The Mascoma River Greenway

new york bike path, pavedThe Mascoma River Greenway (MRG) will be a 4 mile multi-use pathway starting from the Northern Rail Trail at Spencer Street in downtown Lebanon to Westboro Rail Yard in West Lebanon, extending the Northern Rail Trail from its beginning in southern NH to the Vermont border. The MRG will be the core transportation corridor for bikes and pedestrians through the heart of Lebanon and West Lebanon, connecting Lebanon’s neighborhoods with workplaces, schools, open spaces, shopping areas, a medical center and transit stops.

Trail Clearing Continues!

A team of young women, interns through the Upper Valley Trails Alliance, volunteered to help clear ties from the trail. Heavy work (ties weigh between 160-200 pounds) –  well done! 

Then along came a spider . . . yikes!

There will be another Work Day on September 8th, continuing the job of hauling ties to the landfill.  We will publicize time and meeting place as that day approaches.

Downtown Bridge Decking Accomplished!

Though hot and humid this past weekend, major work was accomplished on the MRG bridge near Mechanic/Mascoma/High St Junction (known as Dysfunction Junction.) Ties were secured to the metal bridge and decking added to create a platform for benches and picnic tables . . . a place to rest, to watch the river and hear the flow.

Securing the ties

Securing the ties

Laying down the decking

Laying down the decking

Not work for the faint of heart!

Not work for the faint of heart!

The MRG Coalition wants to thank all who volunteered: Wes Leuthauser, Timm DuMoulin, JoAnn DuMoulin, Matt Alexander, Kristen Coats, Paul Coats, Doug, Polly Gould, Frank Gould, Todd Caruso, Jose Brandon, Russ Macedo, Andrew Gast-Bray, Ric Desharnais, Danny Micka, Joe Cheevers, and Rowan Gast-Bray. These photos don’t do justice to the scope of the work – all day Saturday until 6pm, and again on Sunday from noon to 9pm. Thanks to all who came to help.

Our new park is not yet ready for the public; railing must be added to the upriver side of the bridge. We’ll let you know when that work is completed.

Decking job done!

Decking job done!

The MRG is continuing to have house parties to raise funds needed as we move down the trail to West Lebanon. We have raised $1.6 million dollars. A 4 to 1 matching pledge challenges us to raise $50,000 from individuals in order to qualify for the $200,000 match. We can use your help through contributions and also by hosting a house party for your neighbors. Co-Chairs Paul and Frank will join you for the evening to inform your friends and neighbors about the MRG.
Please contact to set up a time for your house party.

Are you aware that 52% of residences in Lebanon are within a half mile of the Northern Rail Trail and the MRG? An easily-accessed resource for so many!

Looking for a few skilled carpenters, hosts for Greenway House Parties . . . and financial support!

House Party Hosted By Rainie and Larry Kelly

Neighborhood house party hosted by Rainie and Larry Kelly

Summer has arrived and the Northern Rail Trail is a popular place with folks on foot and on bikes. It is time to complete the final four miles of trail into West Lebanon. It’s been three years since the Mascoma River Greenway Coalition started work on the project: We have raised $1,600,000 toward our goal of $2.2 million — remarkable support. Thank you to all who have given donations, grants, in-kind work, and pledges.

Two weeks ago, we opened our fundraising campaign to the community as a whole, celebrating with a kick-off in Colburn Park on June 7th, and a guided walk down the trail. In the days prior to the walk, rails and ties along the trail were moved aside. We were excited to have many of you join us on that day.

We have planned and enjoyed presenting at neighborhood house parties to promote the Greenway, increasing community awareness and building a base of support. Those at the parties have been generous with their suggestions, time, and pocketbooks. Thank you to all who have donated.

We are seeking others who would host a neighborhood gathering in support of the Greenway. Please contact Rainie Kelly to set up such an event. Paul Coats and I would love to come out to spread our personal enthusiasm for the project, and watch our neighbors’ faces light-up.

As we begin decking and railing work on the Greenway bridges, we need volunteers with experience in carpentry to assure safe work and construction. If you have experience in carpentry and can donate the time and energy, please contact Paul Coats at We are working on the downtown bridge this Friday morning June 27th and most of the day Saturday, perhaps Sunday if necessary. We need 6 qualified volunteers. Thank you for considering.

I would like to offer special thanks for those who have worked on the opening of our public fundraising campaign. Those include: The Guys Band, Tuck Rock DoJo, Donn Cann, Gail Wasson, Laurie Harding, Rainie Kelly, Upper Valley Trails Alliance, Timken, Hypertherm, Geokon, and all the friends who showed up to pull spikes, share stories, escort on the walk, and clear brush. And especially those who brought their checkbooks. You are all incredible.

Frank Gould, Co-chair: Mascoma River Greenway Coalition

Downtown bridge slated for new rails and decking

Downtown bridge slated for new rails and decking

Clearing the Way

Some of the work in creating the MRG is in planning and negotiating, some is in finding the funds . . . and a lot is in hard physical labor. Today was a day of clearing rail plates and joint bars from the section between APD and the Timken bridge area. We are almost finished with that task – one more push will take care of it. Alex and Emma Bryan, Eliza McClellan and Jerry Halstead were with Paul Coats and a 1-ton dump truck from 8:30 to 12:30. Thanks to all who, in so many ways, are helping us move forward!

Photos thanks to Jerry Halstead

National Trails Day – MRG “Quest” 6/7/14

National Trail Days Questers

National Trail Days Questers

Blessed with a beautiful day, MRG supporters gathered in Colburn Park for music, food, and an update on MRG progress, then proceeded, on foot or on bike, to follow the Quest to Mile Marker 140 (Timken Bridge.) At various points along the trail, questers paused to read aloud ” In Quest of a Connection “, written by Frank Gould,  highlighting features and historical info about the area.

“Also, look on the left for a cement whistle post,
the engineer as he approached was supposed
to warn everyone, here comes the choo-choo;
he’d pull the chord, the whistle went ___-___.”

National Trails Day marks the beginning of the public phase of the fundraising campaign. $1.6 million has been raised from local businesses and through grants, cash, pledges and in-kind donations . . .  and now, individual members of the community are being asked to contribute.  A local donor has pledged to match individual donations by a factor of 4 up to $50,000, such that an individual’s $100 donation becomes $500  . . . what great incentive!  Please help us reach our goal of 2.1 million dollars.  To donate see:


Paul Coats explaining that half this bridge will be a travel lane, the other half will become a mini-park with picnic tables, benches, and great views of the Mascoma River.

Entering trail at kiosk on Mechanic Street

Entering trail at kiosk on Mechanic Street

Flowers on the trail (Dames Rocket?)

Flowers on the trail (Dames Rocket?)

The shade was appreciated on this hot day!

Bridge over !nterstate 89

Bridge over Interstate 89

Looking down on Longacres’ greenhouses

The Mascoma River at Mile Marker 140, the end of today’s Quest.

A next step is to repair this bridge over the Mascoma River . . . and provide guard rails!

Thanks to Rainie Kelly for most of these photos.


National Trails Day Celebration – June 7, 2014

June 7 celebration flyer

Jim Wechsler Bike Rodeo

CCBA Basketball Court 10-2:00

Bike Registration, Bike/Helmet Safety Check,

Obstacle Course, Fire Truck/Ambulance Display

Pizza, Snacks, T-Shirts and Prizes

*  *  *

Mascoma River Greenway Celebration

Colburn Park Noon-3:00

*Live Music  * Food  * Info

12:45-1:00 MRG Progress Report

1-3:00 Guided MRG Trail Walk and Quest


Do you remember how it used to look back in June 2013?

Look at it now: Trees, ties, and tracks have been removed, all the way from Slayton Hill Bridge to the Interstate 89 Bridge. More will be moved this week to the mile 140 bridge. Thanks to all volunteers who helped move the ties, tracks, pulled spikes, and collected metal plates. It is encouraging to see this progress!