Don't you just love the Northern Rail Trail in Merrimack County, wending its way from a cornfield in Boscawen to the Danbury Country Store? Thirty-two miles past a river, two lakes, a pond, and even a covered bridge. And isn't it great that it connects to an equally beautiful portion in Grafton County, all the way to the Connecticut River? Almost sixty miles of bicycling right in your backyard, as long as your backyard is in either Merrimack or Grafton county.
But when you get the annual fund-raising appeal, as you write your check, or donate through your credit card, does it ever cross your mind “What do they use this money for? I thought the trail was finished.”? And while the fundraising letter explains that the trail needs to be maintained, it's hard to visualize the logistics and labor that go into maintaining a year-round recreation trail.
Well, if one picture is worth a thousand words, then one bicycle outing should be worth at least as much. Accordingly, we're organizing the First and Possibly Annual What Are the Friends of the Northern Rail Trail Doing With My Donation? Bike Ride. It's not a fund-raiser (although we never turn down donations). It's a way for us to point out all the things it's so easy to take for granted unless they're not attended to. And for you to ask questions like “Where do the picnic benches come from?”, or “How do you decide where to put gravel?”.
So we're inviting everyone to join us on Saturday, September 22nd at 11:00 AM. Rain or shine. we're going to start at the Potter Place parking area in Andover (milepost 104), and head north for approximately four and a half miles, past Eagle Pond. It's not a race. We'll be stopping at bridges and culverts that suffered from heavy rain damage in the last year. You can bike half as long as you'd like to, and then head back to Potter Place as the spirit moves you. Bring a snack or lunch for a post-ride get-together at the Potter Place Picnic Area.
No RSVP is required. Just show up with your preferred method of non-motorized transportation, and spend some time learning about the trail, and the people who love it.