By Julie Huss
---- — LONDONDERRY — The town’s trails are on a roll, thanks to more support from town boards and commissions.
The Heritage Commission was the latest group to offer support to Londonderry Trailways for a plan to create a new trail connecting the Town Common to the existing Northern Orchard Loop of the town’s six miles of trails.
This would provide a woodland connection from the Common to the 3.5-mile Adams Pond trail network.
The Heritage Commission gave its approval for the trail to be located in that historic area of town at its meeting June 13.
Trailways representative Bob Saur told commissioners the new trail would be a welcome addition to the town’s already established trail system.
People enjoying the Town Common for various reasons throughout the year could use this trail as part of their options for recreation and walking.
Donations and support for the work are already coming in, Saur said.
There will be trailside posts to provide information, including maps and trail use rules. The “Orchard Overlook” portion of the new trail will get upgrades, including new benches.
Local Boy Scouts are showing an interest in doing some Eagle Scout projects throughout the trail system.
Many people in town requested that certain trails be linked, including the new trail planned for the Town Common area.
“This is consistent with residents’ request for trails that connect to places,” Trailways supporter Pollyann Winslow said. “When the planning sessions were held to develop the new town Master Plan, there were consistent requests to provide walking paths that link places together. The Town Common Trail is in the heart of the community and links to the Adams Pond Trail and opens up the Town Forest.”
Voters gave the town’s trails a boost in March by approving a petitioned warrant article to spend $227,000 to support paving a portion of the town’s rail trail in North Londonderry, part of an overall project to bring a connected trail system to the region.
The total paving cost will be funded in part by other fundraising and contributions raised by Londonderry Trailways members.
The section to be paved will begin at Sanborn Road and end at Symmes Drive. Paving that stretch will give people a chance to walk, run or use their bikes.
Once the new fiscal year funding is in place July 1, the paving can begin, Trailways supporters say.
There are many volunteers with various talents to thank for their work, Saur said. Residents with engineering backgrounds have been offering help with trail details including proper ways to install trail surface covering, etc.
This all saves the group money.
“We are very fortunate we have some great talent,” Saur said.
He said once the newest section of the trail gets done, the Trailways group will take control of the maintenance and upkeep as other surrounding towns do with their trail systems.
Londonderry’s network is part of a system of trails connecting towns from Salem to Windham, Derry and up to Concord. Trails also run into Massachusetts.
Volunteers continue to help clear sections of trails and prepare for future pavement. Last fall, trail volunteers did a major cleanup of the property, cutting down about 2,000 feet of overgrowth on railroad tracks from Mammoth Road to Little Cohas Brook.
An old section of rail tracks and ties pulled up along the town’s trails will be donated to the Londonderry Historical Museum and will be part of a new proposed exhibit at the Pillsbury Road Morrison House museum.
Having trails which link to the Town Common will enable people to picnic on the Commons and then enjoy a walk in the woods.
“Trailways expects this new trail to be well used,” Winslow said. “Because of the trail’s close proximity to the schools, it may also provide a safe place for cross-country and track athletes to train.”
Saur said the new Town Common portion of the trail will be good for that area of town.
“We hope to have it completed before Old Home Day,” he said.