Mid 2012
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Derry-Windham Rail Trail Ride - May 26, 2012
Activity and trip report by Ken L.

After a morning working on the Derry Rail Trail's new "pocket park" near the Derry Depot...

<- From this...

...to this ->

...it was time for a bike ride along the Derry-Windham Rail Trail!

Oh, yeah, right...Your Webmaster looks ready to go, huh?

Heh, it was actually great that Dave K. came along around 1pm.  The ride along the rail trail would be a nice break from the planting, raking, digging, and other things we were doing to get the "pocket park" ready for Trails Day on June 2--and the "official" opening of the Derry Rail Trail.

After a quick bite to eat, Dave and I hopped on our bikes and made our way to the end of the trail at the bicycle shop in Salem, NH.  In total the trail is roughly 14-15 miles round trip, and the vast majority of it is nicely paved, with the exception of about 1/2 mile in Salem--easily passable on a hybrid or mountain bike.

We pedaled south along the newly paved section of the Derry Rail Trail to Windham, New Hampshire.

Retired caboose just before Windham Depot

Dave pulls into the nicely restored Windham Depot

From there it was another few miles until the pavement ran out, and Dave and I went along the unimproved dirt trail to the cycle shop in Salem for a break.

Your Webmaster and Dave K. at the cycle shop in Salem, NH

From there it was time to turn around and head back.  That's as far south as the trail goes for now.

Heading back along the dirt section near the bike shop

Watch out for the dangerous woodland creatures!

Round trip, this one's about 14-15 miles.  As usual there were plenty of people enjoying the trail, but not too many to make it feel "crowded".  Bikers, skaters, walkers, joggers, people pushing kids in strollers, and even kids bringing their fishing poles along on their bikes to fish in the many waterways near the trail mean this section gets a nice variety of use.

The trail will extend south through Salem, NH and Methuen, MA to the Lawrence, MA line.  Methuen's section has a recycled asphalt surface now, and work on Salem is expected to start south to north in the not too distant future.

To the north the trail will extend through Londonderry to the Manchester Airport and eventually beyond.

For more information, see...


Derry Rail Trail


Windham Rail Trail Alliance


Londonderry Trailways


Bike-Walk Alliance of New Hampshire


Methuen Rail Trail


Salem, NH Bike-Ped Corridor


NH State Parks - Recreational Rail Trails


State of NH Rail Trails Map


Rail To Trails Conservancy