Interview: NH Rail Trails Coalition

Meet Dave Topham, Director of NH Rail Trails Coalition, and Marianne Borowski, Board Member of NH Rail Trails Coalition

www.nhrtc.org

Our Mission is to promote the development, maintenance and active use of trails constructed on New Hampshire’s railroad corridors.

Our Vision is to build a world class system of rail trails for four season active use in New Hampshire.

Primary Activities: Meet with representatives of Department of Transportation, Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Bureau of Trails, Legislators and others as needed to promote active-use policies for trails.

Plan/Create/Host statewide rail trail meetings to spread knowledge of  progress, techniques and issues.

Interview conducted in January 2021

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Resources:

List of NH Rail Trails  |  NH Rail Trails Challenge  |  NH Rail Trails, Second Edition

GSA Feedback:

“The Rail Trail Coalition shares helpful information and resources on developing and maintaining rail trails.”
 
A GSA found most interesting: “What the coalition does, the ideas regarding lodging near the trails. Suggestions on where to get information regarding the trails.”
 
“I was somewhat aware of NHRTC but this gave me more insight.  Particularly where there is one starting in Concord. It is interesting that they encourage you to do all 44 trails. They have a patch system just like AMC’s 4000 footer club.”
 
“I didn’t realize that there were so many miles finished and connected.”
This summer I discovered rail trails and have done several. After downloading the list, I was surprised to learn that there are many more (52 on the NHRTC list) than the few I walked.”
 
It is nice to know the rail trails are there for people who are less than hiking/mountain climbing athletes.”
 
This was a great interview because it held two different perspectives on the rail trails. It was interesting learning how the coalition came about and the reason why it did. It always helps to have collaboration and sharing while having fun on a project that is appropriate for a variety of people who can enjoy the outdoors in any number of ways. The wonderful ideas from Marianne gave many things to think about while using and enjoying the trails. Thinking of the businesses that can be impacted. A big thank you to each of them.
 
Making more people aware of these would be great for families on a budget to get out and enjoy adventures for free.”
 
Selfishly, as the owner of a new e-bike, I can’t wait to hit these trails that I really didn’t know that much about. What a resource for locals and visitors!