About Us

The Friends of the Presidential Rail Trail (FPRT) is an informal group, open to all who are interested in preserving the special features of this unique resource. Our goal is to promote cycling, hiking, and wildlife viewing in a serene environment. We help maintain the trail in the snow-free months while making the public more aware of its existence.

The Presidential Rail Trail (PRT) was established in 1997. Its 18-mile length runs from Gorham in the east to Cherry Pond in the west, and is currently administered by the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation. The current permitted uses on the PRT are: hiking, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and mushing.

Throughout much of its length the PRT spans the base of the northern Presidential Mountains, including Mt. Madison, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Jefferson. It passes through the towns of Gorham, Randolph, Jefferson, and Whitefield. In Randolph it includes the headwaters of two pristine river systems, with the Moose River flowing eastward into the Androscoggin’s drainage and Israel’s River flowing westward to the Connecticut. The Moorhen Marsh and Cherry Pond at the western end of the trail offer spectacular panoramas of the Presidential Range. At Cherry Pond there is an accessible trail that ends at a viewing platform.

The rivers and associated wetlands support fishing in season, birding and wildlife observation. Three major trailheads abut and cross the PRT at Bowman, Appalachia, and Randolph East. These attract thousands of hikers to the northern Presidential area each year. In snowless times of the year the Rail Trail itself provides opportunities for quiet recreation throughout its length; in particular it offers bicyclists a respite from the heavytraffic and narrow road on nearby US Rte 2.