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Mike Melanson Memorial Rail Trail Tunnel Fund

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We are the Southern New Hampshire Trailblazers snowmobile club located in Kingston NH. We maintain
the local town trails and the Rockingham County Recreational rail trail from Sandown NH to Epping NH
(state corridor 15) and from Epping NH to Candia NH (state corridor 6 and 15).
    This rail trail is the main connector between all of Rockingham county and the rest of the state’s trails. As a volunteer snowmobile club, we maintain and groom this rail trail and take great pride in trying to provide the best trail conditions all year long.
   On the section of rail trail from Epping to Candia there is an old round corrugated culvert pipe tunnel in Raymond NH, (Onway lake road) . As you can see in the images over the course of the winter the tunnel
fills with ice and snow considerably decreasing the height needed to safely ride thru, there have been
several incidents of riders hitting their helmets on the top of the culvert.
   We did close the tunnel once and were granted a temporary by pass thru the abutting landowners property, but that was a onetime use only.
   This culvert needs to be replaced not only for the safety reasons but the groomer must
go down the road and thru a special trail to get to the other side. Going around the culvert and backing up to each end adds 60 minutes to each way while grooming, that’s two hours that we’re wasting not grooming
actual trail. Replacing this culvert with a concrete box tunnel like the one shown above will not only
make winter activities on this trail safer it will also allow bicyclists and equestrians to safely utilize this rail trail year round.
    Because this is a state owned recreation trail it will always be there and this new tunnel will keep this scenic rail trail open for many more generations to enjoy.
The total cost of this project will be around $250K and will only take a week to complete. Unfortunately, the States Bureau of trails has limited funds to work with so we as a Snowmobiling, Hiking, Bicycling,
Horse riding community need to band together and donate whatever we can to help make this new
tunnel a reality and keep this trail open for future generations to enjoy.


Brian Philpott
Kingston, NH

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