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In Farmington, park near the old Davidson Rubber Plant off SR 11. In Rochester, access the trail at Chestnut Hill Road and SR 125.
we parked by the closed plant on Davidson drive.
trail started off soft, some areas quite wet and rutty. Plenty of rocky spots too that make even riding the fat tire bike tough. Trail doesn't appear to be maintained very well. However, there was a nice waterfall off to the side of the trail.
Didnt realize there was a rail trail that ran through Rochester/Farmington, and came upon it by accident. Rochester side has more parking, and a few short side trails in a nice little park. The trail is a mix of gravel, dirt, sand. Had no issues running the length of it.
If you are parking on the Farmington side, get ready to get creative with your parking although, if you intend on riding it, it's probably the safer bet since you do need to cross a MAJOR roadway about 1 mi from the trail head.
As the only person riding the route with a full suspension fat bike, I found it tolerable but the rest of my group were not as fortunate. The sand was soft, or rocky, or a combination of the two. There were parts of our bodies forever damaged (kidding... kind of) as we literally pounded our way down this viewless trail. Of the six miles we rode, probably 1.5 was "doable" on a regular bike otherwise it was just extremely difficult to navigate.
There is no river..... but there is a bit of a cess pool looking pond. We went in the middle of a drought which probably worked to our advantage as any water on this trail would make it nearly impassible.
After six miles, we decided enough was enough so we chose to take the road back. Mind you... riding along Route 11 was our only choice (think massive commercial district with significant traffic)... and yet.. it was still better than trying our hand at that return on that trail. Thank goodness we were all relatively adult... at least numerically... taking a kid on this would be a HARD no.
Unfortunately, we see a real opportunity to for rail trails but if the funding isn't there to maintain it then it's not going to get much use. That was the case with this strip.... and, hopefully with some resources, it can meet its potential of being a fun day of recreating.
We were not very impressed with this trail. The ground is very soft and not great for biking.
I was quite disappointed with this trail. Here is why:
1) Very close to a major noisy highway (Rt. 11)
2) The first half is sandy and 4 wheelers have made it rough.
3) Nothing much to see. It says that it runs along a river. Perhaps but I never saw a river.
The ride back from Farmington to Rochester on Rt. 11 was much more scenic. Thus the 1 star rating.
I hiked this trail with several friends. Surface varies from compact dirt, softer sand and rail bed stone in a few sections. Overall it was a good hike, we were passed by several mountain bikers who seemed to be using little effort while riding. I will be back to try this trail on a mountain bike. I wouldn’t recommend this trail for hybrid bikes.
I read the reviews and we gave it a shot. Started at the Farmington end and right away it was a very bumpy ride over the stone rail bed. Trail looked like it was used very little with tall grass and branches covering it. There was also a huge 18" limb fallen from a white pine that crossed the trail. One section was loose 4 -5" stone at that point we walked our bikes about 1/8 mile until the trail firmed up again. Other sections were deeper sand that was a major do-able pedal. Once reaching Rochester we decided to take Rt. 11 back to the car as the ride was not real enjoyable and there was very little to look at - probably because we did not dare to take our eyes off the trail dodging rocks and branches most of the way. 6 miles felty like 16 miles. Remember we our in our late 50's and rode a rigid cross bike and a front suspension comfort bike. If we try this trail again we will take our more aggressive mountain bikes.
Even for a mountain bike it is like quick sand when riding; the sand is too soft. The snow mobiles have compacted the dirt and sand down this year in 2015 but, several vehicles park in front of the trails on roadside when crossing across streets making biking a hazard having to cross streets with parked cars at the entry and exit ways.
Started the trail in Rochester this morning. It is very, very sandy and lots of loose larger rocks. Riding my hybrid I turned around after a couple of miles. It had a couple of good, but short, stretches. Clearly isn't being maintained as a bike path. Overgrown, etc. As for the starting point, the junction of Chestnut Hill Road and SR 125 is incorrect. Your best bet is to park on the backside of Spaulding High School and jump on the trail there. The trail actual starts at the junction of Orchard Street and 125, but there is nowhere to park there.
This is a great trail for snowmobiles in the winter but it is not for biking. Parts of the trail have been used by 4 wheelers, even though this use is prohibited, and they really chew up the surface. The gates at various places do not stop the 4 wheelers. This trail has great potential, but unless the State of NH initiates some serious resurfacing and keeps the 4 wheeler of the trail, it is just going to be another trail to stay away from.
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