The Winnipesaukee River Trail
This is a short post to share a fun hike with my daughter along the beautiful Winnipesaukee River Trail in Franklin. We spent about an hour hiking and exploring this trail as a side adventure to our trip to learn more about the town of Tilton. Winnipesaukee, translated from Abenaki to English, reads “The smile of the great spirit.” Lake Winnipesaukee is on a growing list of things to explore across New Hampshire!
I hope you enjoy the short video and post below. This is my first video using my Corel video editing software which I’m excited to learn and hopefully will allow me more creativity moving forward.
Franklin Paper Mill History
The trailhead to The Winnipesaukee River Trail is in Franklin just across the river as you travel Route 3 from Tilton. You will see the massive flywheel saved from the old Franklin Mills Textile Building. There is a parking area right behind that landmark. The trail is across the road under an impressive railroad trestle.
Like a lot of New Hampshire towns and cities, Franklin has roots in the paper industry. This plaque is located near the train trestle at the start of the trail. Explosions and fire completely destroyed one of the two buildings in 1872.
Like many of the rail trails across New Hampshire, The Winnipesaukee River Trail is plenty wide and very walkable. These trails are such a great resource across the state. The efforts to repurpose old rail lines for recreational purposes create great adventures for hiking, biking, snow sports, and more.
Check out the New Hampshire Rail Trails Coalition for some great information on the network of NH trails.
I made a connection in Manchester that I am excited to meet up with this summer. I have been invited to bike some of their network of rail trails. Since rail lines naturally were interconnected all across the state, they also connect for recreation.
Most trails I have experienced are slow and steady inclines and declines that make for easy walking and biking. It makes sense since the rails were probably routed to allow the least amount of elevation changes for trains.
The Winnipesaukee River
As soon as we got to the river, I found myself wanting to reach for my flyrod! The water looked icy cold and the white water rushing by made it a sweet adventure right away.
We chatted with a Franklin police officer in the parking lot which was really helpful. He explained where to access the trail and what to expect.
They were concerned about a potential kayaker and a kayak that was found floating downriver. As it turned out, we spotted two kayakers early on that were bobbing their way downstream. They were decked in full wetsuits but it still looked fridged to me!
I thought I had captured some GoPro footage but seemed to have flubbed it up because when I got to editing things, it was nowhere to be found.
The Upside Down Covered Bridge
This history about the “Upside Down Covered Bridge” was a nice surprise. See my video and pictures highlighting some of New Hampshire’s covered and stone arch bridges for additional nuggets.
I would have loved to have wandered to the other end where the trail connects with Tilton. Tilton was my next stop to explore for a separate blog post so we turned back. The trail was a little icy so be prepared in the winter.
I can highly recommend exploring this trail if you are looking for things to do in the Lakes Region. New Hampshire is blessed with some amazing rail trails and this one comes with some extra special nuggets.
See my post on Weirs Beach or Plymouth to explore more of the incredible Lakes Region of New Hampshire.
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Until the next post: “Live Free and Explore!”