Warner Project News

Rail Trail at Bagley Fields built in 2014.

Our first section of Rail Trail continues to see daily use 5 years after opening. That 1/2 mile section was lengthened to 8/10 of a mile in 2017 with a project that included the re-decking of a 100′ bridge over the Warner River. Read about Surplus Land Requests below to learn how this trail section may grow again.

Warner Story Walk on the Depot St to Joppa Rd section.

July Story: “The Adventures of Largo & Shelby”  by Joanne Randall.
June Story: “Summertime in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder.
May Story: “School Lunch” by True Kelley
April Story: “In the Wild” by David Elliott
February Story: “Good Morning Snowplow” by Deb Bruss
October Story: “Flashlight Night” by Matt Esenwine
For the latest Pillsbury Library News for kids see this page at the Pillsbury Free Library Website.

In the summer of 2018, Eagle Scout Alex Swanson approached the Pillsubry Free Library to ask if they would welcome a story walk starting at the library and extending along the rail trail from Depot St toward the covered bridge at Joppa Rd.  Alex rose to the challenge of working with the Library, the board of Jim Mitchell Park, and the board of the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail so the project would be in just the right locations.  The walk opened October 5th, with a large crowd of attendees of all ages joining Alex and team for a Flashlight Night walk led by local author Matt Forrest Esenwine.

In the summer of 2018, Eagle Scout Alex Swanson approached the Pillsubry Free Library to ask if they would welcome a story walk starting at the library and extending along the rail trail from Depot St toward the covered bridge at Joppa Rd.  Alex rose to the challenge of working with the Library, the board of Jim Mitchell Park, and the board of the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail so the project would be in just the right locations.  The walk opened October 5th, with a large crowd of attendees of all ages joining Alex and team for a Flashlight Night walk led by local author Matt Forrest Esenwine.

Matt Essenwine reading pages from his book Flashnight Light.
Matt Esenwine reading pages from his book Flashlight Night.
Story Walk Ribbon Cutting
Story Walk Ribbon Cutting L to R: Tim Blagden, Friends of CLSRT; Sue Mattot, Pillsbury Children’s Librarian; Alex Swanson, Eagle Scout; Matt Esenwine, Local Author
Image of some of the crowd and the trail.
Snowshoer enjoying Good Morning, Snowplow!
Spring poetry appeals to everyone.

In February, the story walk shifted to a Winter theme with the addition of Deborah Bruss’s, Good Morning, Snowplow! 

With the coming of spring, a collection of spring themed poetry brought out a few surprising readers.

NHDOT Surplus Land Requests

As the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail looked at the potential route of the trail we noticed several pieces of land that were owned by NH Department of Transportation.  These had been acquired during various road building projects including the building of Route 103 and Insterstate 89.

In the summer or fall of 2014 discussions started with NH Dept of Transportation, The Warner Town Administrator, and the Warner Conservation Commission to see if certain parcels could be declared surplus.  These parcels offered both significant conservation value as they were adjacent to the Warner River and they were of interest to FCLSRT because they either contained some old railroad grade or because they offered a potential practical alternative route or another benefit to the trail, such as space for parking.

One parcel, Warner Map 7 Lot 1, a 9 acre land locked parcel was declared surplus and the conservation commission moved forward to acquire.  But a closer look revealed the railroad grade, which is within the parcel boundary at the eastern end, drifts outside the parcel boundary.  As a result FCLSRT members along with the Warner Conservation Commission members met with representatives of both NHDOT and Federal Highway Administration to request a boundary adjustment of the Interstate 89 right of way.  As of May 2019 it appears the boundary of the interstate will be altered and the additional sliver of land will be declared surplus so it can ultimately come into possession by the town or FCLSRT.  There are still many steps to complete but so far this is heading towards a favorable outcome.

When parcel 7-1 and the sliver of land next to it are in town hands, FCLSRT will launch a project to extend the trail at Bagley up towards Exit 8.

136 & 174 East Main

The town owned parcel at 136 East Main (Map 29 Lot 1) contains railroad grade.  It is also of interest to Warner Parks & Recreation and to the Warner Village Water District.  In April of 2019 the Town of Warner granted an easement to the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail over the railroad grade portion of the lot. This enables future rail trail development.

The owners of the lot abutting to the east of the town owned lot, 174 East Main, granted an easement to the Friends of the Concord-Lake Sunapee Rail Trail to build and maintain a trail on the former railroad grade and space for parking next to Route 103 along with a path down to the railroad grade. This parcel borders Interstate 89 at a location where a future trail may link the trail at Bagley Fields with the trail in the village.

Another request, initiated at about the same time in 2014, was for Map 16 Lot 24.  This parcel borders the Warner River at a spot with excellent rapids and fishing just a bit downstream from Laing Bridge Lane. Old Route 103 runs right along the edge of the river on this parcel.  This parcel has been declared surplus and the Warner Conservation Commission will be moving forward with the purchase.  Restrictions coming with the property require it be open to the public.