Windham Rail Trail Alliance
2011 Annual Report
December 30, 2011
Founded in 2004, the Windham Rail Trail Alliance is dedicated to the development and management of this section of abandoned rail corridor trail as a paved rail trail which is part of the Salem to Concord Rail Trail.
The tremendous news to report was the November
completion of the final 2 miles of pavement of the Derry Rail Trail. The
combination of the 2 trails offer 8 miles of paved trail, at this writing the
longest stretch along an abandoned rail bed in New Hampshire! Users can now ride
from Roulston Rd to Downtown Derry on the premier rail trail in the state. Since
the inception of the WRTA, it has been our vision to set the example and lead
the way in the development of this corridor. Our sincere congratulations to
Derry and in joining us in this goal.
Our 4th annual “Flat n’ Fast” 5k road race was held on Sunday June 12, our first wet day race with 216 participants. The race is now a certified USATF race. Overall winner was Ryan Busby of Derry with a time of 16:40, and women’s winner Heather Searles of Haverhill with a time of 19:10. For the 2012 race, with certification we will offer a bonus cash award for beating the course record.
Approximately 401 hours were spent on maintenance by several individuals on brush cutting, trash removal, cutting downed trees, and the critical chore of clearing the trail and drainage lines of leaves, as well organizational activities. Our general trail clean up day was n May, which we will repeat in 2012. We also recognize and thank those users who contribute in their own way, picking up and keeping the trail clean.
The WRTA sponsored 2 Eagle Scout Troop 266 projects at the Depot. Gregory Samsel designed, and led the construction of a custom bike rack, 2 park benches with landscape preparation along the trail in front of the C16 Caboose. Oliver Lui designed and constructed railing on the back side of the Depot building, matching the original design of the boardwalk fence at the turn of the century. These projects represent numbers 7 and 8 that have benefited the rail trail and Depot.
A somewhat controversial project affecting the trail was the construction of a bridge allowing an access road from Spruce Pond II to Mitchell Pond Rd. Required by both Windham and Derry Planning Boards, the location was chosen as the best alternative to allow such access with minimal impact to the surrounding area and trail. Once all permits were obtained, the work started in early October with the paving re-established in December. With fencing and guard rails in place at the end of the year, the section was re-opened. Additional work will occur in 2012 to provide an access path to Mallard Rd.
For 2012, look for the development of our final half mile starting at Roulston Rd to start in early spring. Planning is underway at the time of this report.
As always, the Windham Rail Trail Alliance is thankful for the support from town officials and accolades from our users. Windham should take pride in that the success of the Windham Rail Trail has spread to neighboring towns, and along with the Derry section puts us on the “national scene”; we remain the exclamation point for rail trail recreation in Windham and New Hampshire!
Mark Samsel, President, Windham Rail Trail Alliance
Copyright © 2012 Windham Rail Trail