Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (Fremont Branch)

New Hampshire

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (Fremont Branch) Facts

States: New Hampshire
Counties: Rockingham
Length: 16.5 miles
Trail end points: Depot Road and Route 28 (Windham) and Main Street (Epping)
Trail surfaces: Dirt, Sand
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6017533
Trail activities: ATV, Horseback Riding, Mountain Biking, Snowmobiling, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (Fremont Branch) Description

The Fremont Branch of the Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail follows a diagonal, 16.5-mile path from Windham to Epping in the southeastern corner of New Hampshire. As the trail is unpaved (dirt with areas of heavy sand), it’s best suited for mountain bikers, hikers, and equestrians, who will be rewarded with scenic views of woods, wetlands, ponds, and spruce swamps.

History buffs will enjoy seeing the Windham Depot, on the trail’s southern end, which dates back to 1849. It once was a busy station serving two crossing lines of the Boston and Maine Railroad; a restored B&M caboose sits just across from the depot. In Windham, travelers can also connect to the 4-mile Windham Rail Trail, which in turn connects to the Derry Rail Trail for another 3 miles of riding.

North of Derry, the Portsmouth Branch of the Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (which is not connected to the Fremont Branch) can be picked up in Manchester and heads 26 miles east to Newfields.

About midway along the Fremont Branch trail, another restored depot can be visited in Sandown. Dating back to 1873, the charming wooden building houses a museum with exhibits on the railroad and the town.

Note that ATVs and motorized trail bikes are allowed on a mid-section of the trail, from Route 28 to Route 107, and snowmobilers can use the northernmost section of the trail in winter from Route 107 to Epping.

Parking and Trail Access

From south to north, access points in the communities along the route include:

  • Windham: The depot, located on Depot Road, has a paved parking lot, but note that it is day-use only.

  • Sandown: The depot at 6 Depot Road offers parking.

  • Fremont: A large parking lot is available where the trail crosses Route 107 (Main Street).

  • Epping: An unmarked trailhead is available at the northern end of the trail, but it does not offer parking. Look for on-street parking along Main Street or Railroad Avenue.

Rockingham Recreational Rail Trail (Fremont Branch) Reviews

This trail has a massive potential – a viable trail from Manchester to Portsmouth through some interesting scenery and wildlife.
We parked at Sandown, hoping to walk a few miles one afternoon, and were bitterly disappointed. The trail consisted of a churned up, impassable surface, for either walking or biking and neglected artifacts. It was also a haven for ATVs.
The first thing we saw were a couple of ATV’s driven by kids who were out for a good time with absolutely no regard for other trail users. Apparently the ATVs are credited with keeping the trail clear in winter. One wonders for whom – certainly not for walkers or bikers. The usual trail rules seem to be completely inverted - give way to ATVs or risk being mown down.
This, unfortunately, is not the first trail in NH where we have seen this happen.
New Hampshire is unfortunately known for neglecting its rail trails. The trails there have great potential, with great scenery and abundant wildlife, but most are falling into decay.
In short, if you want a decent passable trail, go elsewhere.

Fun trail. Point to point 24miles. Stay on trail if u have an all terrain vehicle. Nice views.

Scenery is nice throughout this forest walk, but the road, especially on the southern side of the trail, is quite soft and uneven which could be challenging to some walkers or joggers. if forced to choose, I would recommend the Rockingham Portsmouth Branch trail over the Fremont, but the Fremont Branch is certainly worth giving a shot as well.

Accordion

Starts ok near the Windham Depot however about 1 mile or so in its very sandy and difficult to ride on.

Promising start at Windham Junction but by 2.5 miles became impossible.

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Events nearby

 
Alfred J. Lima Quequechan River Rail Trail
Fall River, MA

Dedication of the trail to Alfred j Lima from 12 - 1 PM followed by a celebration of the trail and the river from 1 - 3 PM. There will be interactive,...

#volunteer
Sat Sep 23 2017

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