Portland, ME Trails and Maps

178 Reviews

Looking for the best trails around Portland?

Explore the best rated trails in Portland, ME. Whether you're looking for an easy walking trail or a bike trail like the Papermill Trail and Eastern Promenade Trail . With more than 21 trails covering 119 miles you’re bound to find a perfect trail for you. Click on any trail below to find trail descriptions, trail maps, photos, and reviews.

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Activities
Length
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Type
21 Results
Activities
Length
Surfaces
Type

Androscoggin River Bicycle Path

2.6 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Auburn Riverwalk

1.6 mi
State: ME
Asphalt, Brick, Crushed Stone, Gravel

Back Cove Trail

3.6 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Bayside Trail

1 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Beth Condon Memorial Pathway

1.8 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Conway Branch

21 mi
State: NH
Ballast, Gravel

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

12 mi
State: NH
Gravel

Dover Community Trail

3.8 mi
State: NH
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt

Eastern Promenade Trail

2.1 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Eastern Trail

28.9 mi
State: ME
Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Sand

Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail

6 mi
State: NH
Ballast, Cinder, Dirt, Gravel, Sand

Fore River Parkway Trail

2.6 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Kennebec River Rail Trail

6.5 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Mountain Division Trail

9.7 mi
State: ME
Asphalt, Gravel

Norway Branch Rail Trail

0.5 mi
State: ME
Crushed Stone

Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail

1.25 mi
State: ME
Ballast, Dirt

Papermill Trail

4 mi
State: ME
Asphalt

Riverton Rail Trail

1.5 mi
State: ME
Concrete, Dirt, Sand

Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail

5.9 mi
State: ME
Gravel

WW&F Narrow Gauge Trail

0.68 mi
State: ME
Dirt, Grass
Trail Image Trail Name States Length Surface Rating
Brunswick, Maine is home to the Androscoggin River Bicycle Trail, a multipurpose recreational trail nestled between the river and US Route 1. The trail stretches 2.6 miles from end-to-end. The trail...
ME 2.6 mi Asphalt
The Auburn Riverwalk passes through the heart of the old mill district of the Twin Cities of Auburn and Lewiston. The 1.6-mile paved and gravel path offers many scenic views of the Androscoggin River,...
ME 1.6 mi Asphalt, Brick, Crushed Stone, Gravel
The paved Back Cove Trail rings its namesake tidal basin and offers lovely views of the Portland skyline. You also might spot great blue herons or other birds along the tree-lined waterfront. A...
ME 3.6 mi Asphalt
Portland’s Bayside Trail packs a lot into its 1-mile length. The paved pathway provides a pleasant route between commercial and residential areas in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Once an...
ME 1 mi Asphalt
The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway is located in the heart of Yarmouth, Maine. The path is named in honor of a high school student who was struck by a drunk driver while walking along US-1. The paved...
ME 1.8 mi Asphalt
The Conway Branch trail runs for 21 miles along an old rail corridor between State Route 113 in Conway and Polly's Crossing in Ossipee. The trail is popular with snowmobiles and rail car clubs; the...
NH 21 mi Ballast, Gravel
The Cotton Valley Rail Trail connects the small town of Wakefield, near the Maine border, and the quintessentially quaint New England vacation town of Wolfeboro. In 2017 the towns held a...
NH 12 mi Gravel
The Dover Community Trail snakes its way through the heart of the Garrison City—so nicknamed for the fortified log houses, or garrisons, built by 17th-century settlers—-offering a variety of trail...
NH 3.8 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Dirt
Old salts should love the Eastern Promenade Trail, as it skirts the shoreline of Portland’s Casco Bay and Portland Harbor. The 2.1-mile paved trail is always within sight of the water and is one of...
ME 2.1 mi Asphalt
The 28.9-mile Eastern Trail connects the historic towns along Maine’s southern coast from the woods near Kennebunk to South Portland’s harbor lighthouse. Nearly 22 miles of the route follows off-road...
ME 28.9 mi Asphalt, Crushed Stone, Sand
The Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail runs for 6 miles between the towns of Rochester and Farmington. The trail parallels the Cocheco River and State Route 11 through a wooded corridor. The trail is...
NH 6 mi Ballast, Cinder, Dirt, Gravel, Sand
Portland’s Fore River Parkway Trail provides an important transportation link in the community while at the same time offering sweeping views of the Fore River. At the north end of the trail, you’ll...
ME 2.6 mi Asphalt
Visitors to the 6.5-mile-long Kennebec River Rail Trail mostly stay within sight of the wide river as the paved trail links the state capital of Augusta with the river towns of Hallowell, Farmingdale,...
ME 6.5 mi Asphalt
The Mountain Division Trail exists as two separate segments of what will eventually be a more than 50-mile-long trail from Fryeburg to Portland. The southern section rolls for about 6 miles between...
ME 9.7 mi Asphalt, Gravel
The Norway Branch Rail Trail sits on the former railbed of the Norway Branch Railroad which once connected the communities of Norway and South Paris. The trail runs from Beal Street in the west to...
ME 0.5 mi Crushed Stone
The Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail occupies a portion of the old Kennebec Central Railroad right-of-way in the town of Randolph, ME. As of 2012, the trail runs for 1.25 miles between Water Street in...
ME 1.25 mi Ballast, Dirt
The Papermill Trail celebrates the heritage of mills in the development of the town of Lisbon and the surrounding area while providing an easy, pleasant trail experience for users of all abilities....
ME 4 mi Asphalt
The scenic Riverton Rail Trail—also known as “Sandy Road” by residents of Portland’s Riverton neighborhood—follows the former corridor of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad, which stopped...
ME 1.5 mi Concrete, Dirt, Sand
The Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail (also known as Railroad Trail) traverses the woods on either side of Sanford’s scenic Springvale community in southern Maine. Founded by a mill owner in the 17th...
ME 5.9 mi Gravel
Owned and actively maintained by the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway museum, this trail meanders along the currently disused railroad right of way through the Town of Alna in the village...
ME 0.68 mi Dirt, Grass
Accordion
The trail sits on the northwestern shore of Lake Auburn. A former roadway, the wide gravel path can accommodate various kinds of uses including, running, biking, walking dogs. And in the winter, the...
ME 2 mi Gravel

Now, More Than Ever, Trails Matter!

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Trails by activity

Norway Branch Rail Trail

ME - 0.5 miles

The Norway Branch Rail Trail sits on the former railbed of the Norway Branch Railroad which once connected the communities of Norway and South Paris. The trail runs from Beal Street in the west to...

Dover Community Trail

NH - 3.8 miles

The Dover Community Trail snakes its way through the heart of the Garrison City—so nicknamed for the fortified log houses, or garrisons, built by 17th-century settlers—-offering a variety of trail...

Eastern Trail

ME - 28.9 miles

The 28.9-mile Eastern Trail connects the historic towns along Maine’s southern coast from the woods near Kennebunk to South Portland’s harbor lighthouse. Nearly 22 miles of the route follows off-road...

Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail

ME - 1.25 miles

The Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail occupies a portion of the old Kennebec Central Railroad right-of-way in the town of Randolph, ME. As of 2012, the trail runs for 1.25 miles between Water Street in...

Accordion

Beth Condon Memorial Pathway

ME - 1.8 miles

The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway is located in the heart of Yarmouth, Maine. The path is named in honor of a high school student who was struck by a drunk driver while walking along US-1. The paved...

Auburn Riverwalk

ME - 1.6 miles

The Auburn Riverwalk passes through the heart of the old mill district of the Twin Cities of Auburn and Lewiston. The 1.6-mile paved and gravel path offers many scenic views of the Androscoggin River,...

Back Cove Trail

ME - 3.6 miles

The paved Back Cove Trail rings its namesake tidal basin and offers lovely views of the Portland skyline. You also might spot great blue herons or other birds along the tree-lined waterfront. A...

Papermill Trail

ME - 4 miles

The Papermill Trail celebrates the heritage of mills in the development of the town of Lisbon and the surrounding area while providing an easy, pleasant trail experience for users of all abilities....

Fore River Parkway Trail

ME - 2.6 miles

Portland’s Fore River Parkway Trail provides an important transportation link in the community while at the same time offering sweeping views of the Fore River. At the north end of the trail, you’ll...

Whitman Spring Road Trail

ME - 2 miles

The trail sits on the northwestern shore of Lake Auburn. A former roadway, the wide gravel path can accommodate various kinds of uses including, running, biking, walking dogs. And in the winter, the...

Bayside Trail

ME - 1 miles

Portland’s Bayside Trail packs a lot into its 1-mile length. The paved pathway provides a pleasant route between commercial and residential areas in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Once an...

Androscoggin River Bicycle Path

ME - 2.6 miles

Brunswick, Maine is home to the Androscoggin River Bicycle Trail, a multipurpose recreational trail nestled between the river and US Route 1. The trail stretches 2.6 miles from end-to-end. The trail...

Eastern Promenade Trail

ME - 2.1 miles

Old salts should love the Eastern Promenade Trail, as it skirts the shoreline of Portland’s Casco Bay and Portland Harbor. The 2.1-mile paved trail is always within sight of the water and is one of...

Kennebec River Rail Trail

ME - 6.5 miles

Visitors to the 6.5-mile-long Kennebec River Rail Trail mostly stay within sight of the wide river as the paved trail links the state capital of Augusta with the river towns of Hallowell, Farmingdale,...

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

NH - 12 miles

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail connects the small town of Wakefield, near the Maine border, and the quintessentially quaint New England vacation town of Wolfeboro. In 2017 the towns held a...

Riverton Rail Trail

ME - 1.5 miles

The scenic Riverton Rail Trail—also known as “Sandy Road” by residents of Portland’s Riverton neighborhood—follows the former corridor of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad, which stopped...

Mountain Division Trail

ME - 9.7 miles

The Mountain Division Trail exists as two separate segments of what will eventually be a more than 50-mile-long trail from Fryeburg to Portland. The southern section rolls for about 6 miles between...

Whitman Spring Road Trail

ME - 2 miles

The trail sits on the northwestern shore of Lake Auburn. A former roadway, the wide gravel path can accommodate various kinds of uses including, running, biking, walking dogs. And in the winter, the...

Kennebec River Rail Trail

ME - 6.5 miles

Visitors to the 6.5-mile-long Kennebec River Rail Trail mostly stay within sight of the wide river as the paved trail links the state capital of Augusta with the river towns of Hallowell, Farmingdale,...

Mountain Division Trail

ME - 9.7 miles

The Mountain Division Trail exists as two separate segments of what will eventually be a more than 50-mile-long trail from Fryeburg to Portland. The southern section rolls for about 6 miles between...

Fore River Parkway Trail

ME - 2.6 miles

Portland’s Fore River Parkway Trail provides an important transportation link in the community while at the same time offering sweeping views of the Fore River. At the north end of the trail, you’ll...

Accordion

Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail

ME - 1.25 miles

The Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail occupies a portion of the old Kennebec Central Railroad right-of-way in the town of Randolph, ME. As of 2012, the trail runs for 1.25 miles between Water Street in...

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

NH - 12 miles

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail connects the small town of Wakefield, near the Maine border, and the quintessentially quaint New England vacation town of Wolfeboro. In 2017 the towns held a...

Norway Branch Rail Trail

ME - 0.5 miles

The Norway Branch Rail Trail sits on the former railbed of the Norway Branch Railroad which once connected the communities of Norway and South Paris. The trail runs from Beal Street in the west to...

Papermill Trail

ME - 4 miles

The Papermill Trail celebrates the heritage of mills in the development of the town of Lisbon and the surrounding area while providing an easy, pleasant trail experience for users of all abilities....

Eastern Promenade Trail

ME - 2.1 miles

Old salts should love the Eastern Promenade Trail, as it skirts the shoreline of Portland’s Casco Bay and Portland Harbor. The 2.1-mile paved trail is always within sight of the water and is one of...

Androscoggin River Bicycle Path

ME - 2.6 miles

Brunswick, Maine is home to the Androscoggin River Bicycle Trail, a multipurpose recreational trail nestled between the river and US Route 1. The trail stretches 2.6 miles from end-to-end. The trail...

Back Cove Trail

ME - 3.6 miles

The paved Back Cove Trail rings its namesake tidal basin and offers lovely views of the Portland skyline. You also might spot great blue herons or other birds along the tree-lined waterfront. A...

Riverton Rail Trail

ME - 1.5 miles

The scenic Riverton Rail Trail—also known as “Sandy Road” by residents of Portland’s Riverton neighborhood—follows the former corridor of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad, which stopped...

Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail

NH - 6 miles

The Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail runs for 6 miles between the towns of Rochester and Farmington. The trail parallels the Cocheco River and State Route 11 through a wooded corridor. The trail is...

WW&F Narrow Gauge Trail

ME - 0.68 miles

Owned and actively maintained by the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway museum, this trail meanders along the currently disused railroad right of way through the Town of Alna in the village...

Eastern Trail

ME - 28.9 miles

The 28.9-mile Eastern Trail connects the historic towns along Maine’s southern coast from the woods near Kennebunk to South Portland’s harbor lighthouse. Nearly 22 miles of the route follows off-road...

Bayside Trail

ME - 1 miles

Portland’s Bayside Trail packs a lot into its 1-mile length. The paved pathway provides a pleasant route between commercial and residential areas in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Once an...

Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail

ME - 5.9 miles

The Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail (also known as Railroad Trail) traverses the woods on either side of Sanford’s scenic Springvale community in southern Maine. Founded by a mill owner in the 17th...

Dover Community Trail

NH - 3.8 miles

The Dover Community Trail snakes its way through the heart of the Garrison City—so nicknamed for the fortified log houses, or garrisons, built by 17th-century settlers—-offering a variety of trail...

Conway Branch

NH - 21 miles

The Conway Branch trail runs for 21 miles along an old rail corridor between State Route 113 in Conway and Polly's Crossing in Ossipee. The trail is popular with snowmobiles and rail car clubs; the...

Auburn Riverwalk

ME - 1.6 miles

The Auburn Riverwalk passes through the heart of the old mill district of the Twin Cities of Auburn and Lewiston. The 1.6-mile paved and gravel path offers many scenic views of the Androscoggin River,...

Norway Branch Rail Trail

ME - 0.5 miles

The Norway Branch Rail Trail sits on the former railbed of the Norway Branch Railroad which once connected the communities of Norway and South Paris. The trail runs from Beal Street in the west to...

Conway Branch

NH - 21 miles

The Conway Branch trail runs for 21 miles along an old rail corridor between State Route 113 in Conway and Polly's Crossing in Ossipee. The trail is popular with snowmobiles and rail car clubs; the...

WW&F Narrow Gauge Trail

ME - 0.68 miles

Owned and actively maintained by the Wiscasset, Waterville, and Farmington Railway museum, this trail meanders along the currently disused railroad right of way through the Town of Alna in the village...

Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail

ME - 1.25 miles

The Old Narrow Gauge Volunteer Trail occupies a portion of the old Kennebec Central Railroad right-of-way in the town of Randolph, ME. As of 2012, the trail runs for 1.25 miles between Water Street in...

Accordion

Beth Condon Memorial Pathway

ME - 1.8 miles

The Beth Condon Memorial Pathway is located in the heart of Yarmouth, Maine. The path is named in honor of a high school student who was struck by a drunk driver while walking along US-1. The paved...

Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail

ME - 5.9 miles

The Sanford-Springvale Rail Trail (also known as Railroad Trail) traverses the woods on either side of Sanford’s scenic Springvale community in southern Maine. Founded by a mill owner in the 17th...

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

NH - 12 miles

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail connects the small town of Wakefield, near the Maine border, and the quintessentially quaint New England vacation town of Wolfeboro. In 2017 the towns held a...

Fore River Parkway Trail

ME - 2.6 miles

Portland’s Fore River Parkway Trail provides an important transportation link in the community while at the same time offering sweeping views of the Fore River. At the north end of the trail, you’ll...

Whitman Spring Road Trail

ME - 2 miles

The trail sits on the northwestern shore of Lake Auburn. A former roadway, the wide gravel path can accommodate various kinds of uses including, running, biking, walking dogs. And in the winter, the...

Eastern Trail

ME - 28.9 miles

The 28.9-mile Eastern Trail connects the historic towns along Maine’s southern coast from the woods near Kennebunk to South Portland’s harbor lighthouse. Nearly 22 miles of the route follows off-road...

Mountain Division Trail

ME - 9.7 miles

The Mountain Division Trail exists as two separate segments of what will eventually be a more than 50-mile-long trail from Fryeburg to Portland. The southern section rolls for about 6 miles between...

Auburn Riverwalk

ME - 1.6 miles

The Auburn Riverwalk passes through the heart of the old mill district of the Twin Cities of Auburn and Lewiston. The 1.6-mile paved and gravel path offers many scenic views of the Androscoggin River,...

Bayside Trail

ME - 1 miles

Portland’s Bayside Trail packs a lot into its 1-mile length. The paved pathway provides a pleasant route between commercial and residential areas in the Bayside and East Bayside neighborhoods. Once an...

Dover Community Trail

NH - 3.8 miles

The Dover Community Trail snakes its way through the heart of the Garrison City—so nicknamed for the fortified log houses, or garrisons, built by 17th-century settlers—-offering a variety of trail...

Riverton Rail Trail

ME - 1.5 miles

The scenic Riverton Rail Trail—also known as “Sandy Road” by residents of Portland’s Riverton neighborhood—follows the former corridor of the Portland-Lewiston Interurban Railroad, which stopped...

Eastern Promenade Trail

ME - 2.1 miles

Old salts should love the Eastern Promenade Trail, as it skirts the shoreline of Portland’s Casco Bay and Portland Harbor. The 2.1-mile paved trail is always within sight of the water and is one of...

Papermill Trail

ME - 4 miles

The Papermill Trail celebrates the heritage of mills in the development of the town of Lisbon and the surrounding area while providing an easy, pleasant trail experience for users of all abilities....

Kennebec River Rail Trail

ME - 6.5 miles

Visitors to the 6.5-mile-long Kennebec River Rail Trail mostly stay within sight of the wide river as the paved trail links the state capital of Augusta with the river towns of Hallowell, Farmingdale,...

Androscoggin River Bicycle Path

ME - 2.6 miles

Brunswick, Maine is home to the Androscoggin River Bicycle Trail, a multipurpose recreational trail nestled between the river and US Route 1. The trail stretches 2.6 miles from end-to-end. The trail...

Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail

NH - 6 miles

The Farmington Recreational Rail-Trail runs for 6 miles between the towns of Rochester and Farmington. The trail parallels the Cocheco River and State Route 11 through a wooded corridor. The trail is...

Recent Trail Reviews

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

Takes some maneuvering--but a lovely ride

October, 2021 by creischl

We rode the trail during the first week of October. The colors were spectacular, especially after about mile 6 in the bog areas. There is wonderful variety along the trail as one starts out in Wolfeboro, goes on causeways through Lake Wentworth, through Wentworth State Park and then on through woods and bogs.

The trail itself requires riders to pay lots of attention to safety. Much of the trail is situated between the two metal rails of the old train track--so it is quite narrow. This is rideable, though. As others have mentioned, there are many points where you switch onto a hard packed limestone trail next to the tracks. It's turning off the rails onto the limestone trails where one must slow down and do a sharp turn. We encountered 2 people who had fallen at these turn off points and one accomplished rider in our group fell as well. It's just easy to catch your tires in the crack between the rails if you don't do almost a 90 degree turn.

All that said, it's a rustic and beautiful ride and I'd highly recommend it for hybrid or gravel bikes. And, there's amazing ice cream at the iconic Bailey's Bubble when you get back to Wolfeboro!

Kennebec River Rail Trail

Overall a very nice trail

October, 2021 by potterdunn

There’s a lot to like about this trail: •easy ride and it has some hills and curves to make it interesting •scenic •easy parking •well marked •well maintained with a few bumps But there are a few negatives with the major one being the gap in Hallowell. For roughly 1/2 - 3/4 of a mile, the gap in the trail requires one to ride on busy Water St through the downtown area. It’s certainly not the worst road to ride on, but traffic can be heavy and you need to watch for car doors opening. The trail is also very narrow in spots making it difficult to pass through. But overall a nice trail that is worth a visit.

Eastern Trail

Lots of really nice parts

October, 2021 by mgundy.xo

My wife and rode 10 miles through Biddeford to the Scarborough Marsh and back. We felt the town part was pretty well marked but you need to pay attention as you transition from sidewalks, to streets, to crosswalks, etc. Once you navigate that part of the trail it lines out straight north to the marsh. This section is a very pleasant and wide part with several road crossings. The roads aren't especially busy and gives access to businesses and a change in route if desired. Even if the town section isn't the most desirable it is nice to be able to jump on a trail right in town. Well worth the effort to ride this section of trail.

Accordion

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

A fun and beautiful ride

October, 2021 by mgundy.xo

My wife and I rode this trail for a few miles out of Wolfeboro. The builders of this trail did a wonderful job navigating through town. As you leave town you get lovely views of the lake especially when riding on the causeway (I will call it). We found no trouble navigating over the rails. There seemed to be plenty of room to meet other bikers and walkers. This whole area is really fantastic.

Papermill Trail

Beautiful trail! Met a fellow bicycle rider from New Jersey who helped encourage me through the rain!

October, 2021 by sandracarroll.sandy

Beautiful trail! Met a fellow bicycle rider from New Jersey who helped encourage me through the rain!

Papermill Trail

We began the trail at Miller's Park also known as the Papermill Trail. Nice and easy, great asphalt path

October, 2021 by sandracarroll.sandy

We began the trail at Miller's Park also known as the Papermill Trail. Nice and easy, great asphalt path

Eastern Trail

Kennebunk 2 Biddeford

September, 2021 by nap789

I’ve ridden Kennebunk to Biddeford a couple of times in the past week (late Sept), the trail is well maintained and marked. The few vehicle crossings have cross walks and signage for drivers. This is a beautiful trail that I would highly recommend, looking forward to riding all the way to South Portland!

Mountain Division Trail

Beautiful day for an easy ride

September, 2021 by nikoniko

We parked at the Windham PO and rode along the tracks until we got to Rt-35, did a bit of exploring at the Otter Ponds, then came back. It was a sweet ride: no bugs, great Sharon weather—we were a little disappointed that we couldn’t go directly to the Lake, but I see now we could have gone left and gotten to the water…. Next time. We stopped at the Orchard Ridge Farm and had a delicious cider donut at the intersection with Sebago Lakes Rd. ~10

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

Fun ride in the woods!

August, 2021 by demcvane

This trail is for mountain or hybrid bikes, definitely not road bikes.
Agree with others in that there are more pedestrians near Wolfboro but the trail gets much less traveled the farther away you go.
Also agree that the trails are narrow but this is not an issue because the visibility is so good. Most of the time, you can see people coming from other direction literally hundreds a feet ahead of time. I did get stuck behind a few slower bikers but was able to pass at one of the railroad track crossovers.
As the railroad track crossovers, you just have to slow down and ensure your front tire is crossing at a 90 degree angle. I didn’t have any issues at all but just be mindful, slow down and steer the front tire to cross over perpendicular to the rail.
So, definitely some things to consider and manage but well worth it in my opinion.

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

Another Vote for "Not Safe for Bikes"....and We Biked It

August, 2021 by tribe_fan

As many others have noted, this trail is not safe for bikes, especially road and hybrid models. We read the reviews warning us in advance and rode wide tire bikes. Despite rubber mats at many of the points where you transition from between the rails to beside them or vice versa, it's still possible to get a tire caught in the small gap between the mat and the rails and take a fall. Be forewarned to SLOW DOWN or walk your bike across these numerous transition points. Also, the sections of the trail that run between the rails are too narrow for a bike going one way to safely pass a walker going the other. When it's two bikes going in opposite directions, one has to come to a stop to pass safely. The sections of the trail outside the rails aren't much wider and the railroad ties extend about six inches beyond the rails, further squeezing the available space. My conclusion is that there must be hundreds of single bike, bike-bike and bike-pedestrian accidents annually.

The trail is otherwise quite nice. Its almost totally flat and there's plenty of shade.

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

Know how to cross railroad rails safely

August, 2021 by nphillips_tl

This is a very scenic path traveling through woods most of the time, along marshes, hidden ponds and across Lake Wentworth. But this path has railroad tracks along the whole path, which makes the trail narrow in most places. BUT - be warned -
this trail will not be as enjoyable for some. Others will be fine with the challenges.
1. Learn how to travel safely across steel rails, since you will have to do this at least two dozen times, often within a tight narrow space. If you do not cross as close to 90 degrees to the rail, you risk you bike tire slipping out from under you. How do you I know? There are some short videos on You Tube that address this.
2. From the Wakefield end, park at the lot near the Miss Wakefield diner, so you don't have to cross Route 16, a very busy road.
3. The closer you get to Wolfboro, there are more pedestrians, and some think their right of way is the whole path, not half. I would end the trip at route 109A where the railcar rides are located, unless you really want to go to Wolfboro.
4. I found passing others on the trail that were coming the other way could be stressful, since there is little room to move over. One or both of you will have a hard rail on one side of you and if not, then the edge of the path often dropped off.
5. At the beginning of the trail at Route 16 you do have a couple of short steep ups and downs. Otherwise the trail is fairly flat.

Cotton Valley Rail-Trail

A nice trail with some important caveats

August, 2021 by jrutch

Okay - nice trail - very pretty BUT my issue is the sections where they laid the trail in between the still existing train tracks - clever idea to save money??? BUT it makes it very narrow and when passing walkers and other bikers it gets a little hairy (in fact our side mirror was clipped by a biker going in the opposite direction that's how narrow it is) .... try not to go at a busy time and be prepared for tight squeezes on those sections where the trail is between the tracks ---- ALSO I would NOT recommend this for recumbents or other wide bikes - it just isn't safe for those kinds of cycles - otherwise like i said nice scenery but be forewarned

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