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Map 20: East Concord Heritage Trails

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Features

  1. Walking trails
Trail Access
PDF Map | Map 20 Printable Friendly Text

For the urban segments of the Heritage Trail, public parking is located on West Portsmouth Street, and at the NH Technical Institute (NHTI).

The Trails
Hiking travel time: about 2 hours (Map 20 only)
Distance: about 3 miles total (Map 20 only) 

These urban trail segments from West Locke Road to West Portsmouth Street and from Horseshoe Pond to I-393 through the NHTI travel along the Merrimack Riverfront and along pavements and sidewalks, connecting to several other Heritage Trail segments in the area (see Maps 10, 11, 14, 15 & 17). These connections afford a more rural recreational experience and many can be enjoyed by bicycle commuters as an alternative way to travel to work.

Primary Riverfront Uses:

Downtown Concord, NHTI, agricultural lands, Terrill Park, Arena Park, and Sewalls Falls Multi-use Recreation Area.

Trails open to the Public:

Sewalls Falls, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF), Merrill Park, Commercial Street, West Portsmouth Street, NHTI, and Penacook Street in Penacook, with more trails planned.

History
European settlers arrived in 1726 to find Penacook Indians farming the broad, fertile floodplains of the Merrimack River. House lots were laid out along Main Street on a bluff above the interval that was divided into tillage plots. In the 1800’s this agrarian community became the State’s capital, as well as the railroad center of northern New England. The Abbott & Downing Company gave Concord national stature with the manufacturing of the Concord Coach, and Concord granite was quarried (and still is!) and used in prominent buildings throughout the country. Additionally, President Franklin Pierce practiced law here. His home, office, and gravesite are located in and adjacent to the Historic District at the north end of North Main Street.

Much of the floodplain is still used for agricultural purposes. The river valley is framed by steep sandy bluffs to the east of downtown and in the area of West Concord and Penacook. There are a number of oxbow ponds left from the river’s meandering.

SPNHF owns a substantial area of riverfront below the Conservation Center and holds easements on Horseshoe Island. The State of New Hampshire owns land occupied by the NHTI, site of the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, as well as farmlands associated with the State Prison, and the Sewalls Falls Recreation Area. The City of Concord owns Terrill Park and Arena Park as well as conservation lands. Boat ramps are located at the City parks, Sewalls Falls, NHTI, and at a site off West Portsmouth Street maintained by the NH Fish and Game Department.

The Heritage Trail is a proposed 230-mile walking trail from the Massachusetts line to the Canadian border, many miles of which are complete.