Dover Community Trail

New Hampshire

Dover Community Trail Facts

States: New Hampshire
Counties: Strafford
Length: 3.8 miles
Trail end points: Watson Road and Fisher Street
Trail surfaces: Asphalt, Crushed Stone
Trail category: Rail-Trail
ID: 6483895
Trail activities: Bike, Inline Skating, Wheelchair Accessible, Walking, Cross Country Skiing

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Dover Community Trail Description

Dover Community Trail, which will one day stretch 8 miles along the former Newington Branch Railway, is currently half-way complete.

It begins at Fisher Street and heads north, connecting residents in Dover’s southern neighborhoods with the city's Transportation Center, a central hub for buses and trains. As the trail heads west and north from the city center, it travels through a wooded area along the Cocheco River, which is especially scenic in the fall.

As the trail continues its journey paralleling Sixth Street, it passes the Dover Cassily Community Garden, Beckwith Ballfields, and Enterprise Park, an industrial area with several employment centers, making it a viable route for commuting. The trail ends at a trailhead and parking lot on Watson Road.

Future plans call for the trail to head farther south, reaching Bellamy Park and Dover’s high school and middle school.

Parking and Trail Access

Parking is available downtown at the city's Transportation Center (33 Chestnut Street ); look for the free 2-hour parking spaces near the trailhead. (The remainder of the parking lot is metered.)

Northwest of town, parking is also at Beckwith Ballfields (off Hillside Drive), and at the trail’s western terminus on Watson Road.

Dover Community Trail Reviews

We started at the southern end, and the trail was great for a short ride. Then we got to the railroad station parking lot and could not find the rest of the trail. We rode down Forth st to the bridge and there was no trail that we could find. Look like the trail has a lot of potential to run along the river, and the paved short section we rod on was nice. Had a huge sub at Dougs Hoagies across the street from the Railroad station.

Today (Sunday) my companion and I parked at the Watson Rd. end and walked to just past Whittier St. For most of the stretch we felt as though we were walking in the woods. Last night ended three days of rain that totaled three inches. Nevertheless, the trail was entirely passable. Occasionally we had to walk around a small puddle, but, overall, mud was not a problem. The trail was hardback with some gravel sections. The amazingly few people we met were walking or on bicycles. Even parents with a toddler and dog were all walking just fine. No tree roots or rocks. Bicycles would need to have wider than road bike tires with good treads. I wouldn't recommend this part of the trail for wheelchairs. All in all a most enjoyable afternoon.

I use this trail often , its short but ok , except the last time I was there 2 weeks ago and I was disgusted with the litter through out the trail, at one point there were about 20 Dunkin Donut cups littered all over , Beer and Alcohol bottles everywhere We decided to go down the steps to the water , which have never been finished , there is no hand rail and because there was nothing put in place to stop dirt from sliding down onto it it was cover almost unable to use it , would be for a Child , upon getting down there , there were furniture cushions , something that looked like a mattress , and trash every where , but what was worse was the broken glass you could not step with out stepping on it ... I am so disappointed in this and that it is not being taken care of , at that point I turned and left ...


There were tons of free two hour parking spaces which was nice. The trail itself started out very easy to maneuver as I was accompanying my wheelchair bound client. About a mile into the trail, we crossed the road to continue on,(there are several streets you cross to continue onto the trail) and found a very small dirt path that was full of large tree branches and pieces of logs. We could no longer maneuver the path and had to turn around. Around this area finding handicap accessible trails that are longer than a mile is extremely difficult and I have to say I am very disappointed.

Started on the other end off Watson. Wide fairly level path. Not bad for running. Extra work needed to use jogging stroller with suspension. The views are nice!

I live just next door to this trail, so I ride it a lot.
The part that crosses Washington St really needs better signage for cars. It's on a hill, and the painted crosswalk is practically invisible form both directions, so cars rarely stop for pedestrians or bike riders.
Otherwise, it's really nice.
Progress on the remaining parts seems very slow.
The staggered fence makes sense because it connects two active residential driveways.

We biked the paved portion beginning at the rotary trailhead at the train station parking lot. It is nice enough and easy going. On the map just after Washington Street it shows a "staggered fence". When you cross the street it will seem like you are going up someone's driveway for a bit, but it is marked which way to go to keep on the trail, which does jog a bit around a fence. Look for the signs. At the end shown on the map that says Future trail, there is actually a single track trail already in place suitable for mountain bikes or walking for another quarter mile. We checked out the Watson Road access out to the Spaulding Turnpike portion as well. It is just a dirt trail right now, along the river. You could ride a mountain bike, or even a hybrid one. It is muddy after a rain, but otherwise packed down well. It goes under the turnpike but then stops. It picks up again at Whittier street. The future expansion shown on the map isn't quite done yet.

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