NH Heritage Trail Program
Trail Beginnings...Since 1988 the New Hampshire Heritage Trail has been supported by the Governor and endorsed by the State Legislature. The trail is becoming a reality in some communities and a long-term goal in others. The New Hampshire Conservation Corps constructed 10 miles of trail in Franconia Notch State Park. In 1990 the cities and towns of Bethlehem, Manchester, and Nashua dedicated Heritage Trail segments. Many other cities and towns along the route have active Heritage Trail committees now planning future segments for their communities.
Where Is The Heritage Trail? What Uses Will It Support?A preliminary corridor has been chosen running north from Massachusetts along the Merrimack River to Franklin where it joins the Pemigewasset River and goes through Franconia Notch to Lancaster, then follows the Connecticut River to Canada. Trail use will be as diverse as the landscapes and communities involved. Hiking will take place throughout the trail, but some communities may choose to expand the idea by including activities such as natural and historical interpretation, bicycling, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
Trail Development...The communities along the trail corridor play the most important role in developing the Heritage Trail. Communities design, build and maintain local Heritage Trail segments. The success of the Heritage Trail depends on the interest and support of these communities and the involvement of local citizens. Overall trail development is guided by the statewide Heritage Trail Advisory Committee in cooperation with the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.
Assistance to communities has also been provided and coordinated by public/private partnerships consisting of the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation, the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and the National Park Service's Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program. Support for Heritage Trail projects also comes from the Student Conservation Association, which administers the New Hampshire Conservation Corps.
Starting Your Community Into Action...Full realization of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail will require the involvement of all communities along the rivers. Initial action can begin in a variety of ways: through individual citizens, town planning boards, schools, and local conservation commissions to name a few. To start your community into action today, contact the New Hampshire Heritage Trail Advisory through the Division of Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Trails, PO BOX 1856, Concord, N.H. 03302-1856; (603)-271-3254.