City receives grant to extend Merrimack River Greenway Trail

Monitor staff
Published: 11/25/2021 8:00:28 PM
Modified: 11/25/2021 8:00:12 PM

Concord could see the extension of the trail along the Merrimack River between Loudon Road and Terrill Park by the summer of 2023, thanks to a new grant from the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The award, part of a program administered by the National Park Service through state grants, gives Concord $275,000 to construct a new section of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail, according to a press release from the city. Concord must provide funds to match the grant award.

The nonprofit organization Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway Trail will help the city raise money and participate in the permitting and design process along with Bedford civil engineering company VHB.

The city aims to fundraise the match amount by December 2022 so that construction on the trail can begin the following year, Concord Public Information Officer Stefanie Breton said in an email. 

When completed, the trail is slated to span 12.7 miles in Concord from Pembroke to Boscawen. With a rail trail in the top northern section and a riverside trail in the southern part, the paved path is intended to be available for recreational use in every season for bicyclists, pedestrians, skiers and snowshoers. 

“We are very excited to be awarded the grant as it takes us one step closer to having a connected trail along the east side of the Merrimack River from the Manchester Street Bridge to the Loudon Road Bridge,” said David Gill, Concord Parks and Recreation Director, according to the city’s statement. 

The first section of the trail, about 1/3 of a mile long, was completed in 2020 and runs from Manchester Street to Terrill Park. This year, 1,053 people signed a petition to Concord City Council in support of a rail trail. 

More information about the trail project, including maps, can be found on the website of the Friends of the Merrimack River Greenway trail. 

Cassidy Jensen bio photo

Cassidy Jensen has been a reporter at the Monitor, covering the city of Concord and criminal justice, since July 2021. Previously, she was a fellow at the Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism at Columbia University, where she earned a master's degree. Her work has been published in Documented, THE CITY, Washington City Paper and Street Sense Media. When she's not at City Council meetings, you can find her hiking in the White Mountains.

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