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We started in Nashua, and to our surprise, found out in Ayer that it was the end of the trail. Street parking on Rt. Your Donation Matters We provide hope, health and homes to over 3, animals every year. Sometimes I wish there was a cop on the trail. We parked in Groton off of court street, there were plenty of parking spaces in the dirt lot, not overly busy for a weekend.
Parking and Trail Access
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We did this trail with adults and children. Overall, the trail was great, some spots with bumps and holes that are marked but nothing more than any other rail trails in the area. We did 8 miles round trip leaving Ayer and turning around after ice cream in Pepperell. Mostly flat, straight and shady.
We saw the beaver lodge. Things did get a little smelly where the water became stagnant at the dam in Pepperell. Parking seems plentiful on a Saturday no commuters in Ayer and there are other decent sized lots along the way as alternates if the Ayer lot is full.
Unlike other rail trails closer to Boston, there isn't any small convenience store or Trader Joe's once you leave Ayer until you get to Pepperell. So, make sure you have enough water and have used the Porta-Johns. We saw a few men at different parts of the trail relieving themselves behind trees. I really wish they'd fix the frost heaves. They seriously detract from the ride. As it is, this trail is best done on foot or a mountain bike, slowly.
I had been planning this ride for a while. Given the rave reviews I was full of anticipation. Beautiful day to ride I was stoked; until I hit my first pot hole and I haven't gone a mile. This is a beautiful scenic trail but currently not road bike friendly. Way too many holes and wripples that will jar your back teeth. An attempt has been made to circle, with white paint, many of these damaging front fork land mines.
The wripples have also been highlighted but they are still many surprises. If you ride a road bike take it slow enjoy the scenery and outdoors; mountain bike or regular rider with fatty tires recommended.
I spoke with two inline skaters and they had the same complaint bait they knew where the flat stretches were. Hiking would be best. As a rider I rate this one star. I have ridden a lot of local trails Nashua River is by far the worse path maintenance for cycling. This trail is so peaceful and beautiful. I wish I could do it every day. I prefer the sound of the birds and the wind than listening to music.
People are very polite and it is very clean. I would recommend it to everyone that has a goal in mind while having fun. Arrived at about I ride a hybrid bike, but saw other folks on road bikes, rollerblades, walkers and the most recumbent bike users I've ever seen.
I guess that makes sense, given the long straight sections of this trail. Trail itself was well maintained, with a just a few frost heaves that were well marked with spray paint. The trail passes by a few farms, wetlands and a large lake.
Other than that, really not a lot of scenery. I'll like the trail mostly due to it's length. It's probably the longest paved trail in central MA. One of my favorites so far. Very scenic , shady and it even has a rest stop with a vending machine in dunstable. I enjoyed my excursion more than words can describe.
Trails do not get any better than this! It is flat , smooth and scenic. It even has a rest stop on the Nashua end that a coke machine. My wife doesn't like to ride on the street, so I thought we would try this rail trail.
We got to the Ayer trail head about 11AM on a recent Sunday Not clear if we'd get towed at the Santander Bank. There are other spots to enter, like in Groton or Pepperell. Fairly even trail, although my wife was tiring on the return. Yes, there are some bumps, but they're well marked. At about the mile mark northbound an enterprising person has a Coke machine set up trailside. Unfortunately, there's no signage so you're past it before you realize it's there and legit I think, we didn't stop.
We'll definitely be back, as it's only 30 mins from our house. Should be really nice and more crowded in the fall. There were only 2 small stop sign intersections along the route; otherwise, it was a smooth, beautiful, and uninterrupted ride. We didn't see any beavers, but we did see a well constructed am! I have done this trail at least times. Is it melted yet? Steady amount of traffic; bikers, bladers and walkers although not congested. We even saw two horses! We began our ride from Ayer.
Overall, this was my most favorite trail yet! We will definitely be heading back. I wrote a review called "What trail" a few days ago. I wish to retract that now. As it turned out some misguided folks pointed me in the wrong direction. As you pull into the parking lot, there is a walking trail on the left side. At the far end of the lot is the Rail Trail.
It is paved and runs all the way to Ayer. It is scenic, and extremely flat. There are roots and such along the way as mentioned by others, with white paint to alert you.
They are easy enough to avoid. There are places to stop and rest. The continued fine weather draws me out. Entrance in Nashua , I guess where the trail starts. The trail starts with a very rocky dirt path and various converging paths that head in every direction away from it- that looked the same. There were no markers or directions as to which way the trail went.
Two trucks blocking the trail with men filling the "trail" with dirt confirmed that I was still on the trail. After about 20 minutes of this, including huge mud puddles because it had just rained, I came upon a lovely paved road that passed a school, where I saw other bikers.
This paved road eventually became "Main St. That was the end of the "rail trail" for me. I continued on even though it now contained cars hoping a sign would lead me back to it. Although it was still a beautiful ride, I was so interested in seeing the trail , riding without cars , and I think that there should have been at least little arrows to show a person how to stay on trail.
However, the part of the trail that I was on for 20 minutes was just a rocky path through the woods, more suited to hiking. Next time I will start in Pepperel where there is an actual trail by the river. Trail is lovely, boasting wonderful scenery, ponds and river. Trail goes seamlessly from Ayer into New Hampshire, with relatively few stops needed for cross streets.
Relatively little traffic on the trail, at least this day, and plentiful parking, in Ayer and at various spots along the trail. However, some are so extensive that it is impossible to avoid them --so be prepared for some bone-jarring. Worst section may be a mile south of Pepperell Center. With all of this said, the trail's pluses really do outweigh the minor? Nicely laid out trail in pretty decent condition, although the asphalt surface is marred by a lot of small tree roots trying to push through.
These spots are marked with paint which is great. Or you could call it boring, as there isn't much to see here but trees. Does this trail deseerve 5 stars? No, probably more like , but it certainly deserves more than a one star.
I was here yesterday, August 2. One day after the previous reviewer. There are no weeds across the trail at any point. It was clean and clear just like the other times I have been this year. Yes, the ride can be bumpy. Alot of it is not frost heaves, but tree roots under the asphalt. This trail winds past some backyards in Ayer, but then opens up to fields, marshes, bogs, a pond with a beaver damn.
Most of the time it is a lovely shaded ride, and eventually has you riding along the Nashua River. About 8 miles into the ride, stop and treat yourself to an ice cream or a lime rickey!
Can't wait to go back in the fall, bet the colors are pretty! This is a nice little trail for the area, much less crowded than the Minuteman Trail. Yes, the Cape Rail trail is nice, but unless I am on the Cape, it is not a destination. We have been using this trail for the past few years. But in the last year we have noticed that the trail is not being maintained. The weeds are growing across the trail, there are frost heaves every where which make riding rough. We recently spent time on the Rail Trail on the Cape, which is also maintained by MASS, it has less users on the trail but the trail is maintained very well.
I would give the Cape trail a "A" and the Nashua trail a "F". Shame on the the maintenance company. This trail is wonderful. It travels through wooded areas with a lot of tree cover so you don't get sunburned even if you don't wear sunblock. It is a bit bumpy in spots with buckles in the trail at times.
This could be a marvelous trail; however, when we rode it 2 weeks ago the weeds were growing over the trail and thus narrowing the width of the path. It was not possible to stop on the side of the path because of all the poison ivy growing on the side.
There are lots of holes all circled with paint in the path and several locations where the tree roots have damaged the path.
A lot of TLC is required. All in all it's really a nice ride This is my favorite rail trail. I've been biking this trail for a few years and it has never been crowed.. A few streets to slow down and cross but mostly smooth sailing.
Except for the frost heaves. I would say its a rail trail for everybody. Rode this trail with my brother and a friend on April 12th, and it was awesome!
We saw a beaver dam and even a beaver swimming over to it! There were a couple of parking areas as we rode towards Nashua. As we passed Pepperell and were almost to Groton the trail was covered in snow so we couldn't ride any further.
We will try again in May when hopefully the snow is all melted away! Started in Groton and rode to Nashua and back. Very scenic, well maintained. Some frost heaves along the way to watch for, however tough with all the leaves. Some gentle inclines coming back from Nashua - good workout. I just recently tried this trail.. If you're looking for a great bike path to spend time on, either by yourself or with the company of others, the Nashua River Rail Trail has it all.
From the flat paved pathway to the scenic peek-a-boos that you encounter along the way, this My better half and I made this trip in one hour's time one way. Bring a few dollars with you so you will be able to stop and get some cold refreshments, ice cream or food along the way in the towns of Pepperell or Ayre. So whether you walk, ride, run or roller blade, the Nashua River Rail Trail is something you should consider. Directions to the Nashua end of the bike trail are spot on - too bad there isn't a sign of some sort on ?
We got there around Most of the people using this trail "get it" with trail rules. Nice easy predominately flat trail. We did the trail back and forth in about 2 hours. Thank goodness for the white paint marking the frost heaves - nice job to whoever does that - wish more rail trails would do this.
All in all, one of our best experiences in a rail trail. Partial shade, very clean, bumps are marked with white spray paint alerting you to a rift in the trail. Enjoyed the trail immensely. Unfortunately, didn't find the ice cream stand along the trail, but will definitely visit again! This is the fastest mile rail trail we've ever ridden. We started in Nashua, and to our surprise, found out in Ayer that it was the end of the trail.
We were able to ride it at a great pace, despite several rode crossings. It is very flat and well maintained. There are several large parking lots along the way. By noon, the Nashua lot was full. If you map the Gilson Rd. You can't miss it. This trail is very fun. We saw a fawn on the way to Nashua. There is not much off the trail except in Pepperel where there are a few stores and an ice cream shop. There is also a restaurant. It is pretty easy to bike both ways because it is very flat. There are no road sections and only a few road crossings.
In one of the bridges you go under there are some paintings on one side that you should stop to look at. Though it may seem long it really isn't. It took us a little over 6 hours to do the whole trail from Ayer to Nashua and back to Ayer. This is definitely worth doing. My husband and I rode this for the 1st time last Sunday. A few people that didn't know trail rules but otherwise wonderful ride on our bikes! Mostly shaded with some great views. I went biking here this past Friday.
We started in Nashua. There was a turtle, a snake, and a turkey seen by my husband and I on the path and seen by bikers on our return to Nashua also a bear crossing the path! Such beautiful scenery too. The path Is shaded, quiet, and marked well for bumps in road this time of year.
Rode this on a drizzly weekday, so the trail was not busy. Asphalt is a bit bumpy in spots, but these are well marked.
All in all a good ride. Some sections are pretty scenic and quite fun. I went to this trail 2, 3 times so far. On a nice day, it's a little crowded but availability of dedicated parking lot, quite nice view.
This trail is one of my favs. I've been trying to figure out the mile markers without finding out the description, and still have not gotten.
Plenty of places to park, very few interruptions and only one slightly difficult crossing rt in Pepperell. Don't forget to go a little bit further on the north end to the pond.
For a nice side-trip visit Bancroft Castle in Groton, about a mile off the trail. From the southern terminus travel north up the trail 3 miles to Broad Meadow Rd and turn right. When you get to the on-coming one-way turn right and then a left onto Main St and a quick right onto Lowell Rd.
Look for the trailhead less than half a mile up on the left. It's a little bit of a climb but completely worth it. We were able to get out on one of the first weekends with comfortable weather shortly after the snow had melted. The bike path is a real asset to this area, and was once again an enjoyable outing. The most scenic stretch was from Pepperell to Groton. We turned around just below Groton where the salt marshes are. The southbound stretch from Pepperell to Groton was slightly uphill.
It's still a rail bed, so it's not at all hilly, but just be advised when planning. There was about a two gear difference between the two directions. Roots continue to be an issue. They are marked, but they are a problem in the making. We also wished that there were a few more spots to sit down and take a break.
With younger children, we sometimes need to relax for a few minutes. We stopped for ice cream in Pepperell at the restaurant with a window across the street from the trail.
It tasted like it had been stored since the fall - and was more ice-like than creamy. If you've never ridden it, this is very pleasant because of all the trees, and the nearby rivers; you'll never feel scorched on a hot summer day not to mention an ice cream stand in Pepperell.
There's some up and down but even a beginner should enjoy this ride. We started in Nashua and went as far as Pepperell. It is a paved trail, nice and wide, and very popular. It isn't close to the river initially. The road crossings have good visibility.
I have walked a bit on this trail in Groton as well. Horses are allowed on this trail. It goes through neighborhoods butthere are trees between the houses and trails for the most part. The are a few defects in the pavement and they are marked well so it not a surprise when you go over them.
I liked this trail and will try to go further next time. I've ridden this trail on numerous occasions, and it it is very, very well maintained, scenic and only relatively busy on busy days. Even the few potholes and bumps are spray painted. The parking in Ayer hold about cars, but there are several paring spots along the way although not nearly as large.
This trail was a pleasant surprise. We rode the northern half, and parked at the northernmost trailhead in Nashua. The trail width was ample for two-way traffic, and the road crossings were reasonable. We had difficulty finding the parking area, since information online was not at all consistent. There are no signs until you get to the actual parking lot.
Crowds were reasonable considering this trail is close to Boston. My only complaint is that roots and potholes are really starting to take their toll on this trail. If they let things go much longer, I will have a hard time recommending the trail. I hope they have a plan to resurface in the next couple of years.
We rode this from N. For a weekday I was surprised at the traffic on the trail. Completely asphalt paved, any rough areas painted, making them easy to avoid. Scenery was awesome the entire route. We specialize in health coaching centers combining fitness with weight loss to optimize and promote optimal health.
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