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Cotton Valley Rail Trail

Easy/Intermediate
 4.3 (6)

Enjoy access to beaches and lakeside views right from downtown Wolfeboro.


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Map Key

11.6

Miles

18.7

KM

100%

Runnable

667' 203 m

High

509' 155 m

Low

234' 71 m

Up

143' 44 m

Down

1%

Avg Grade (0°)

3%

Max Grade (2°)

Dogs Unknown

Features Fall Colors · Lake · River/Creek · Swimming · Views · Wildlife

Be wary when crossing the train tracks, especially after rain.

Runner Notes

Perfect for a short jog, or a long run. This rail trail has something for everyone.

Description

Starting from the old rail station in Wolfeboro, NH this rail trail makes its way to Cotton Valley Road. If you're looking for a little more adventure, and are willing to run on unmaintained singletrack, the tracks do continue all the way to Route 16 in Wakefield, NH.

From Depot Street in Wolfeboro, the trail heads northeast along Back Bay to the north, and Foss Field to the east. There are benches perfect for watching the many water ski competitions that take place on this body of water.

Beyond Back Bay, the trail crosses Route 28 (caution!) and then the Crescent Lake Causeway and worth Causeways. These are certainly two of the rail trail's highlights and provide amazing views of the lakes and beyond.

From the Lake Wentworth Causeway, the trail passes Albee Beach, a local favorite, and eventually reaches Fernald Crossing. Be wary crossing the street here as this is a busy road. From Fernald Crossing the trail feels deeply set in the woods, and is nicely shaded (in Summer) throughout.

From here, the trail is pretty straightforward. It passes a few nice water features, notably a pond at mile 5.85 that has some great fishing... From here it's a straight shot all the way to Cotton Valley Road.

This longer, contiguous trail was completed in 2014. Keep an ear to the ground with regards to future expansions.

History:
This is one of only three trails under Dept. of Resources and Economic Development (DRED) management that have rails intact and are used recreationally by local rail car clubs, so don't be alarmed when you hear a train coming!

Flora & Fauna

Flora: White Birch, Cattail, Mullein, Willow, Birch Polypore, White Pine, Eastern Hemlock, Oak, Wintergreen, Sugar Maple, Beech, False Turkey Tail, Trailing Arbutus, Juniper, Privet, Northern White Cedar, Staghorn Sumac, Bittersweet, Pussy Willow, Sweetfern, Burning-Bush, Multiflora Rose, Leatherleaf, Staggerbush, Huckleberry, Partridgeberry, Wild Raisin (Viburnum), Red Osier Dogwood, Rhodora, Blueberry, Japanese Barberry, Clover, Evening-Primrose, Fertile Fern, Sphagnum Moss, Rock Polypody, Rock Tripe.

Fauna: Geese, Merganser, Redwing Blackbirds, Woodpecker, Mussels, Gray Squirrel, Robins, Chipmunk, Mallards, Crow, Beaver (dam, gnaw-marks), Chickadee, Titmouse, Deer (tracks), Coyote (scat).

Contacts

Shared By:

Tom Robson

Trail Ratings

  4.3 from 6 votes

#7447

Overall
  4.3 from 6 votes
5 Star
33%
4 Star
67%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
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1 Star
0%
Trail Rankings

#168

in New Hampshire

#7,447

Overall
24 Views Last Month
5,621 Since Jul 8, 2015
Easy/Intermediate

60%
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Photos

Duck family enters the water
Jul 14, 2015 near Wolfeboro, NH
The wide open rail trail is nearly empty on weekdays.
Jul 14, 2015 near Wolfeboro, NH
A nice spot for a picnic or fishing along the rail trail.
Jul 14, 2015 near Ossipee, NH
Near the southern end of the trail along the water are some beautiful rock outcroppings.
Apr 1, 2017 near Wolfeboro, NH
The forest cover goes on for miles on this easy rolling trail.
Jul 13, 2015 near Wolfeboro, NH
Cotton Valley Rail Trail.
Jul 14, 2015 near Wolfeboro, NH

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Check-Ins

Aug 17, 2020
Matt Hudson
Old rail line. Starts with gravel and turns to hard pack couple miles in. Extremely flat. Nice views of local lakes.
May 3, 2020
Max Estêvão
Absolutely beautiful. Really flat, really well-maintained. 4.5mi