Wednesday, October 30, 2019

ORFS Hike Mascoma River portion of the Northern Rail Trail, Enfield NH

The Outdoor Recreation for Seniors, known as ORFS, meet every Tuesday at 10 am year-round. In the summer we kayak, swim and hike. In the fall we hike, and in the winter we snowshoe and cross-country ski. Our trips are from 1-1/2 to 2 hours, followed by lunch.

This Tuesday's hike is in Enfield, NH on the Riverside Drive section of the Northern Rail Trail. The Northern Rail Trail, is a 58-mile multi-use former railroad trail in western New Hampshire, running from Lebanon to Boscawen. It shares the right-of-way of the Boston and Maine Railroad's former Northern Line, which was acquired by the State of New Hampshire in 1996. The ORFS are hiking the Mascoma River portion of the Northern Rail Trail, known on the map as the Riverway Drive Trail or Enfield MP 132. 

The Enfield portion of the trail from our parking area on Riverway follows the Mascoma River upstream to Mascoma Lake, using three bridges to crisscross the River. Barbara is our trip organizer and leader today. The Northern Railroad built this line from Concord to White River Junction, Vermont, in 1847 

The Boston-based investors were one of three groups in a race to connect with a line coming up the Connecticut River valley, and thus on to Quebec. Daniel Webster spoke at the ribbon-cutting in Lebanon, "It is altogether new. The world has seen nothing like it before." Not in attendance - by choice - among the 1,200 at the inauguration of the "steam highway" were any of the Shaker community from nearby Enfield. The Shakers had worked a deal with the railroad to relocate its proposed corridor to the opposite side of Mascoma Lake from their colony, while getting a bridge to its depot. A stock purchase and the naming of a locomotive The Shaker sealed the bargain. In 1887, the company was acquired by the Boston and Maine Railroad. (

Today's fall hike was planned by Phyllis and Barbara, with Barbara leading the hike.

Directions from New London, NH

 Go north on route 89 to exit 17. Turn right at the exit onto Route 4 east toward Enfield and Mascoma Lake. In about ¼ mile take the first left onto Riverside Drive. Go about ½ mile to the parking area on the right. This is the Riverside Drive entry onto the Northern Rail Trail. When you get to the trail take the right-hand direction toward Mascoma Lake. Go as far as you wish, then walk back to the parking area at the start of the hike.


Friends of the Northern Rail Trail


For Information on the ORFS

" Everyone must do something. I believe I will go outdoors with family and friends"

Steve's 6th book is now available. Outdoor Play "Fun 4 Seniors" Volume III has trip preparations, routes, and narratives of bucket list places to go. Motivate friends and family to make the outdoors a key component of their daily life.

Steve’s books are also available as hardcopy and e-Books at Kindle and Morgan Hill Bookstore, New London, NH.

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