The trail begins in Rolfe Park near the swimming pool and ends behind the football field at Merrimack Valley High School (MVHS). Walk east along the tree line on the north edge of the athletic field to the trail sign, turn right and follow the trail south into the woods. The trail emerges from the woods and follows the fence along the edge of the running track, goes back briefly into the woods and reemerges again in front of a portable maintenance building. The trail continues next to the field hockey field, goes behind the goal posts of practice field 3, enters the woods through a gate and reemerges again to follow along the fence behind the football field. The trail bears left into the woods, goes into and out of a small dip, turns right and comes to a “T” intersection where the cross country running trail diverges left. The trail continues to the right and immediately comes out at the football field and continues behind the bleachers ending at a gate by the restroom/concession stand building.
You can return to the start of the trail by retracing your steps or by walking back to Rolfe Park through the parking lots between MVHS and the middle school and the athletic fields near the track.
Abial Walker Rolfe donated the land in 1920, “to be used for a Park, Playground, and Athletic Field.” He stated that this donation was “for the moral, physical, and social welfare of all, especially the younger element in the community.”
The Rolfe family had much to do with the development of Concord. Henry Rolfe was the first town moderator. Benjamin, his son, born in 1710, was one of the first town clerks. The family purchased hundreds of acres of land in the Penacook area from 1736-1806. Around 1770, Nathaniel Rolfe built a house off Penacook Street. In Penacook, Abial’s grandfather Henry and father Nathaniel were born. In 1866, Abial and his brother Charles formed the mill C.M.&A.W. Rolfe, which ran until 1940 and later became the basis of Riverside Millwork Co. (Rivco).
Another notable member of the Rolfe family was Robert Abial Rolfe, better known as “Red” Rolfe, the New York Yankees’ all-time great at third base. He graduated from Dartmouth in 1931 and in the 1950’s became the Director of Athletics there.
Rolfe Park is located at 79 Community Drive in Penacook. The trail begins at the northeast corner of the athletic field. Park in the parking lot near the swimming pool and walk east along the tree line on the north edge of the athletic field to the Rolfe Park Trails sign.
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