The Nashua River Rail Trail sits on the former Hollis branch of the Boston and Maine Railroad. The line was originally part of the Worcester & Nashua Railroad that connected Worcester, Massachusetts and Nashua, New Hampshire, which was opened on July 3, 1848. The last service ended in 1981.
The Mass Department of Environmental Management bought the abandoned tracks in 1987. Local communities helped to plan and design the rail trail in 1996–1997. The Massachusetts portion of the Nashua River Rail Trail was constructed in 2001–2002. It is now managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR). In 2005 the trail was extended into New Hampshire.