LONDONDERRY — The town's trail system continues to grow and expand thanks to support and donations from a local business and its staff.
Londonderry Trailways received a $2,500 donation from Berkshire Hathaway Home Services/Verani Realty to support Phase 5 of the trail system, an extension that will move the system further north.
Rail trail project manager Bob Rimol and Londonderry Trailways members met with members of the Verani family and business staff recently to receive the check to support the project.
Right now, the town's trail system runs down to the Derry line, and up to North School Elementary's parking lot off Sanborn Road.
The next part, Phase 4, is a 3/4-mile segment of trail in North Londonderry that also includes the installation of a pedestrian beacon at the intersection of Route 28 and Sanborn Road. Construction of this phase is funded by Samuel P. Hunt Foundation support and also a town warrant article passed by voters this past March at the polls.
Londonderry Trailways has a long history in town, and not just because of the present paved trail system.
Back in 1999, the non-profit group began working on various trails and spaces around town, gathering volunteer workers to help clean out wooded trails, hiking spaces and other lands where people enjoyed walking.
Rimol said the group wanted to step up and do more and that included making the official rail trail projects happen.
"I started walking down the rail trail (back then)," Rimol said. "Everything was overgrown, there was trash everywhere."
Volunteers started pulling major debris and items from along those rail trail locations — sofas, tires — and the mission to bring a connecting town-wide trail system took off.
The newest donation will help get Phase 5 moving forward, Rimol said. That 1.1 mile portion of the trail system will run from Mammoth Road to Harvey Road, passing through a scenic Little Cohas Brook area.
"That's the section I'm most excited to get done," Rimol said. "It's so beautiful with the Cohas, so much wildlife. "It will be incredible when it's done."
Rimol said the new donation will be used for that phase. In the meantime, he said Phase 4 work will begin hopefully by the end of September.
"This is a very small donation compared to what you've accomplished," said Gianni Verani, who presented the donation to Londonderry Trailways.
He added a portion of the trail can be seen from his office and he noted that many people use the trail for riding bikes, walking or just enjoying family time.
To learn more about Londonderry Trailways or the trail system in Londonderry visit londonderrytrails.org.