LONDONDERRY — The first mile of the Londonderry Rail Trail is ready for late autumn hikers and cyclists to take in the area's natural beauty, Londonderry Trailways spokesman Pollyann Winslow said.
The nonprofit group will sponsor a grand-opening celebration on Saturday, Nov. 30, at noon.
The ceremony will take place at the trail head on Sanborn Road, inside the North Elementary School parking lot.
Among the event's guest speakers will be Town Manager Kevin Smith, state Sen. Sharon Carson, project manager Bob Rimol, Londonderry Trailways secretary John Daley and representatives from the state Department of Resources and Economic Development and the Londonderry Commerce and Visitors Center.
The first completed mile of the rail trail runs from Symmes Drive at Exit 5 to Sanborn Road. Work on the project, which was supervised by Londonderry Public Works and Engineering Director Janusz Czyzowski, was done by the Daniel T. Ladd Construction Company of Loudon.
The project, which began in early September, was completed as scheduled by mid-November and came in on budget. Voters at the March Town Meeting approved a warrant article allowing the Londonderry Trailways to privately raise funds for the project.
In late August, the Londonderry Trailways received a $100,000 state Department of Resources and Economic Development Parks and Recreation grant to assist in the project.
Work on the rail trail has been under way for the past several years and once completed, the town will have a 6.3-mile paved path for walking, biking and cross-country skiing on the site of the former Manchester-Lawrence railway corridor.
The state's rail trail system will eventually connect into a 150-mile Granite State Rail Trail that will run from Lebanon to Salem.
"I hope community members will come out to check out the new trail this month," Rimol said. "This is their trail, and we want to thank everyone who made this possible and enjoy celebrating together."
The grand opening will be held rain or shine. For more information on the rail trail project and other trails in Londonderry, visit www.londonderrytrailways.org.