Nashua River Rail Trail, Ayer

5.0
#13 of 47 in Trails in Massachusetts
The Nashua River Rail Trail is a 12.5mi paved mixed-use rail trail in northern Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire under control of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR).It roughly follows the course of the Nashua River, passing through the towns of Ayer, Groton, Pepperell, and Dunstable, Massachusetts and ends about a mile across the New Hampshire state border in Nashua, New Hampshire. The trail is frequently used by walkers, bicyclists, inline skaters, and, in the winter, cross-country skiers.HistoryAyer was a major junction for both north-south and east-west rail lines during the rapid development of railroad transportation. The Nashua River Rail Trail sits on the former Hollis branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The line was originally part of the Worcester & Nashua Railroad that connected Worcester, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire, which was opened on July 3, 1848. The line was extended to Portland, Maine in 1874 and it became part of the Worcester, Nashua and Rochester Railroad connecting Worcester and points east to Canada's Grand Trunk Railroad via Portland, Maine. The Boston & Maine Railroad took over the line in 1886 and called it the Worcester, Nashua & Portland (WN&P) Division. Between 1911 and 1912, a second track was added from Worcester to Nashua. Passenger service on the line ended in 1934. After World War II, with the gradual decline of rail transportation, the line fell into disuse, and the last freight train ran on the line in 1982. Some concrete signal bases can still be seen, and railroad plates and ties can be found buried under the sand.
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Nashua River Rail Trail Reviews
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TripAdvisor
  • The Nashua River Rail Trail is popular for all ages. It runs between Nashua, NH and Groton, Ma. It runs through areas along the Nashua River where you can stop and enjoy the view, swans in summer, and...  more »
  • We often spend times as a family biking this trail from the Groton Public Library. W travel to Ayer(6 mile round trip) or Pepperell (8 miles round trip), Before turning to had back we get a treat at t...  more »
  • NRBT parking in Ayer at the corner of Park and Groton Streets. There is a porta potty. From this parking lot to the end of the trail north is 12.5 miles. Modest inclines. Several nice stopping points ...  more »
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