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The Harrisville Rail Trail runs for just under two miles between the outskirts of Harrisville and Hancock in rural New Hampshire. The former railroad bed is located on lands conserved by the Harris Center for Conservation Education, and the trail is surrounded by beautiful, pristine woodlands.
The trail begins in the west at a turnoff from Hancock Road, marked by a granite abutment, and takes you over the Nubanusit Brook via a new footbridge, which was the result of a lengthy volunteer project to complete the trail. You are quickly enveloped by trees and natural beauty - the trail is particularly lovely in the fall as the leaves are turning - as the trail heads east through the woods, passing by a small lake before reaching Jaquith Road, the culmination of this short, but beautiful path.
However, after this crossing it might be better to hike than ride, since the old rail ties are buried and make for a very bumpy ride.
Parking is available at the western trailhead off of Hancock Road.
To reach the western trailhead from the direction of Manchester, take I-293 to State Route 101, and follow the signs for SR-101/SR-114 to continue on SR-101. Turn left at the intersection with Boynton St to stay on SR-101, and proceed for about 15 miles through the town of Peterborough. Turn right onto SR-137 (Brush Brook Rd), followed by a left onto Cobb Meadow Rd. Proceed for about 1.5 miles, then stay straight to continue onto Bonds Corner Rd. Turn left at the end of the road onto Hancock Rd, and the turnoff to the trail will be on the right in about 500 feet (look for the granite structure on the left to mark the turn).
It is evident that much work has been done to improve this Trail.
Still I see from a optical sense there may be some improvements made to beautify it. Cut brush from the rescue could be chipped. Small dead saplings and other dead wood that is growing in the original rail-bed footprint could be removed and chipped lending to a more serene authentic scene of the rail-bed.
At the end if the trail on Jaquith road nearest to rt. 137 Prior to the trestle is a very steep rise in the rail bed not easily climbed by vintage locomotive engines in my view I imagine a wooden ramped structure bringing this higher part of the rail-bed up to the top of the trestle.
I wonder if there are any old photos of this elevation transition and how it was accomplished. These pictures may be a nice touch to this section's bulletin board
All the trail is delightful and the 100 yr .old steel span bridge is a great undertaking. We loved the red Lobelia in full Bloom Aug. 2 into it's brook beneath. I love the Old R.R. ties left in place to give more of a R.R. feeling . The bench at the swamp in the first section is a nice touch.
All in all a high five rating despite I feel a bit more cosmetic work can greatly improve the feel of this great noble R.R.route
Rick Beausoleil Greenville NH.
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