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Rockingham Recreational Trail : Fremont Branch

New Hampshire Rail Trails
Merrimack / Seacoast Region

Trail Description
Click for trail map

Location: Southern New Hampshire. Derry (Windham Depot) to Fremont. Rockingham County.

Directions:
Derry trailhead: Go south on Rt.28 for 1.5 miles. Turn right,heading west, on Windham Depot Rd. and follow signs.

Fremont trailhead: Parking at the ballpark off Rt.107 (near intersection of Rts.107 and 111A), across from the old depot and library.

Trail Length: 18 miles

Trail Surface: Gravel, ballast, dirt.

Trail Difficulty: Easy, moderate

Trail Use: hikers, mountain bikers, equestrians, ATV's, snowshoers, cross-country skiers, sled dogs, snowmobiles.

Caution: Multi-use trails. Some sandy spots.

 

 

 

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Note: The free trail maps on this website have been simplified to provide an overview with approximate locations of trails and special features. Read Full Disclaimer.

The Trail:

The Rockingham Recreational trail, New Hampshire's longest rail trail, has two branches. The branch that stretches from Manchester to Newfields, is called the Portsmouth branch (closed to ATV's except snowmobiles in winter). The Fremont branch (described here), travels through the towns of Derry, Epping, Fremont, Hampstead, Sandown, Salem and Windham. The Fremont section of the Rockingham Recreational Trail is V-shaped, running west from Fremont to Windham, then shearing sharply southeast to Salem.

The Windham to Fremont section of the trail is unpaved and used by motorized off-road vehicles. The trail is wide so it's easy to see them coming. There have been relatively few bike-ATV conflicts here. The fairly level trail gets very sandy, and muddy in places, posssibly churned up by ATV use. A mountain bike is ideal for this ride. Watch out for any closed gates.

The trail "extension" heading southeast towards Canobie Lake and Salem from the trailhead at Windham Depot has recently been paved and designated for non motorized use. A non-paved area along the path provides a route for equestrians and joggers. Following the path of the Manchester & Lawrence Railroad right of way, the trail rail runs southeast from the Depot to Roulston Rd for 4.1 miles (one way). This scenic stretch of predominantly wooded trail, travels past farm fields, an apple orchard, several ponds and marshes. Trail highlights include two bridge crossings, one over a stone arch bridge built of New Hampshire granite.

Note: Heading North from the Windham Depot, after crossing Depot and Frost Roads, the paved trail continues for about 600 yards and becomes unpaved again to Derry Center (mountain bikes only).

Both paved and unpaved sections of the Fremont Branch of the Rockingham Recreational Trail offer excellent opportunities for wildlife viewing, especially around the ponds and wetlands. Deer, turtles, herons, owls and a variety of waterfowl have been spotted along the trail.

 

 

Historic Note:

The Windham Depot
The buildings and surrounding town property has been designated a historic district by the Town of Windham in 2003. Plans are currently well underway to rehabilitate the historic Depot buildings.

Robert Frost Farm State Historic Site
South of Derry on Rt. 28, a couple of miles from the trail near the Windham Depot, is one of the many farms Robert Frost owned in New England. Robert Frost, one of the nation's most acclaimed poets, lived here with his family from 1900-1911. Tours, displays, a trail, and poetry readings are all available at the park. Programs are offered to the public at no charge.

Fremont Meeting House
Located at 464 Main St. in Fremont the circa 1800, twin-porch style meetinghouse, is one of two that looks and remains just as it did 200 years ago. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

 

For more information:

For other long distance multi-use rail trails in this region see New Hampshire Rail Trails

 

Bureau of Trails
Division of Parks & Recreation
NH Dept. of Resources & Econ. Dev.
PO Box 1856
Concord, NH 03302-1856

Phone: (603) 271-3254
TTY Users: 711 (AT&T National Relay Service)

 

 

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