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The Piscataquog Trail runs for 2 miles between the east bank of the Merrimack River and Pinard Street at Electric Street. On the east end, the trail begins near the New Hampshire Fisher Cats baseball stadium along an abandoned right-of-way of the old Boston and Maine Railroad. The trail crosses the river on the Hands Across the Merrimack pedestrian bridge and follows the Piscataquog River on the west side of Manchester.
A bridge connects the Piscataquog Trail with the Goffstown Rail Trail.
You can park on the west end at the ice arena off Electric Avenue.
I took the trail from behind the Fisher Cats stadium in Manchester. The trail starts to the left of some blank red signs in the stadium parking lot. The Piscataquog Trail starts soon thereafter, to the left up the hill. This leads you to the bull statue and the bridge across the Merrimack River. The trail is paved until you reach the Goffstown Rail Trail, which is not. I was riding my road bike and decided to bail to the streets shortly after I reached the Goffstown trail. You can then ride to the center of Goffstown on Rte. 114A, which has a wide shoulder and makes for good road riding. If you ride to Goffstown center, stop at Apotheca for a drink and snack. On the way back, I did not try to find that end of the trail but I understand it is somewhere near the West Side skating arena.
One of my favorite trails! A welcome break from the usual but , inviting rural surroundings. When goffstown is completed and paved it will be one of the great ones.
We've gone roller blading, skate boarding and have even taken our bikes all the way into Goffstown. Very little traffic, only crosses one busy road in Manchester (South Main St.).
Paved portion does stop shortly after Kelly St. bridge and trail does turn wavy for about 100 feet, BUT that is the only spot and probably came across rough because we just got off the smooth paved portion so please continue :) you will be glad you did, the rest is pretty smooth riding. The trail is not terribly crowded, by my standards. We passed people every few minutes. Obviously, I think, it is safe or I would not be going. Hope you have a chance to check it out!!!
The bridge connecting the Piscataquog Trail to the Goffstown Trail is now open. We rode it yesterday. Beautiful day, beautiful ride.
The new trail Bridge over the Piscataquog River by Kelly St bridge is in place, but not open to the public yet. Reports are this will open late September or in October.
The crosswalk that is hard to use, because traffic does not care to give pedestrians a break, is South Main St, not Second St. There is a bridge over Second St.
While still not open to use, the new bridge connecting the Piscataquog Trail with the Goffstown Rail Trail, kind of under the Kelly St bridge by the Ice Arena, has been set in place. The old trestle was removed, and the new structure appears to be steel with possibly wood decking. Can't wait for it to open so I can ride out and back to my friends in Goffstown, just off Davis park Rd. Goffstown just got a grant to fix more of their trail beyond Davis Park Road.
The trail was easy to find with the help of GPS. It is a relatively quiet path and well maintained. There are garbage bags hung along the way as well to help keep it that way.
I did encounter a homeless gentleman who decided to take a nap on the side of the trail. Since I was with my two children I was hesitant to pass by, as we were otherwise alone on the trail. We did pass and it was uneventful.
We continued on and came to the crosswalk at Second Street (which was mentioned in a previous review). We did have to wait a few minutes for cars to stop for us, but not too long.
The bridge that passes over the Merrimack is nice. Took some pictures with the kids. They enjoyed it. Probably my favorite part of the trail. There are a few granite benches to sit and take in the view.
Overall, the trail was reasonably nice. People generally kept to themselves on their walk or bike rides. We only made it about 1.75 miles before turning around due to time constraints. On our return, we encountered the same homeless man, who was now awake and greeted us.
The section from the baseball stadium to the West Side Ice Arena is in fine shape. It's a lovely walk or ride, but not hilly or challenging.
Although the RR trestle hasn't been repaired yet, there is an alternative way to get across the river, by cutting down behind the arena towards the river, crossing the footbridge and bearing right, up a sandy slope. The train on the West side of the river is in very rough shape - rocky and rooty, with lots of erosion of the slope on the river side of the trail.
Eventually, the trail broadens out, passing behind and below Mast Road and Route 114, and homes along the river. I haven't followed it all the way to Goffstown.
This section is very nicely paved & it's true, you never know your in Manchester. The only problem I encountered is it is difficult to cross Second Street. Even though there is a crosswalk, cars ignore anyone waiting to cross whether pedestrian or bicyclist. I have also biked the Goffstown section from the village to the Manchester line. I can't wait for it to be completed and the trestle repaired. It will be a great ride from Goffstown village all the way into Manchester's east side.
The walk was nicely paved and very quiet. We started at the West Side Ice Arena and walked to the Fisher Cat Stadium end. Until you cross Second Street and the Merrimack River, it was easy to forget you were in Manchester. There was very little incline.
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