Raymond Community News

Raymond Board Hits Dead End On Scribner Road
by Jason Reuter     6-13-2014

Town Attorney Christopher Boldt told the Raymond Board of Selectmen June 9 that they have hit a roadblock in their desire for the removal of a barricade put up at the end of Scribner Road. The board must now rely on political pressure to encourage state officials to remove the blockage.

Originally a metal gate was placed at the end of the paved Class VI portion of Scribner Road in the 1960s by Mary Sargent, owner of the all-girls Camp Se-Sa-Ma-Ca, to prohibit motor vehicles from driving on the state-maintained Rails to Trails system.

Mike Melanson, a resident at the end of Scribner Road, said when he purchased the property the metal gate was already in place.


No Trespassing signs on trees at end of paved section of Scribner Road.


A separate wooden gate was located at the end of the woods road Class VI portion of Scribner Road. This wooden gate was installed by the railroad in the early 1900s. After seeking state approval Melanson relocated the metal gate installed by Sargent to replace the wooden gate at the end of the road that had fallen into disrepair.

“It was the right thing to do,” said Melanson. “Vehicles are not permitted on the road. So with state approval I moved the gate.”


Gate at end of Scribner Road preventing access to the Rails to Trails railroad bed.


Despite efforts from Raymond town officials, the gate blocking the trail’s entrance cannot be removed because it is placed on the state’s property.

“Think of it as if the gate is in Candia,” said Boldt. “You would be talking with the folks in Candia to get the gate taken down because it is their jurisdiction. The difference here is that it’s not Candia, it’s the state.”


Gate at end of Scribner Road looking down Rails to Trails railroad bed trail towards Onway Lake Road.


The selectmen have unsuccessfully contacted the Bureau of Trails and the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office in hopes of facilitating the process. Help from the State Representatives and Senator has been called in to ensure that action is taken.

Meanwhile, several abutters to Scribner Road have concerns about the matter.

“I’m in training now. I am going to go for the 2016 Summer Olympics, at hurdles,” said Gretchen Gott. “I’ve been jumping so I can get over onto the trail. It is not a pretty sight having someone who is 66 jumping over, but I would like to walk on the trail.”

Melanson has concerns about the potential for increased traffic and parking issues.

“That’s a town right of way and the end of my driveway,” said Melanson, in a public hearing on Scribner Road on May 30, 2013. “If the selectman decide to allow vehicle traffic in there for parking, I do have a problem with that.”

Currently, there is no room for vehicle parking at the end of Scribner Road. This limits trail access to people living within walking distance. Melanson worries that if the town decides to expand the access to the trail, parking may block the end of his driveway. A summer rental house is located at the end of the Class VI portion of Scribner Road and additional parking may block the renter’s way of travel.


Large cement blocks on Melanson property driveway blocking turn around space on Scribner Road.


Melanson threatened to prohibit access to the end of his driveway, which has been used as a private turn-around for town vehicles and delivery trucks for years, if the town decides to go through with these plans.

Boldt advised that the town could research a possible Easement by Prescription, which may end in a lawsuit with Melanson. This easement would allow vehicles to legally turn around on Melanson’s property without permission. Boldt said he was just speculating on the proposition, and would have to do further research investigating the solution.


Sign, fencing and a lock on the gate at the end of Scribner Road abutting the Rails to Trails railroad bed.


Asked about access, Fire Chief Kevin Pratt said, "there is always a way to get through the gate. If we can't get through by key we'll get through it one way or another."

Other solutions included working with the utility company to move a pole that would free up some space at the end of the roadway.

No one was available for comment from the New Hampshire Bureau of Trails.

The Selectmen unanimously approved having Boldt research more options for the turn-around section. He was also approved to call the Attorney General’s office on behalf of the board, and get a status update on removing the gate at the end of the road.



"No Parking, No Motorized Vehicles, Keep Gate Closed" sign and fencing on the gate at end of Scribner Road abutting the Rails to Trails railroad bed.

















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