Category Archives: Visioning the Future

Lebanon’s Walk Bike Ride News

Walk Bike Ride Leb News

As more residents and visitors elect to walk and bike around the city, Lebanon is committed to making our streets safe and inviting for non-motorized users. The purpose of the Walk, Bike, Ride Leb (WBRL) Plan is to create a safe, comfortable, and connected walking and bicycling network in the City of Lebanon, including connections to public transportation. The WBRL Plan is founded on a review of existing data and plans, and the incorporation of diverse public input. It identifies the community’s highest priority multimodal improvements. Now near completion, the final draft of the WBRL plan is poised as a key tool to inform how walking and bicycling improvements are factored into City budgets and Capital Improvements Programs, which grant opportunities are pursued, and how new and existing developments can be connected to the walking and bicycling network.

To provide comments on the WBRL Plan, email or attend one of the following public meetings where the plan will be considered for endorsement and adoption. Full meeting details will be available at

  • 6:30pm May 22, 2023 – Planning Board
  • 7:00pm June 7, 2023 – City Council

How Far We Have Come! Next Steps?

MRG Clearing Effort – Summer 2013

Do you remember how the Greenway looked ten years ago? There was a vision:

“The Mascoma River Greenway (MRG) will be a 4 mile multi-use separated pathway starting from the current terminus of the Northern Rail Trail at Spencer Street in downtown Lebanon, NH to West Lebanon’s Rt. 12-A and Seminary Hill, extending the Northern Rail Trail from its beginning in southern NH. 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, restaurants, a medical center and transit stops.”

Did we fully appreciate how many steps there would be along the way? So much problem-solving! Negotiations with the State of NH and the railroads, fundraising, access points, parking, maps, benches, kiosks, bridge reconstruction, erosion control, tunnel redevelopment, collapse of the Iron Horse Park plans that would facilitate reaching West Lebanon.

It has taken huge effort on the part of many people (browse through this blogsite to see some of that effort), including lots of volunteer energy to get us where we are today. And there is lots of energy building, in West Lebanon in particular, to complete and expand the vision. Last October, a host of volunteers turned out for the clean-up and revitalization of the Bridge Street area – a new park which now has picnic tables, story signs, and many more trees and plantings. (See Photos and Lebanon Times article on the event.) And then take a look at an expanded vision of developing the Westboro Yards Waterfront Park and connecting the trail to downtown West Lebanon, to Vermont, to Boston Lot and beyond. You can join the mailing list at that expanded vision site and follow the progress . . . and maybe join in the effort? Lots of other resources available at that site.

Here is the text of Cindy Heath’s tribute to the MRG founders and supporters at the official Opening Day of the MRG in 2018.

Walk, Bike, Ride, Leb: Online Survey

Over the years, progress has been made toward improving the safety and comfort of walking and bicycling in the City of Lebanon. Some notable achievements include the construction of the Mascoma River Greenway, improved pedestrian safety along the Miracle Mile, addition of sidewalks, and the adoption of a Complete Streets policy

However, Lebanon has never had a comprehensive, citywide plan for walking and bicycling. Once completed, this plan will identify specific actions that the City can take to develop a safecomfortable, and connected walking and bicycling network, including connections to public transportation services. 

The plan will inform how walking and bicycling improvements factor into future City budgets and Capital Improvements Programs, which grant opportunities are pursued, and how new and existing developments can be connected into the walking and bicycling network. Taking a City-wide approach will help identify the highest-priority improvements that can be achieved with limited resources and funding.

Walk, Bike, Ride Leb – Online Survey

What would help you and others to get around Lebanon by foot, bike and bus more often–and with less stress? Take a visual stroll with us through the Walk, Bike, Ride Leb plan’s themes and take a brief survey to share your thoughts with the City of Lebanon decision-makers. Access the Public Input Portal here.

 Learn more at  

Mascoma River Greenway Survey Results

The Upper Valley Lake Sunapee Regional Planning Commission (UVLSRPC) has finished compiling and analyzing the data for the Mascoma River Greenway. Survey results are hosted here at Many thanks to Colin Smith for his work on the dashboard. #railtotrail #MRG #railstotrails #railstotrailsconservancy #connectlebtowestleb 

MRG Survey results for data including rail trail data for the MRG.

MRG Survey Deadline: Sunday, July 12, 2020

Thanks to all who have responded to the MRG Survey.  If we haven’t already heard from you, there is still time. The survey deadline is Sunday July 12, 2020.

The survey is now closed – thanks to all who responded!

We’d like to hear from you!

Image-1 - 2020-07-08T204805.241

We want to your hear about your experiences using the Mascoma River Greenway. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts. The survey can be accessed here:

Survey now closed – thanks to all who responded!



NH Rail Trail Economic Impact Study Survey (Due April 15, 2020)

The State of New Hampshire owns almost 500 miles of rail trails, which are an asset to the State’s growing recreation and nature based economy.  In preparation for a State Rail Trail Plan, the NH Department of Transportation and its partners are surveying trail users to learn how rail trail use impacts our local economy. While there are no rewards for participating, please know that your input is vital to planning for the future of rail trails in New Hampshire.  The 5 minute survey is open for 1 week, until April 15th.  Click the link below to begin the survey.

Tunnel Restoration Project Presentation


Current plans for the renovation of the tunnel and the Lebanon Mall were presented this evening, with construction beginning Spring 2020. We are making our way toward connecting the MRG to the Northern Rail Trail. You can see illustrations of the redesign of the mall and what the interior of the tunnel will look like at  (You may find the most useful photos toward the end of the presentation.)


(Note the skylight which will bring natural daylight into the tunnel.)



MRG Video

Spikes and Other Salvaged Materials

As we work our way westward, removing ties, plates, spikes, and rails, we are collecting materials that could one day be part of an art installation on the MRG. Here are spikes collected by volunteers on the “Day of Caring”, September 11. (Thanks to Russel Hirschler for the photo)


What might they become? A few examples of spike art:

“Ridin’ the Rails to Rockland,” a sphere sculpture consisting of railroad spikes -Rockland, Maine

“Ridin’ the Rails to Rockland,” a sphere sculpture consisting of railroad spikes -Rockland, Maine

"Spike" - Bear welded from 575 rusty, used, bent railroad spikes

“Spike” – Bear welded from 575 rusty, used, bent railroad spikes

"Iron Horse"- what steam engines were once called

“Iron Horse” (steam locomotives were once called “iron horses”)

There are, however, a few projects to be accomplished before installing art on the trail .  .  .  Next steps, planned for this Fall, are completion of the downtown bridge over the Mascoma River (behind Goss-Logan Insurance) and installation of safety rails on the bridge over I-89. The good news is that Paul Coats has discovered a technique for safely removing the lead paint so rails can be installed. Other good news is that on Tuesday, October 20, at 6:30 at the Senior Center, there will be a public meeting to plan a new vision for downtown Lebanon. How will the Northern Rail Trail link to the MRG?  We are hoping that  link will be part of the vision. Will you be there?