Take a hike at the NH Trail Expo

MILFORD – Charles Martin knows a lot about New Hampshire’s rail trails – those walking, biking, horseback-riding paths that were once railroad beds and date from the mid-1800s.

In fact, he’s written the book on them.

Martin has been involved in the development of these trails for several years and his book, “New Hampshire Rail Trails,” provides information on the state’s 35 rail trails.

Martin and representatives of five or six area trails will be at the Trail Expo on Sunday, May 17, from noon-5 p.m. at the Hampshire Hills Sports and Fitness Club.

“One of the nice things about rail trails is you can get out and not worry about traffic,” Martin said recently.

Martin and friends are only one of the featured presentations at this free, family-friendly event. Fritz Wetherbee will talk about “Haunting in Monson,” a vanished town in the Milford area; Marcia Wilson, of “Eyes on Owls,” will bring some of her charges for a live demonstration; Andres Institute of Art in Brookline will present an overview of the sculpture park; and Granite State Chapter Delta Waterfowl will provide duck information.

There are also several dozen exhibits from area conservation commissions, snowmobile clubs, local land trusts, wildlife associations and environmental organizations. The event is sponsored by the Milford Conservation Commission.

Martin said representatives will provide information about the local area trails including those in Mason, Brookline and Milford. He will be talking about the trails in general, the N.H. Rail Trails Alliance, and the northern part of the state.

Martin got interested in developing the trails while he lived in Massachusetts and continued with that interest after moving to the New London area in 2005. He spent three years collecting the information in his book. After it came out, he said, he attended a meeting of the Trails Alliance, a group that has come together to “provide better marketing and more clout with the Legislature.”

Jessie Salisbury can be reached at 654-9704 or jessies@tellink.net.