On Friday, August 25th the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County completed construction on another 1.7 miles of trail on the Andover portion of the NORTHERN RAIL TRAIL. This newly-constructed trail section extends an existing trail built by the Friends last year that starts at the restored railroad station in Potter Place at the intersection of routes NH 11 and US 4. The new section ends at Switch Road just off NH 11 in East Andover. The combined trails provide 3.4 miles of off-highway trail for bicyclists, walkers and baby carriages.
The new trail follows the Blackwater River and has a 12’ travel lane of compacted stone dust that sits on top of several inches of compacted railroad ballast. The trail has a smooth surface and is one of the finest in the State.
Both trails were built by the Friends, a nonprofit volunteer organization with members from several towns near the trail. The goal of the Friends is to provide a four-season rail trail from Grafton to the Boscawen/Concord line, a distance of about 34 miles. The work done so far has been funded by grants of federal funds over the last two years, administered by the NH Bureau of Trails. The funds were used to purchase the stone dust from R.D. Edmunds of Franklin. Peter Crowell of New London contributed the use of a construction equipment, equipment operators and materials.
IA formal ceremony officially opening this newest portion of the NORTHERN RAIL TRAIL is planned for Sunday, October 1st at 1:30 pm at the Blackwater Park on Lawrence Street in Andover. Dr. Susan Lynch, the wife of Governor Lynch, is the Honorary Chairwomen of the event which will include an art show, a race along the trail and refreshments donated by several local restaurants.
Delivering hardpack material Grading & rolling
FNRT officers checking out the trail, Alex Bernhard, VP; Bob Ward, Pres.;
Charles Martin, Treasurer; Myra Mayman, Secretary