Nashua River Rail Trail, Pepperell

5.0
#18 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 Traveler Rating 4.5
42 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Well maintained, flat paved surface with great views from end to end. Be careful going off the paved path lots of poison ivy on the edge and into the woods.  more »
  • I usually start the trail in Ayer, stop for the ducks at the pond and stop here in pepperell to refresh myself and give my bike any tweaking it might need at the great little bike station they have se...  more »
  • Nice on the river side and a great place to walk, run and bike. Many isolated parts so you probably don’t want to be on your own. Poorly kept Back yards in Pepperell - Nashua side reflect poorly upon ...  more »
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