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Due to the Public Health Emergency, SWRPC's physical offices are closed to the public.  We remain available via telephone and email.  Please call us at 603-357-0557 or click the "About", "Contact Staff" tab located in the upper left of this screen for a list of staff email addresses. 
Stay safe.  Stay well.

COVID-19 Resources Page

Link to Downloadable Posters

Age-Focused Planning Initiative

Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail: A Pilot Project

Monadnock Vital Economies

RFP:  Website Update

2020 Data Collection Internship

Highlights Newsletter

March 2020

Highlights Archive


SWRPC Meetings

None Scheduled


Other Meetings

April 15

The Monadnock Alliance

for Sustainable


Steering Committee

will meet at 3:30 p.m. 

To join  the Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 297 720 212

Password: 690632

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,297720212# US

Dial by your location

+1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

+1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)      

Meeting ID: 297 720 212

Password: 690632

For more information please

contact Henry Underwood of

SWRPC staff.

April 21

The Monadnock Regional

Coordinating Council

For Community

Transportation will meet

at a time TBD.  For more

information please contact

Todd Horner of SWRPC staff.


Items of Interest

The Regional Public Involvement Plan for Southwest New Hampshire has been adopted and released. To view the plan, please click here.

For NH planning events, see the NH Office of Strategic Initiatives Events Calendar.

Discover more about Granite State Future.

Municipal Survey Report

To learn about Monadnock Region Future: A Plan for Southwest New Hampshire visit

To learn about the Greater Keene Air Quality Education and Outreach Campaign visit.

To learn about the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant decommissioning process visit

Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail: A Pilot Project

Plan Components

Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail without appendices (PDF)

Appendix A - Existing Conditions Technical Memos (PDF)

Appendix B - Public Outreach Technical Memos (PDF)

Appendix C - Project Advisory Committee Meeting Agendas & Minutes (PDF)


Implementation Plan Interactive Map

Implementation Plan Spreadsheet (Excel)



Rail trails have long been recognized as a way to improve local and regional opportunities related to transportation, recreation, economic development, and public health. A variety of individuals and groups take on maintenance of rail trails, and they are enjoyed routinely by residents and visitors alike. Southwest Region Planning Commission (SWRPC) sees value in developing a plan which addresses the future of our region's rail trails.


Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail is a planning effort aimed to address challenges and opportunities along the approximately 21.5-mile stretch of trail between Hinsdale and Keene, New Hampshire. The project will involve collecting data on existing trail use, conditions and amenities and conducting meetings among municipalities and other stakeholders to both share information and consider maintenance, connectivity, safety, and coordinated improvement to the trail. We hope that the project will result in a common vision for Ashuelot Rail Trail to better inform volunteer groups, local government and regional and statewide transportation planning.

Meetings and Outreach

Project Advisory Committee Meeting #1 (May 3, 2018)



Slide Deck (with notes)

Map Posters: Keene, Swanzey, Winchester, Hinsdale

Project Advisory Committee Meeting #2 (September 13, 2018)



Slide Deck

Draft Aerial Imagery Base Map 

Open House (November 17, 2018)

News Release


Visioning Board

Precedents Slideshow

Historical Maps Presentation Board

Ashuelot Branch Railroad Valuation Sheets


Project Advisory Committee Meeting #3 (August 29, 2019)



Draft Vision, Goals and Objectives Memo

Project Advisory Committee Meeting #4 (October 17, 2019)



Draft Plan and Implementation Plan Memo

Draft Plan (Adobe PDF version)

Project Advisory Committee Meeting #5 (December 17, 2019)



Existing Conditions Assessment Technical Memos

  • Literature Review - Inventory of existing trail-related plans, policies, laws, or other documents.
  • Base Mapping/Inventory - Synopsis of trail-related mapping activities. Accompanied by a trail map booklet.
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Collisions - Inventory of recent vehicle crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists at or near roadway trail crossings.
  • Bicycle/Pedestrian Counts - Overview of bicycle and pedestrian counting activities conducted to date and summary of collected data.
  • Trail Condition Assessment - Summary of methods and findings from a trails condition assessment conducted by Keene State College students, in consultation with SWRPC, municipal staff and others.
  • Programs Analysis - An inventory of recent or ongoing programming that makes use of the Ashuelot Rail Trail, a review of example on-trail programming taking place in other areas of the country and an overview of academic and professional literature regarding the health benefits of active recreation and on-trail programs.
  • Economic Benefit Analysis - High-level analysis and literature review covering types of economic benefits, relevant studies and methodologies to consider as part of a more detailed study or data collection initiative.
  • Policy Integration - Analysis of municipal complete streets policies and complete streets planning and design guidelines.


Public Outreach Technical Memos 

  • Online Resident Survey - Analysis of results from the online resident survey.
  • Municipal Survey - Summary of responses from municipal staff and officials focusing on information relative to plans for improvements, needs, promotion, land use issues, previous planning and more.
  • Key Stakeholder Group Survey - Summary of responses from an online survey sent to organized user groups covering a range of trail-related issues. 
  • Intercept Survey - Summary of data collected from in-person surveys with trail users conducted in each of the four communities.
  • Open House - Description of open house activities and implementation, along with compilation of collected input. 


Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail Locator Map (SWRPC)

Rail Trails in New Hampshire (New Hampshire Department of Transportation)

Other Resources

Funding Resources Supplement Handout

Plan for Ashuelot Rail Trail: A Pilot Project Handout (February 2018)

New Hampshire State Trails Plan (New Hamphsire Department of Transportation)

University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension "Downtowns & Trails" webpage


"Ashuelot Rail Trail Bike Ride Series #2 - Keene State College to Pine Street in Swanzey" (Greg Pregent)

"Ashuelot Rail Trail Bike Ride Series #9 - West Swanzey to Winchester NH Depot" (Greg Pregent)

"Ashuelot Rail Trail Bike Ride Series #5 - Winchester NH to the Hinsdale NH Depot" (Greg Pregent)

"Rail Trails of America" (Timothy Lawrence)

Contact Information

For additional information, contact:


Henry Underwood, GIS Specialist/Planner

Southwest Region Planning Commission

37 Ashuelot Street

Keene, NH 03431