New Hampshire: All Routes

Manchester, NH Running Highlights

Creative Commons. AlexiusHoratius
This is our guide to the best places to run in Manchester, New Hampshire —  the most populous in northern New England. Runners should note winters can be cold and snowy!

Piscataquog Trail/Goffstown Rail Trail

Up to 7 miles one-way (both trails). Start: Merrimack River Park. Info and Map

The Piscataquog Trail is a terrific multi-use trail for running in western Manchester. Starting right near downtown in Merrimack River Park, the mainly wooded, paved trail crosses the river and heads west for 3 miles, passing the Piscataquog River (add-on: trails of Piscataquog River Park). The trail then connects with the Goffstown Rail Trail, a gravel path continuing west for for another 4 miles, ending at Glen Lake near Goffstown.

Dorrs Pond and Stark Park Loop

4.6 mile loop. 187 foot elevation gain. Start: Livingston Park  ROUTE MAP

This is a terrific 4.5 mile loop in Manchester’s north end. Start in Livingston Park and run its fields and paths north to Doors Pond, which has a lovely 0.9 mile gravel ‘nature trail’ around its perimeter. Then head west toward the Merrimack River (R on Clark, R on Elm) to Stark Park, and do a 0.5 mile loop around its grassy lawns and gazebo. Return through the pleasant residential district between Stark Park and Livingston Park.

Rockingham Rail Trail/Lake Massabesic

Up to 28 miles one-way. Flat to Lake Massabesic. Start: Elliot Hospital. ROUTE MAP

This is an extensive multi-use path headed east of downtown. After 3 miles, reach Lake Massabesic, which has its own series of trails that are great for running. The Rockingham Rail Trail continues east for another 25+ miles, roughly paralleling Highway 101 for 15 miles and then heading slightly north to Newfields.

Lake Massabesic has 50 miles of fire roads that are good for trail running. Our favorite sections are out to Rocky Point and Blueberry Point, on the south side of the lake. TRAIL MAP

Derryfield Park & Weston Observatory

2.1 mile and 5 mile race courses. Start: Bridge St., eastern side of Manchester.   TRAIL MAP

Run one of the most challenging cross-country courses in New England! Derryfield Park is a 76 acre park located on Bridge Street on the east side of Manchester. The course runs through the park’s hills and fields, by the Oak Hill Reservoir and up to the Weston Observatory.

Downtown Parks and Merrimack River Paths

~2 mile downtown loop, then up to 3 miles along river paths/roads. Flat.   ROUTE MAP

This is a route incorporating the best of Manchester’s small downtown parks and some paths along the Merrimack River. Start at Victory Park, and then use Chestnut St. to connect Veteran’s Park and the larger Stanton Park, ~ 2 miles. Then take Auburn St. west toward the river, and connect to paths heading south along the Merrimack River, through Merrimack River Park, for ~1 mile. At the 3.4 mile mark, you can continue south on Dunbar/Riverdale for ~1 mile. and then a gravel path along the river for another 1 mile, as far as I-293. Add-On: At Merrimack River Park, take the pedestrian bridge across the river to the Piscataquog Trail (see route above).