(A note from Keith Kessler shortly after tropical storm Irene)
“In the stretch we covered it was only minor ripples of washout with one or two deep pockets that were easy to go around. The only hazard I ran into was a young dog who charged me head on(to play)  and I ended up partially running him over, but we both got out of it OK. You guys should be proud of what you’ve accomplished and I think at some point soon it will be a major attraction that will benefit the towns it runs through in terms of quality of life, business and property values.”


Today ten of us walked the ten+ miles from Potter Place to Webster Lake on the rail trail. It was great and all the way we were appreciating what a wonderful asset the rail trail is. We will do it again, we called it the Hen Ten (as it was an all female thing) .


Thank you and everybody so much for all that you have done to make the rail trail a reality that we can all enjoy.


Deb Brower


The Northern Rail Trail has already had significant usage in the Andover, NH demonstration section.  We are hearing how much it is appreciated, such as kind words from:


Could you please pass on our gratitude to the rest of the Friends of the
Northern Rail Trail. AEMS students and staff rarely have a day pass by
that we don’t use the trail. The rail trail has truly become an extension
of our school grounds. Our students and a few staff members regularly bike
to and from school on the trail now. Our track team uses the trail at
practices. All of our classes uses the trail for a multitude of reasons.
Children walk home along the rail trail. Nature sketches have been done
along the trail. Test anxiety has been walked off on the trail. A SHARE
Day workshop involved a scavenger hunt on the trail.


We are so grateful!


Several of our students are planning on participating in “Give Us Your
Best Shot.”


Thanks Again!
Jane Slayton  (Principal, Andover Elementary-Middle School)


“We had the opportunity to enjoy the new trail several times since it was prepared.  It is user friendly and beautiful!
Thanks to all who worked on and for it!”
Kerry Rainville, Aug. 2009


Hi Myra,
I am the person who has all the reason to be grateful and I am. This trail is a fantastic bridge joining large areas of our community both physically and metaphorically. This union is complete and without discrimination.  As an example, in a chance meeting with a dedicated snow mobile club member one morning after the big ice storm the two of use cleared trees and slash with chain saws blazing all the way from Maple St. to the Potter Place RR station.  I don’t know who was more pleased and surprised to see the other working on the trail early that morning. We both seemed to have an unspoken goal to clear to the station and made it just before dark. This was such fun and especially nice to see the snow mobile club meet the bike group on common ground with a shared purpose. I have attached a few picks for your enjoyment.    
I share this story with thanks to you for everything you, the board members and all Friends of the NRTMC have done to make this trail a success.  I also know this is an important time for matching funds.


Ricker Miller




Hi Alex,
I just wanted to send a brief email back to you and your organization about the trail clean-up on Sat Sept 20th, 2008.  I had a great time and your group deserves many cudos for all their effort.  I took your advice and took a day off from work to ride the trail the following Weds.  It was a beautiful day but the trail was even better. I have traveled on about 7-8 rail trails in NH the past two years and I believe it is one of the best, if not the best, constructed trail in NH with some great vistas to match.


Keep up the good work and keep me in the loop.


Brian G. Phelps, Construction Safety Consultant
Dept.of Environmental Services
29 Hazen Drive, P.O.Box 95
Concord, NH 03302-0095


“Please share with your committee our gratitude for the Rail Trail.


Andover Elementary / Middle School participates in the International Walk
to School Day in October. Our entire school community (230 students, 40
staff members and 20+ parents) was able to walk to school safely on the
Rail Trail. Students were divided by grade levels and brought to different
entry points onto the Rail Trail. Sixth, seventh and eighth grade students
walked from the Switch Road entrance while kindergarten and first grade
students walked from the South Short Street entrance. Other classes
entered at Potter Place and Bridge Road. It was a beautiful morning and
the walk was gorgeous!


Other schools do not participate in the Walk to School Day because of
safety concerns. We are so fortunate to have this wonderful option in our


On October 31 we will be on the Rail Trail again for the AEMS Aerobic
Fitness Challenge.


Thanks again for making this possible!”


Jane Slayton, Principal, Andover Elementary / Middle School


I live in Andover up on Shaw Hill Road. The other day I had the pleasure of riding my bike, with my dog trotting alongside, down Switch road and then all the way into town without ever touching tire to main road!!! On the way, I met and chatted with two new Andover residents and one whom I already knew, saw turtles, ducks and early foliage on horseshoe pond, and felt myself spontaneously smiling. Now that’s the way things should be.


So I just wanted to express my extreme appreciation for all your hard work and effort. ~Katherine Darling, Andover, NH resident


Trail use for painless exercise~The portion of the Rail Trail that goes through Andover is a newly-discovered, and likely to be a frequently-visited, destination for me. I recently walked a couple of miles there with a friend, and found the scenery and quiet most enjoyable. However, its real benefit was more evident when I arrived home and realized that my knee didn’t hurt, my back was free of pain, and my ankles were not sore. The surface of the Trail is low-impact, allowing aerobic exercise without affecting my arthritis and a torn ligament. I drove the 20 miles back to the Trail the next day and walked to Potter Place in a downpour, figuring the river, the peace, and the pain-free prospects were worth the high price of gas. I will continue to visit and explore the Rail Trail alone and with friends.
Joan Chandler, arthritis sufferer who appreciates the low-impact, smooth surface of the trail


Dear Mr. Gegas:


I am writing this letter to confirm our support for the work of the Friends of the Northern Rail trail in Merrimack Country.


First of all, thank you for funding the project last year that began to convert the rail bed into a four-season multi-use trail. We have already used the trail for an entire school fitness walk/run. We plan to do at least a couple more of these whole school fitness activities this year. This trail is ideal for this purpose because we never have to cross any roads and it is connected with our school property. When the activity involves around 250 kids, those things are very important!


Our school needs a trail like this for all the activities we like to do. We have recently purchased snow shoes and we will surely utilize this trail with them. Last year we started the Andover Track Team which competes with other schools, but we have no track for our workouts. This spring we plan on utilizing this trail for our team workouts. Extending the trail will give our endurance athletes a better opportunity for long training runs with out the worry of dealing with traffic. This trail has already become an extremely valuable asset to AEMS students and staff. Extending the trail will make it even more valuable. We plan on adding mountain biking to our list of activities, but currently the trail is a little short for our needs, extending it will provide an excellent distance for a good biking workout.


We hope you consider their second application favorably so they can extend the trail in 2006.


Sincerely, Mike Silverstein, Andover Elementary Physical Education Teacher
Mike Silverstein, Physical Education teacher at Andover, NH Elementary & Middle School in a letter to support the FNRT




The Friends have given  Danbury a gloriously wonderful gift, not only of the fully usable trail, but also of the freedom to envision the possibilities it provides.  it will be energizing not only to walkers, hikers, bikers, skiers, snowshoers and snowmobilers, but also to thinkers and planners and entrepreneurs as well!
Best wishes, Linda




“Thank you so much for restoring this trail.  Our goal is to ride the entire trail (in 7 – 11 mile  chunks) by the end of the summer.  To date we have ridden from the County Prison to Canaan. We will have actually completed it twice as we ride the 7 – 11 miles and then turn around and ride back to our vehicle.  It by far is our favorite trail – each section varied from the previous for any number of reasons.  Keep up the good work.  We’re enjoying every mile.”   –  Deb & Tim Patterson