Author Archives: Tim Blagden

Looking to donate a car?

Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail has partnered with Car Easy to make it simple to donate your old vehicle to help the rail trail.

CARS (Charitable Adult Rides & Services) is a nationally recognized social enterprise nonprofit that helps thousands of nonprofits in the US and Canada increase their fundraising and acquire new contributors through turn-key vehicle donation programs. Since 2003, CARS has returned more than $300 million to our partners.

• Vehicle Donation Web Page:

• Vehicle Donation Toll-Free Number: 855-500-7433 | 855-500-RIDE

Rail Trail Updates

Join us indoors in January for a review of our 2019 accomplishments and a discussion of what’s next in 2020 and beyond. What do you want to see? How did we do on the sections that are now on the ground or are in progress?

January 22 at 6:30 PM at MainStreet Bookends, 16 E Main St, Warner.
January 23 at 6:30 PM at Village Cafe, 11 W Main St, Bradford.
January 30 at 6:00 PM at Hopkinton Library, 61 Houston Dr, Contoocook.
(Check back for a Concord date. We are finalizing plans).

$50,000 Matching Grant Challenge – You did it!

In 2019 we were challenged to raise $50,000 that would be matched by a donor advised fund of the NH Charitable Foundation. Together we did it!

You Have Our Trust Fund of the NH Charitable Foundation has offered us a challenge grant where they will donate $50,000 to CLSRT if we can raise $50,000 from other sources by December 31, 2019.

Meeting that challenge enabled us to have the funds to complete finishing touches on the Stevens Rail Trail in Contoocook & Warner and complete the parking area and a half mile of trail in Concord that opened spring of 2020.

Thank you to everyone who got us over the top. Thank you also to You Have Our Trust for supporting the vision of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail and challenging us to reach new heights.

For alternative ways to donate, visit our Contact & Donate Page.

Thank you!

Our first Concord Project – 2.5 miles between Fisherville Rd and Carter Hill Rd.

Help build the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail this Saturday the 28th of September 2019. We will be cutting brush and branches in preparation for grading work that will follow. Its fun to be a part of the transformation of this land into rail trail. We are gathering in the field just south of 33 Fisherville Rd, Concord, NH 03301. Use LAD Welding as a landmark. Park in the field. We will have a crew ready to point you in the right direction starting at 8:30 AM. Arrive when you can and stay only as long as you like. Bring gloves and the brush cutting tool(s) of your choice: Loppers, limbing saw, chain saw, pole saw. We will be providing pizza for the crew for lunch. Have questions? Send email to

Talk with us at the 2018 Warner Fall Foliage Festival

Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail will be at the Warner Fall Foliage Festival Oct 6-7 2018.  Our booth will be on Schoodacs Coffee & Tea’s front lawn, right in the middle of the action.  Come learn about the trail and the many ways you can help this trail grow.  Soon you will be able to walk on new sections in Bradford and Contoocook.  We are working to bring over two miles of trail to Concord in 2019 along with additional projects.


Bradford Meeting 12/4/17 @ 5:30 re: Recreational Trails Program Thank You

The NH Bureau of Trails included two sections of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail in its list of 2018 Recreational Trails Program grants. This is the first opportunity we have to show widespread community support for the trail in Bradford and to say a public thank you for their funding. We sincerely hope you will take a few minutes of your evening to show your support of the trail. Just showing up makes a statement. The meeting is at the Bradford Community Center, 134 East Main St, Bradford at 5:30 PM.

The Bradford Project

Topo map showing High St to W Main St project in Bradford.

The Lake Sunapee Snowmobile Club is the lead applicant on this grant. Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail and the Rural Heritage Connection of Bradford are the other two non-profits partnering on this project. The three organizations are sharing costs equally. The project is 3/4 of a mile long and makes a substantial safety improvement year round by providing a safe and pleasant way to walk or bike around lower Lake Todd. It also improves drainage and the trail surface along the Tilly Wheeler trail. And its visible. We have found there is nothing to match the enthusiasm that is generated by providing residents with a section of trail to walk on.

The Contoocook/Warner Project

We also have the opportunity to thank the Bureau of Trails for providing funding for a 2 mile project stretching from Spring St in Contoocook to Route 103 in the Davisville section of Warner by Exit 7 of I-89. Most of the 1.5 miles in Contoocook is in okay shape. But there are two wet sections and the Warner section of the trail is very rough. The project will improve drainage and the surface in Contoocook and create a smooth stable trail in Warner suitable for year round use. Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail was the sole applicant on this grant. But we did have support from the Contoocook Snowmads and the Kearsarge Trail Snails as this entire section is already part of the snowmobile network during the winter months.

Your Presence Matters

We spend years getting projects ready to go. The Bradford project has been in the works since 2013. 14 meetings at least in front of town boards. Countless hours preparing project details and raising money. Thank you for your help thus far. But this is our ask. Give us 30 minutes of time this evening at the Bradford Community Center on 134 East Main St in Bradford. Bring all the members of your home who would use the trail. (Infants to great-grandparents and everyone in between would qualify here.) Its free. Its quick. And this makes a lasting impact.

May 6 – Bagley Bridge re-decking 9:00 AM Start

Time to put a new surface on this bridge.

Time to put a new surface on this bridge.

With thanks to our many donors for their contributions, thanks to the Warner Selectboard for their permission to re-deck the bridge, thanks to our bridge design team and to Cyr Lumber & CWS Fence and Guardrail we are ready to get to work.

Volunteers who want to help build a new wood deck with railings on the truss bridge over the Warner River at Bagley Field in Warner please get in touch with us. BYO tools. I have one generator, could use at least one more. We will be drilling to accommodate 3/4″ diameter Timber Bolts. Some through 15″ of material – so long bits are handy. An additional chop saw and stand could be handy. Lots of wood to toted from place to place. Help for an hour or help all day. Heavy item drop off by Brayside Apartments. Parking at Bagley Field.

Thank you new donors

During January and February we received support from over 11 new donors from NH, CT, and MA. Thank you all for your support of the rail trail.

How much does it cost to build a foot of the trail?  As little as $2/foot if we are just applying stone dust to a clean section of trail.  Costs are higher when we factor in kiosks, gates, signs, benches re-decking bridges or building new trail from scratch in areas where the old railroad grade no longer exists.  We work hard to do as much as we can with volunteer labor and in-kind donations of equipment and materials to keep costs low.  Your help in any amount does make a difference.

Help us take two steps forward with a recurring monthly donation.  At $10.00 per month you help the trail all year long. Your donation would carry the trail forward as much as five feet each month. Please help with your financial support and encourage your friends to do the same.

Ask your employer if they match donations.  Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail is a 501c3 non-profit organization.

Support the Warner Conservation Commission on 4/5/17 as they hold a public hearing to conserve property adjacent to Bagley Field.

Snowshoe tracks at Bagley Field

Snowshoeing on the rail trail at Bagley Feb 20, 2017

A couple of years ago the friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail asked NH Department of Transportation if they would consider declaring a parcel of land in Warner surplus. We thought the parcel would be of keen interest to the Warner Conservation Commission because it borders a long stretch of the Warner River in an area where the Conservation Commission has conserved other parcels. The state has declared the parcel surplus.  The town has negotiated the price down.  The Conservation Commission wants to proceed with the purchase and this meeting is a necessary step in the process.

Please show your support by speaking in favor of the town of Warner purchasing this parcel of land from the state of NH for $7,100 on April 5th at 7:00 PM at Warner Town Hall, 5 East Main St.  Funds to come from the Conservation Fund.

This parcel abuts the town owned Bagley Field property where the town soccer fields are – and where an improved section of rail trail is located. This spring we will be improving the rail trail surface on more of the Bagley Field property and re-decking an iron truss bridge extending the trail to where it meets the parcel being offered to the town.

We believe the value of the parcel being offered to the town is an exceptional value for the community purely from the conservation standpoint of protecting water quality, protecting habitat, and bringing control of the property’s future use into town hands.
In addition, there may come a time when the rail trail may want to cross part of this parcel along the old railroad grade. The old grade is partially on this parcel and partially on land that is within the I-89 corridor. So by itself this parcel is not all that’s needed to extend the trail towards town, but it is a necessary step.
It is our goal for the trail to be an outdoor classroom that connects residents and visitors to the natural environment along the route. We believe the rail trail will provide an ideal platform for inspiring people of all ages to appreciate nature while preserving the natural habitat.