Scenic Railriders, Concord
My youngest daughter had suggested we check out the Scenic Railriders as a family adventure so it finally made it to the list as a late Fall destination. Unbeknownst to us, the day we went was actually the last day of their season.
If you’re not sure what the Scenic Railriders is all about, I suggest you go to their website for the best explanation. Check out the Scenic RailRiders video below for a taste of what our outing was like!
They are already booking into 2023 and based on our experience, you might want to take advantage of an early booking! It really was a fun way to top off the pretty fall season in New Hampshire. I hope this post entices you to add it to your NH bucket list of things to do in New Hampshire.
Pre Launch Information
To begin things, we received a brief rundown of how the RailRiders work, how to keep safe, the sites along the way, and the layout of the route. On average, the entire experience lasts approximately 2 hours.
We had a party of six with a two-seater and a four-seater that we opted to have linked together.
The 6.4-mile round-trip takes you through beautiful pastureland, and forest. It also hugs along the Merrimack River and through an old train trestle bridge. Pedaling past a local farm full of cows provides a cheering squad along your journey!
The Southern Leg
The first leg takes you 2.4 miles round trip and provides wooded views and parallels along the Merrimack River. The rail was built in 1846. It isn’t hard to imagine the countless trains that clacked, whistled, and puffed their way across these rails over the years. It is great to see these historical routes repurposed into rail trails and adventures like Scenic Railriders.
At the end of the 1.2-mile trip, you exit the RailRiders and get a chance to stretch your legs and explore the Merrimack River. Meanwhile, the staff is busy reversing the direction of the bikes.
The Northern Leg
Pedaling your way back past the starting point, you cross the road to begin the longer 4-mile round trip portion of the ride. RailRider Staff makes the crossing quick and safe.
The tires are pretty quiet on the tracks, and the clickity-clack of your pedaling adds rhythmic fun to the ride. I tried different angles in the video to capture the noises and views along the way.
You will pass by Morrill Dairy Farm and cows that cheer you along the way! The pasture land is beautiful as well.
Just before getting to the turnstile, you cross over the Merrimack on a train trestle bridge.
At the second turnstile, you can learn about the network of rail trails or stretch your legs for a short walk to the Hannah Duston memorial statue. The park is actually an island in the middle of the Merrimack.
The return trip seemed like the prettiest in my opinion. The sun was beginning to fade behind us and the light seemed softer for pictures and video. Although foliage had peaked 3-4 weeks prior at that point, the colors still were pretty and it seemed like a perfect way to bid fall goodbye and embrace winter just around the corner.
This adventure really was a fun way to explore the countryside of the Merrimack Valley Region. It has been equally amazing exploring and posting adventures across the state. I look forward to building the Merrimack Valley Region page with more stories.
As mentioned previously, you might want to consider booking your own Scenic RailRider trip early next year. The parking lot was full when we arrived! Afterward, perhaps you might like to schedule a trip to beautiful Concord.
For a taste of the capital city, Check out my post on Downtown Concord. There are plenty of shops and restaurants as well as historical sites and of course, it is the heart of the New Hampshire government.
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Until the next post: “Live Free and Explore!”
Really enjoyed watching this. Looks like such a relaxing and enjoyable way to spend a day. Great pictures.
Thank you Aunt Jean! It was their last ride of the season but the foliage still had nice color.