What is the Concord – Lake Sunapee Rail Trail?

The Concord – Lake Sunapee Rail Trail is a plan to build a scenic, family-friendly bike and walking trail that connects the communities along the historic Concord & Claremont Railroad line, from Concord NH through Hopkinton, Warner, Sutton, Bradford & Newbury to the southern tip of Lake Sunapee.

Where is this trail located?

Read about some highlights and view maps.

What’s being done to build the trail?

To test support for the vision of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail we try to build a visible section of trail in each town so residents can experience a rail trail. If there is support we then work to create additional sections of trail. As of the end of 2022 we have trail sections on the ground in Concord, Hopkinton, Warner and Bradford. We have permission from the Town of Sutton to construct trail there. We continue to look for an opportunity in Newbury.

I am really excited about this project – how can I help?

We have many opportunities for people to help move the project forward. If you have talent, time, or equipment you can lend to the effort, we would love to hear from you! Sign up for updates or send us an email and tell us what your interests are. We will get in touch with you to coordinate.

Can I make a monetary donation? Is it tax-deductible?

We welcome and appreciate any and all donations. You can make a tax deductible donation to the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail in many ways.

Please visit our donate page for a complete list.

Which uses are allowed on the trail? Is it open to snowmobiles and ATVs?

The overall vision is a family-friendly trail limited to quiet use, biking and walking, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. Equestrian use and mushing (dogsleds) are also allowed. Category 1 and 2 e-bikes are allowed.

Our easement agreements with private landowners cover the non-motorized modes. We also ask landowners if they would like to allow snowmobiling across their land.  If the landowner wants this and if we can get the snowmobiles onto the property at one end and off at the other we are happy to support them. On the other hand, if a landowner wants only the non-motorized uses we put up gates and leave them closed in the winter. As a result, we have good working relationships with the four snowmobile clubs along our route. Townline Trail Dusters in Concord. Contoocook Snowmads in Hopkinton. Kearsarge Trail Snails in Warner. And the Lake Sunapee Snowmobile Club in Bradford & Newbury.

OHRV/ATV’s and dirt bikes will not be allowed on the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail. Those machines loosen the compacted stone dust surface making it harder for other modes of travel. There is a separate section of the old Concord and Claremont Railroad line called the Sugar River Recreational Trail, which is open to ATVs in Claremont and Newport.