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NH inn bike tour takes travelers along rail trail

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Entertainment,Travel

LACONIA, N.H. (AP) — The Lakes Regional Tourism Association has developed an inn-to-inn Bike Tour that takes travelers along the Northern Rail Trail in New Hampshire.

The association and innkeepers have worked on bike routes that combine travel with dinner, shuttle service, bike rental, and scenic locales.

The tour is possible with the completion of the Northern Rail Trail, a 56-mile-long, 13-foot-wide path.

"This new venue for bicyclists connecting the villages and their inns will be a pleasant and safe ride without the hazards of a busy road," said Pecco Beaufays of the Highland lake Inn.

The Northern Rail Trail has been an ongoing restoration project in the state. In 1996, the state acquired 60 miles of the Northern Railroad, one of the longest surviving rail corridors in New Hampshire when it stopped carrying passengers and freight by the early 1970s. The goal was to convert the route into a recreation trail.

Since then, volunteers have worked to remove old rail ties, clean up the area and help secure grants and donations to resurface the route for year-round use. Much of the trail has been completed in western and central New Hampshire.

More information can be found on www.bikethenortherntrial.com, the Lakes Region Tourism Association at 603-286-8008 or the Highland Lake Inn at 603-735-6426.

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