Archive | Area Trails


Saturday August  16 at 8:30. Metting at the depot parking area and walking south to the Lawrence section. About 2 1/2 miles total
Saturday August 23rd 11-8, Marsh Corner Community church Block Party. Come by and enjoy music,games, activities and meet some local groups that make up Methuen.
Saturday September 7th, Nevins Farm Annual Dog walk, Join us as we celebrate the MSCPA nad all things dog
Saturday night, September 7th. Moonlight walk. Join us at 7:30 PM, meeting at the Depot parking and walking the southern section.  Total of 2 1/2 miles and should take about an hour. Bring water and a flashlight. Dress appropriately.
Saturday September 20th.  Essex Heriage Weekend events. The Metheun Rail Trail will be sponsoring a day of events starting with a trail race. The 2 1/2 mile race starts and ends in front of the depot on railroad st. Race time is 8:30 and the race is free, but a $5 donation is requested to help with our ongoing activities. From 10-12 we will be having a scavenger hunt and storyboard for the school age kids. Clues for the hunt can be downloaded from our website www.methuenrailtrailalliance.orgPrizes and small gifts for the chilren will be given out.

Abandoned Lawrence and Manchester Railroad Corridor

This video shows the Rail Corridor for the most part BEFORE development of the Salem and Methuen Sections with some glimpses of the completed northern sections.

This video is about the Lawrence and Manchester Railroad. The Manchester and Lawrence Railroad was a railroad company that was chartered in New Hampshire by businessmen from Manchester, to build a rail line from that city to the Massachusetts state line. The Manchester and Lawrence was chartered in 1847 and opened in November 1849. It leased the newly built Methuen Branch from the Boston and Maine Railroad, which opened in August 1849 and ran from South Lawrence through Methuen to the state line where the two lines met. Methuen Train Depot. The B&M tried to lease the M&L, but the company leased itself to the Concord Railroad in 1850. This still helped the B&M as the railroad opened up a second Manchester to Boston route that helped the B&M compete with the combined Nashua and Lowell and Boston and Lowell Railroads. By 1887, the contract was terminated, and the B&M gained control of the line. In the 20th century, the line was relegated to local freight. Passenger service on the line dropped to one round trip per day until 1953 when regular passenger service ended. Special summer trains ran to Rockingham Park in Salem for the horse races until 1960 when that service stopped. Guilford switcher on the M&L in Salem, New Hampshire, circa 1993. Despite rapid growth in Rockingham County in the 1970s, rail traffic declined. In 1984, Guilford abandoned the line between Salem and Londonderry, and three years later the line in Londonderry to Manchester Airport was abandoned, leaving the line split in two. Service from Manchester down to the airport continued until the mid 1980s when the Manchester segment was taken out of service and freight service between Manchester and the airport had ended. Freight ran from Lawrence through Methuen up to the Salem depot until December 1993. Service from Lawrence to the Rockingham Racetrack run-around sidings continued until March 1999, and all service past the Lawrence/Methuen line ended in June 2001. Today, a small stretch in Lawrence is used as a short freight line that services a customer about once a month. The portion of the line in Massachusetts (Lawrence and Methuen) is currently owned by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) The abandoned roadbed currently serves as a rail trail in Londonderry, Derry and Windham. As of June 2012, 2.5 miles of track remains in place in Salem.


Salem Bike Ped Corridor

If any MRTA members can make it to this meeting
Dave’s group needs our support.
Salem Board of Selectmen’s meeting this coming Monday, October 1, 7:00 pm, at the Salem Town Hall, 33 Geremonty Drive
the sooner they get Iron Horse here, the sooner they will fix what’s wrong with our trail.

——– Original Message ——–
Subject: Friends of Salem Bike-Ped Corridor welcome Iron Horse Preservation Society to town


After years of discussion, planning, paperwork, and meetings, we are at the final approval stage for the Iron Horse Preservation Society (IHPS) to start construction of the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor. You are cordially invited to learn more details about the project and implementation plans at the Salem Board of Selectmen’s meeting this coming Monday, October 1, 7:00 pm, at the Salem Town Hall, 33 Geremonty Drive. Your presence, and with a chance to speak in favor of the project, will help us win the final approval vote for the Town of Salem to sign the contract with IHPS so work can start next week.

The Friends of Salem Bike-Ped Corridor (FSBPC) have been working closely with NH-DOT, the Town of Salem, and IHPS for the past 2.5 years. The FSBPC presentation scheduled for Monday evening will conclude with a $25,000.00 donation to the Town of Salem for initial bike-ped corridor expenses not included in the basic construction work done for free by IHPS. The FSBPC has plans to obtain additional funding from private and corporate donors. No money is to come from Salem taxpayers or the State of NH.

A guest speaker at the Monday meeting will be Joe Hattrup, IHPS Chief Operating Officer / General Manager. Joe is highly involved in all IHPS projects including those just now being completed in Massachusetts. The work planned in Salem is a “first” in New Hampshire and should set a precedent for similar projects in other areas of the state. For more info about IHPS, visit their web site at

Please come, see, hear, and offer your support for the Salem Bike-Ped Corridor project this Monday, October 1, 7:00 pm at the Salem Town Hall. A good representation of supporters will mean a lot as the press and general public will be waiting and watching to see what happens next.

Take care, and I hope to see you Monday evening!

Dave Topham, Co-Chair
Friends of Salem Bike-Ped Corridor

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