Henniker & Hopkinton Rail Trails

New Hampshire

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Henniker & Hopkinton Rail Trails Facts

States: New Hampshire
Counties: Merrimack
Length: 6.7 miles
Trail end points: Depot Hill Rd (Henniker) and former station of Henniker Junction by Bennett Rd
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Grass, Gravel, Sand
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 13088793


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Henniker & Hopkinton Rail Trails Description

The Henniker Rail Trail is an unpaved single-track path that follows a former rail corridor for 2.3 miles. The rail-trail picks up east of the former passenger station. Situated south of the Town of Henniker on Depot Hill Road, the station has now been converted into college alumni offices. Following the parking lot, the trail crosses Route 114 and heads right along the Contoocook River's south bank.

The trail ends at the former station of Henniker Junction by Bennett Road, but it can be picked up again across the river as the Henniker Line Rail Trail. A wide unpaved trail through the woods, the Henniker Line Rail Trail starts north of the river and terminates at the river by an abandoned river bridge abutment. The path can get muddy during rainy seasons, but the Henniker Snowmobile Club maintains the trail. There is an additional 1.6 mile link with Old Concord Road, which provides a connection with the Town of Henniker.

Henniker Junction was where the railroad line branched and crossed the river to the Henniker C&M station, but none of that remains now. South of Henniker Junction there was another railroad line that stretched towards Weare and the Everett Dam. West of the former Henniker Station, the land is privately owned, but it is possible to pick up the route again behind a yurt on college property. The trail continues until it reaches a sports field, but the wide unpaved trail continues beyond the field to the demolished Contoocook River bridge. Across the river, the land previously occupied by the railroad is now privately owned.

Interrupted by the Hopkinton Dam, the rail-trail picks up again and continues for 2.3 miles as the Hopkinton Rail Trail. The route travels west along the north bank of the Contoocook River and then through a cutting and embankment. A sandy 0.2-mile section about half the way along the route may require cyclists to walk their bikes. Heading towards the Town of Contoocook, the trail ends at private property before it reaches the town, but there is a link to Pine Street at the eastern end of the trail. Used by snowmobilers, hikers, and bicyclists, the trail meanders through the forest and offers scenic views where the trail runs alongside the river.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available at the Hopkinton Dam or by the roadside at the Rowell covered bridge. 


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