Happy Trails: Manchester’s Hiking, Walking & Fitness Trails

As the summer approaches, we as a community will begin to shift from our indoor lives to enjoy the outdoor beauty of the Manchester community. In addition to the town’s beautiful parks and leisure centers, be sure to pay a visit to Manchester’s many outdoor hiking and walking trails this summer.

Manchester, which has roughly 109 miles of formal and informal trails, is home to trails such as Center Springs, Hop River, Risley, Adams Mill and the Howard Porter trail. The Manchester Trails Guide, which provides information on all 19 of Manchester’s outdoor trails, can be viewed online.

In addition, the Jay Howroyd Fitness Trail at Union Pond Park is home to eight fitness stations arranged around the half-mile loop overlooking the 60-acre reservoir. The equipment ranges from simple (steps at varying heights, parallel bars, an overhead ladder) to intricate (including the Combi 2, a graduated workout space featuring an incline bench, push up bar, decline bench, horizontal ladder, and pull up station).

Whether you are a first time hiker or an experienced outdoorsman, there are several basic tips that all should follow for outdoor exercise:

  • Always warm-up before you exercise.
  • Choose proper footwear. Invest in a good pair of walking, hiking or running shoes.
  • Project yourself from the sun. Wear a hat, glasses and sunscreen.
  • Protect yourself from mosquitoes and ticks. Always check for ticks after you bike or hike on trails.
  • Exercise with a companion. If you are unable to do so, always let someone know where you are.

Much like we all need to get out and enjoy the weather of late spring and early summer, so do are trusty canine companions. However, it is crucial that we all follow state & local guidelines regarding leashed dogs; State Statute 22-364 states that “it is a violation for any dog to roam at large on any town property or the property of another.” Do your part by leashing your dog, ensuring not just the safety of your pet, but any other people or dogs who are sharing the outdoor space with you.

While you are out and enjoying the beauty that is Manchester’s nature areas and hiking trails, be sure to do your part to keep our parks clean. Whether it’s packing some nitrile gloves and trash bags in your hiking kit or ensuring you properly dispose of any and all of your own garbage, we all have a role to play in ensuring the health and beautification of our local outdoors.

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