Stretching 3 miles north from Windham through woodlands to Derry, the Derry Rail Trail runs on the same former rail bed network on which the Rockingham Recreational Trail is built. This section of trail, which extends from the Windham Rail Trail
, begins 600 feet north of the restored Windham Depot. Near its midpoint, the trail passes over Bowers Road. The trail passes through deciduous woods, wetlands and swamps. Beaver activity is responsible for some of the wetlands, and you might spot a beaver lodge or perhaps a beaver at work on a dam.
The town of Derry has two of America's oldest private schools: Pinkerton Academy, founded in 1814 and still operating, and the defunct 1824 Adams Female Seminary. Another claim to fame: Astronaut Alan Shepard, the first American in space, was born and raised in Derry. A restored train depot now houses a restaurant with outdoor seating. Consider pausing for a break here or at one of Derry's other eateries.
Back on the trail, you'll soon cross State Route 102. Here, the trail temporarily leaves the old rail bed on a pathway marked by red brick pavers. North of town, Hood Park signals the trail's end, though the right-of-way continues several hundred feet beyond Hood Park before it dead-ends at a residential complex.
To reach the trailhead in Windham, take Interstate 93 to Exit 3 and head west on State Route 111 toward Windham. After about 1 mile, turn right on North Lowell Road. Just beyond the Interstate underpass, North Lowell intersects with Windham Depot Road; bear right. Park at the restored Windham Depot, about 150 yards up on the right. NOTE: Parking is prohibited at Windham Depot from 30 minutes after sunset to 30 minutes before sunrise and is strictly enforced.
To reach the Hood Park trailhead in Derry, take I-93 to Exit 4 and head east on State Route 102. In town, turn left on Manning Street, which ends at the Hood Park trailhead. Parking is available.