Keene’s Rail Trails


Read the post and watch the video below to learn more about Keene’s fantastic network of rail trails and bike paths! Plan to explore them yourself during your next adventure!


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A Ride Through Keene’s Rail Trails


Keene’s Rail Trails are a tremendous asset to the community. They offer practical transportation alternatives as well as recreation.  I dusted off my mountain bike and decided to get outside this weekend to enjoy the beautiful bike paths we have here in Keene. I went alone and kept a good social distance from everyone along the way.

I boiled my three-hour adventure down to a roughly 13-minute video. I hope it inspires others to find a way to enjoy the outdoors and still maintain distance from one another.

Other than the occasional chipmunk pothole, the trails were in good shape and very ridable. People were out enjoying the trails but very much maintaining a good distance from one another. The trails were by no means packed and it felt safe to be outside and stretching the legs.

The mural behind Antioch and the “Love Locks” both seemed like great messages to share.


Antioch College


Love Locks along Cheshire Rail Trail


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A phone call to Pete and Marcia, my future in-laws, provided the opportunity to say hi to them from below their second-floor window at American House.

Socially distancing hello to Pete and Marcia.

Rail Trail History

The Cheshire Historical Society is a great place to visit and offers a complete lineup of historical literature that explains the importance of rail lines to the region.

Trail System and Maps

Keene is fortunate to have this fantastic trail system. Groups such as Pathways for Keene have worked hard to raise funds to expand and maintain the trails. Bikers, joggers, and pedestrians all use them on a regular basis.

Much of Keene is in a valley which creates some smooth riding all across the city. The trails are a mixture of paved, dirt, and gravel. The further you wander from Keene, the pavement begins to drop off but the trails are still very ridable.

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Appel Way trail over Ashuelot River


During my 3-hour trip, I rode a mixture of Rail Trails and other bike paths within the city. Rail Trail refers to the repurposing of old rail beds used by trains and dedicating them to new trails for recreation. By their nature, they tend to lend themselves to long straight stretches with gradual inclines. The further you travel from Keene, the more challenging some of them become.

A popular spot by Ashuelot Park in Keene


The Cheshire Rail Trail and the Ashuelot Rail Trail are the two primary trails in Keene. The Cheshire Trail can be ridden South through Swanzey, Troy, and Fitzwilliam or North through Westmoreland and Walpole. The Ashuelot Rail Trail can be ridden South through Swanzey, Winchester, and Hinsdale.

Cheshire Rail Trail

This map will give you some idea of the trails throughout New Hampshire. Page 38 of this study done by Keene State students offers a nice map of the trails within Keene.

The “College Trail” through Keene State ended my adventure and brought me back home.

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Keep New Hampshire on your exploration list for when things get back to normal. Small businesses everywhere will need our help! Visit the “Resources” page to search through the links and create your own plan to explore New Hampshire!

Feel free to leave comments or suggestions for additional topics in the space below. Be safe and watch out for one another!

New Hampshire Live Free and Explore!




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