PRESIDENTIAL RAIL TRAIL MILEAGES. 27 Aug 2015
Westward from Gorham, NH Rt 2 parking lot (.8 mi. west of Rt 2/16 junction)
Trail starts from north side of lot. [The Trail user may, of course, travel eastward from the Cherry Pond parking lot on Airport Road in Whitefield, or join the trail in either direction wherever PARKING is available.]
Gorham Parking lot to Dolly Copp (Pinkham B) Road in Randolph.
0.6 mi Cross Jimtown Rd
0.7 mi (1.3) Cross under Rt 2 (heading SW)
0.4 mi (1.7) Cross 1st bridge over Moose River
1.6 mi (3.3) Cross 2nd bridge.
Remains of abandoned Mineral Springs factory in woods on north side of bridge. Good picnicking along brook on south side of bridge.
0.4 mi (3.7) Cross 3rd bridge over the Moose R.
1.8 mi (5.5) Cross the Dolly Copp (Pinkham B) Road. Site of former railroad station.
You are now in Randolph. In the section between the 3rd bridge and Dolly Copp Road, in between the forested sections there are some expansive beaver ponds on the north side of the trail, also good views of Mts. Madison and Adams.
Dolly Copp (Pinkham B) Road to Bowman trail head in Randolph.
0.35 mi (5.85) Randolph East trail head.
1.35 mi (7.2) 1918 Historic Pony Truss Bridge over Snyder Brook
Under repair but usable again.
0.15 mi (7.35) Appalachia trail head/parking lot on Rt 2.
Appalachia is a major access point for hiking trails up the up Mts. Madison and Adams. At this point the Rail Trail comes within a few feet of Rt. 2. Appalachia is the site of a former railroad station.
2.5 mi (9.85) Intersection with Lowe’s Path, a major trail up Mt. Adams.
Lowe’s Service Station and Store is located on Rt 2 just north of the intersection, where parking is available for a small fee.
1.0 mi (10.85) Bowman trail head. Located just off Rt. 2.
Another site of a former Randolph railroad station, the Rail Trail intersects the Castle Trail, which gives access to a number of other trails up Mts. Adams and Jefferson. Bowman is the height of land along the Rail Trail. To the east the streams run into the Moose River and then into the Androscoggin. To the west the streams flow into Israel’s River and the Connecticut River drainage.
Bowman to Cherry Pond.
2.0 mi (12.85) The Rail Trail Crosses the Jefferson Notch Road
2.25 mi (15.1) Crosses NH Rt 115
1.5 mi (16.6) Crosses NH Rt 115A
Limited PARKING on edge of road
This section alternates woods with extensive open marshes.
2.1 mi (18.7) Waumbek Junction, Cherry Pond
Cherry Pond is part of the Pondicherry Division of the Silvio Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge (6,405 acres). NH Audubon owns the area around both Cherry and Little Cherry Ponds. The pond and adjacent forests offer great views of the Presidential Range, and habitat for resident animals (turtles, frogs, black bear, moose, white-tailed deer) and migrating birds (over 236 species recorded). There is an observation platform opening off the Rail Trail, offering spacious views of the Pond and surrounding mountains.
Waumbek Junction to Airport Road Trail Head.
There is a 1.5 mi extension of the Rail Trail running SSW from Waumbek Junction on Cherry Pond to a PARKING lot. The lot is located on Airport Road about 1.5 mi after it diverges from NH Rt 115 (about 2 mi west of the Mt. Washington Regional Airport).