area) population center into the Trail. It will also give us the chance next year to connect with the Winne Trail that goes from Franklin east to Meredith.
These 2.5 miles
go through some of the finest landscape along the trail - through the recently
protected Heresy Farm lands that intertwine with Sucker Brook between Highland
and Webster Lakes.
To Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County: Please
see the minutes of our April 16th meeting. We hope these minutes will allow
you to follow our progress even if you cannot make our meetings.
March 19, 2008: The monthly FNRT-MC Board meeting saw a lot of activity including a visit by Michael Lomis on Walk New Hampshire. A walk along the trail is being planned for June 1 as part of the state-wide Walk NH Week. For other matters, possible funding sources are being sought and a new book on NH rail trails by Board member Charles Martin will be featured at a book signing party on May 7 at the Highland Lake Inn. Click here for more details about this new book and the signing party. Note: FNRT-MC Board meetings are the third Wednesday of every month. See contact info before for details.
March 12, 2008: Secretary Myra Mayman reports that a Warrant Article authorizing the Town of Andover to expend funds that were raised to start engineering and design work on the Trail north of Potter Place passed easily at the March 11 Town Meeting.
September 15, 2007: The Northern Rail Trail reached East Andover on Wednesday, September 12. The resurfaced trail now runs more than 5 miles, from East Andover to Potter Place.
This project was funded by a $30,000 grant from New Hampshires Recreational Trails Bureau, a program of the Department of Resources and Economic Development.
Peter Crowell of New London, a board member of the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County (FNRT-MC), organized and oversaw the work. He also contributed the equipment (a grader and vibrating roller) and much of the labor.
Ed Larpenter and Fred Burpee did a great job, working conscientiously for long hours, to grade the rock ballast of the former Boston and Maine rail bed and lay down and compact 127 loads of hard pack bought from R. D. Edmonds in Franklin. Rosie Best of Andover served as greeter, traffic cop and monitor of the truckload deliveries through three days of fair and foul weather.
This new section of rail trail starts at the Volunteer Fire Department in East Andover and joins the previously refinished surface at Switch Road, paralleling Route 11, runs next to Blackwater Park and behind the Andover Elementary Middle School, and ends at the restored Potter Place railway station, now a museum run by the Andover Historical Society. It connects the population clusters of Andover as the trains used to.
The completion of this new segment of rail trail in East Andover also initiates a pioneer partnership between FNRT-MC and the Highland Lake Inn, which overlooks the rail trail. The Highland Lake Inn will serve as the rail trails first Welcome Center, providing parking, restrooms and trail information and selling refreshments. FNRT-MC is working to spread the Welcome Center model to other B&Bs and inns along or near the rail trail in the future to provide amenities to rail trail users.
FNRT-MC board member Charles Martin reported, "Immediately after the last load was delivered, two guys from Concord showed up on mountain bikes. So they were the first two to experience our trail end-to-end. When I rode my bike back home, via the rail trail, I came across two pairs of walkers. Amazing how quickly people discover and use the rail trail!"