The Hippo


Jun 4, 2020








 10 more great runs

As a member of She Runs This Town NH (a non-competitive running club for women that connects on Facebook and whose members meet up for runs all over the state), I posted a comment on the private Facebook group page asking fellow runners to share the routes they love to run the most. Here are 10 of my favorite responses.
“I love starting at Bridge Cafe in Manchester, running across Bridge Street, navigate over to Bremer to Coolidge, out Goffstown Road until Montgomery, right on Bremer until it gets to West Side Arena where I can take the paved section of the Piscataquog Trail back to Manch over behind the ballpark. It’s [a little more than] 6 miles and has flat, some hills, and shaded trail. Plus, finishing at the cafe means post-run smoothies!” — Emily Duane 
“The Londonderry, Derry, Windham rail trail is great. It’s mostly flat and you can run a lot or a little with plenty of coffee shops and restaurants on each end for the end of the run.” — Tasha Ball 
“One of my favorite running places in Nashua is Mine Falls. The most I’ve done in there is 8 miles and that was while exploring trails I wasn’t used to. I found a bridge there on the other side that I never knew existed. It’s more trail running with some pavement, so it’s a 2 in 1 for me. Also, it’s so quiet and peaceful and if you go at the right time you catch the reflections of the trees in the water.” — Carolina Bartholi
“Raymond rail trail. Start at the elementary school trailhead and run toward Candia. Run past Onway Lake and at exactly 4 miles come to a beautiful pond with a little waterfall. My favorite 8-miler. Not too difficult, very mild incline going there, which makes the trip back that much sweeter.” — Sandy Unger
“I am still a beginner and I need flat open surfaces so people can pass! I love the Goffstown rail trail, off of Moose Club! Just past the bridge into Manchester it’s 3 miles, the perfect 5K — it’s wide and flat and either paved or packed dirt! — Ariana Connors
“Scoop Loop: 5 miles starting and ending at The Inside Scoop in Bedford! Enough hills to be challenging and very few busy/main roads. Can’t beat ending with coffee and/or ice cream! The loop starts with a left onto Wallace Road from Inside Scoop, immediate left on Route 101, first right onto Hitching Post Road, go all the way to the end, left on Hardy Road, cross 101, pass Hannaford on left at corner of Jenkins Road, take second left onto Christmas Tree Circle, stay on it as it becomes Arbor Lane and Brick Mill Road, take Brick Mill all the way, left onto Wallace and back to Inside Scoop.” — Catherine Cugell Rombeau 
“I love the Derry/Windham Rail Trail. It’s flat AND paved with enough scenery to make you feel like you’re in nature but not so secluded that you feel unsafe. Plus, there’s the Windham Junction restaurant in between for great breakfast and lunch options!” — Tiffany Begin-Stearns
“10-mile loop around Massabesic Lake!” — Theresa Weber Noble 
“My favorite short route — I call it the Bermuda Triangle: South Mammoth Road to the Backyard Brewery (YUM), then north on South Willow to Sheffield Road back to South Mammoth — it’s really a triangle! It’s about 5K, perfect when I don’t have a lot of time or when I want to do speed work.” — Caryn Dupuis Newhall 
“Tower Hill Pond in Auburn is a 4-mile out and back/loop combo. Great trail running with continuous up and down stretches, though nothing too challenging. Usually see some nice wildlife and never too crowded.” — Julie Whitmore 
— Compiled by Meghan Siegler

5 Great Runs
Routes from the pros, plus 10 local runners’ faves and 60 upcoming races


 Manchester pond loop

Run a loop or 5 and end with an ice cream
The Run: James Porter, president of the Greater Manchester Running Club, recommends the Dorrs Pond Loop at Livingston Park (156 Hooksett Road, Manchester). After entering Livingston Park take your first right and park next to the pond house. Start by running clockwise on the sidewalk over the pond’s drainage bridge and follow the 10-foot-wide dirt path. After 0.6 miles, you can either take a hard right and follow the deck path over the marsh, or you can go straight and climb a small hill. The dirt path reconnects with the main trail in 0.1 miles. Follow the path another 0.3 miles over another deck pathway until you reach the sidewalk again, which will lead you back to the pond house.
Distance:  1.1 miles
Difficulty:  Easy/moderate. “It is mainly flat with a few gentle rises, but since it is a dirt path, there is the occasional rock or root to avoid,” Porter said.
What makes it great: “It is beautiful,” Porter said. “Lots of nature to take in, and in the spring you can see the turtles sunning themselves on the rocks … and the ducks in the river that feeds the pond.” The path also has a few smaller, single-track trails that branch off it. One includes a yoga platform on the right side. Those with “adventure in their heart,” Porter said, can take a left after the pond house and venture off the main trail onto unmarked trails. “Grab an ice cream across the street at the Puritan when you are done,” he said. You can do the loop a few times to really earn that ice cream.
— Angie Sykeny 
An easy Concord jaunt
Flat loop begins and ends at city park
The run: Jeremiah Gould, marketing manager at Runner’s Alley in Concord, said each branch of the store organizes group runs every Thursday at 6 p.m. and Saturday at 8 a.m. One of the easier running routes the store’s Concord branch organized and suggests is the Rollins Park Loop, which begins and ends on the south end of Rollins Park.
The route starts by leaving the parking lot south on Bow Street and turning west to head right on Rockingham Street after about 0.2 miles. Continue west through the intersection of Rockingham and South streets, where it becomes Iron Works Road, just past where Cimo’s South End Deli is located. After another 0.4 miles, turn right on Birch Street, running north for 0.9 miles until you reach Clinton Street. The route then continues northeast on Clinton Street for 1.5 miles until you reach the point intersecting South Street, where Tucker’s is. Cross this intersection onto Broadway, then continue south until you are able to turn right back in to Rollins Park.
Distance: 3.2 miles
Difficulty level: Easy
What makes it great: Gould said the route is a nice easy loop that stays flat, while still having plenty to offer.
“You get some nature, some of the vibrant south end bustle, and there are plenty of sidewalks during the busier stretches of road,” he said.
— Matt Ingersoll 
Queen City trail
See birds, jump off a bridge or just run
The Run: The Piscataquog River Trail (park at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, 1 Line Drive, Manchester) is also recommended by James Porter, president of the Greater Manchester Running Club. The paved 10-foot-wide trail connects the baseball stadium to the Goffstown Rail Trail. Follow the river path to the right of the main entrance of the stadium south for 0.2 miles. Take a left and climb a moderate hill to the foot bridge that crosses the Merrimack River. Follow the path straight for 0.5 miles to the Second Street crossing, where there is a crosswalk light you can activate to cross safely. Follow for another 1.5 miles to the West Side Ice Arena. Turn around and retrace your steps back to the stadium. 
Distance: 5 miles. To extend the route, cross the bridge after the West Side Ice Arena and continue straight onto the dirt Goffstown Rail Trail, which extends for another 5.5 miles. 
Difficulty: Easy/moderate. Porter said there is only one hill to get up to the river. 
What makes it great: “It has great views of the river and downtown,” Porter said. Runners pass numerous recreational fields as well as a birdhouse sanctuary. “People may or may not jump off the bridge and do a cannonball run in the summer to cool off on a hot summer day,” he said. 
— Angie Sykeny 
Nashua loop
Hills, flats and some nice scenery
The run: Beth Whipple, a manager at Fleet Feet Sports in Nashua and board member of the Gate City Striders, organizes local routes for people training to run 5Ks, half-marathons and marathons. One route of about medium length and difficulty she constructed begins and ends outside the store at 4 Coliseum Ave. in Nashua. 
The route picks up on Broad Street by looping around on Gusabel Avenue, then continues east on the Broad Street Parkway. 
“It’s a big downhill, then goes into the mill area and through the Clocktower Place,” Whipple said. “Then it goes out to Factory Street, and takes a left onto Main Street.”
From Main Street, the route continues north for about four blocks until you reach the fork where Amherst and Concord streets intersect. Whipple said you bear right and take the gradual uphill on Concord Street and eventually through Greeley Park before taking a left on Hills Ferry Road. The run will continue through some residential neighborhoods crossing over first Manchester and then Watson streets before eventually bringing you out to Amherst Street. From there, turning on Troy Street, then Pinehill Avenue and then Sullivan Street will take you back to Broad Street going back toward the store, looped back to where you came from. 
Distance: 7.2 miles
Difficulty level: Medium
What makes it great: According to Whipple, the route contains sidewalks almost in its entirely, and features a relatively flat terrain with minimal turns.
“It’s got a nice mix of hills and flats, so people can recover,” she said. “It’s also got some quiet areas and some nice scenery as well to keep people distracted. I think people prefer a looped course, just because it’s easier to keep focused knowing that you’re going to come back the same way. … We try to keep it pretty straight so people don’t have to worry about getting lost.”
— Matt Ingersoll 
Capital City trail run
From orchard to Audubon
The run: Concord residents Mike Schowalter and Katharine Woodman-Maynard manage a trail running group, which meets at a different trail in the Capital City every Wednesday at 6 p.m. The group met for its first run of the season on May 2 and will continue to meet at trails usually through October, according to Woodman-Maynard.
One of the more easily accessible routes they recommend is the West End Farm trail; the seven-mile route connects Carter Hill Orchard on one end to the New Hampshire Audubon Center on the other, but also connects many intersecting routes with other trails along the way.
“It goes through a variety of terrains through the woods, and along some rivers and marshes,” Woodman-Maynard said.
The trail can be run from either end, with parking available at both end points, and is specifically marked all along the way, also passing Rossview Farm and Dimond Hill Farm.
“There are some really nice views at Carter Hill Orchard. There’s a raptor tower you can see, and then there’s donuts and apple picking in the fall, so it’s a cool place to go,” Woodman-Maynard said.
From Carter Hill Orchard, the West End Farm trail continues south for about two miles to District No. 5 road, then for 1.45 miles to Currier Road, 0.8 miles to Hopkinton Road, 1.5 miles to the Interstate 89 underpass, and 1.45 miles to Silk Farm Road before reaching the Audubon. A few connectors along the way can also bring you to Swope Park, Winant Park and other nearby destinations.
Distance: 7.25 miles 
Difficulty level: Medium
What makes it great: Woodman-Maynard said of the dozens of miles of trails available for running in Concord, the West End Farm trail is one of the easiest trails to follow because it is well-marked, mostly flat and relatively linear.
“It’s probably the one people would be most comfortable with,” she said. “It’s a good one for new trail runners because it’s marked very specifically.”
— Matt Ingersoll

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