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February
14

New England Trails

Did you know that America's first commercial railway opened in Massachusetts in 1826? Today, railroads take a back seat to airplanes, but their legacy lives on through rail routes that have been repurposed for hiking and biking. During the winter months, these trails make excellent places for snowshoeing and winter biking. Our real estate agents love the incredible perspective on Northern New England found in traveling these amazing rail trails throughout the region.

Northern New England Rail Trails

  • Presidential Rail Trail
    Despite the name, you don't have to be the leader of the United States to use the Presidential Rail Trail. The name actually refers to the stunning Presidential Range of New Hampshire's White Mountains. Birds, beaver ponds, and meadows are frequent sights along the 18-mile span from Gorham to Whitefield. The PRT also connects to the 83-mile Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail for those who want to extend their journey.

  • Cape Cod Rail Trail
    Take in the scenic beauty of one of New England's more iconic areas when you travel the Cape Cod Rail Trail. The 25-mile paved trail passes through six Cape Cod towns, including Yarmouth, Brewster, and Wellfleet, and features several access points to the world-famous Cape Cod National Seashore. Approximately eight miles of trail are located within Nickerson State Park, a popular facility that offers additional wooded trails along with fishing, kayaking, and other outdoor activities. Leashed pets are welcome, so be sure to bring Fido along for the trip.

  • Island Line Trail
    Sometimes referred to as the "sixth Great Lake," Lake Champlain is one of the more stunning and beloved attractions in Vermont. The Island Line Trail is a 14-mile route that starts out along Burlington's waterfront and greenway before literally heading into Lake Champlain. Have your phone ready to capture the Instagram-ready moments along the Colchester Causeway, which extends three miles into the lake. During warm-weather months, a ferry transports hikers and bikers across the 200-foot gap in the causeway, known as "the Cut." In 2020, the Island Line Trail was honored with induction to the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy's Hall of Fame. 

  • Kennebec River Rail Trail
    With its wide and relatively flat paved surface, the dog-friendly Kennebec River Rail Trail is great for families and people who are new to hiking and biking. The trail starts in downtown Augusta's Waterfont Park, a charming greenspace that spans both sides of the Kennebec River. After traversing 6.5 miles along the river, the trail ends in Gardiner, with additional access points in Farmingdale and Hallowell. Many people credit the KRRT for promoting and fostering the close-knit sense of community that exists among the four main towns in the Capital area.

  • Eastern Trail
    Initially, the Eastern Trail was envisioned as a modest off-road trail from Scarborough to Saco in Maine. But as interest snowballed, the project took on greater proportions. Today, the Eastern Trail includes a 22-mile off-road route from South Portland's Bug Light to Kennebunk, as well as an on-road route along quiet country roads. Adding to its significance, the Eastern Trail is one of the favorite segments along the East Coast Greenway, a 3,000-mile trail that spans 15 states from Maine to Florida. 

  • Northern Rail Trail
    At an impressive length of 59 miles, the Northern Rail Trail is the longest rail-trail in New Hampshire. The NRT has gained notice from the Rails-to-Trails Conservancy and Yankee Magazine as one of the top trails in Northern New England and the United States. Available for use during all four seasons, the NRT passes through some of the more picturesque spots in New Hampshire, including Grafton, Canaan, Lebanon, Danbury, and Andover. Danbury Country Store and Highland Lake Inn in East Andover have offered their services as trail hospitality centers, where hikers and bikers can stop for bathroom facilities, trail information, and snacks and beverages for purchase.

  • Montpelier & Wells River Rail Trail
    In addition to incredible natural scenery, the Montpelier & Wells River Rail Trail passes along historical sites that provide a glimpse into Vermont's storied past. Ricker Pond State Park in Groton, which marks the southern end of the trail, was once a working sawmill for more than 50 years. Other points of interest from the railroad days include Lakeside Station, along with Rocky Point and Tin Pan Flag Stops. The 14.5-mile trail passes through Groton State Forest to Marshfield along an easy, family-friendly route. During the summer months, cool off with a refreshing dip off the beach at Lake Groton. 

  • Calais Waterfront Walkway
    It may be a relatively short 1.5 miles in length, but the Calais Waterfront Walkway packs a lot of punch in that space. The path runs alongside the banks of the St. Croix River, providing breathtaking views of St. Stephens, New Brunswick on the other side. One of the trail's highlights is a sculpture named Nexus, one of more than 30 works that comprise a 200-mile-long sculpture trail in coastal Eastern Maine. Watch for bald eagles that are frequently spotted feeding in the area.

Northern New England has a present and future as bright as its past. Contact us at The Masiello Group for answers to all your real estate questions. 

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