16 Aug Live Free and Ride on 4 Scenic New Hampshire Motorcycle Rides
The ice cream truck jingle and beachfront splashes may mark the start of summer to some, but to a motorcyclist, it’s the roar of an engine that hits home. When the open road is calling, direct those two wheels towards New Hampshire on these scenic motorcycle rides that wind along mountain passes, river valleys, and small town centers.
Scenic Motorcycle Rides Near New Hampshire’s Lakes Region
1. U.S. Route 3 Through Central New Hampshire
Route distance: 25 miles
Every good ride should start with a hearty meal — especially if that meal is served with a ‘50s era atmosphere at Tilt’n Diner. Grab a bite from the all-day breakfast menu before heading out on a ride that follows U.S. Route 3 south from Tilton to Concord. You’ll ride through small downtown settings like Franklin and Penacook, navigate rolling hills, and travel a long stretch of road parallel to the Merrimack River at cruising speeds between 45 and 55 mph. The curvy route concludes at the gold-domed New Hampshire State House in Concord, with plenty of time to spare for sightseeing and lunch in the capital city.
2. Central New Hampshire Tour – Rte 132
Route distance: 31 miles
Starting in Concord (and perfect for a return trip after a Route 3 ride), take Rte 132 north toward New Hampton and leave the city setting behind for a rustic ride lined with trees and open fields. Factor in a detour to the popular Historic Canterbury Shaker Village about 20-minutes into the trip or save the sightseeing time for a scenic stop along Hermit Lake later on during the ride.
3. The Kancamungus Highway
Route distance: 35 miles
For a full day’s journey, take I-93 N to a route considered a must-see by motorists and motorcyclists alike: The Kancamagus Highway. Praised for its awe-inspiring views and well-maintained roads, “The Kanc” follows Rt. 112 through the White Mountain National Forest from Lincoln to Conway. Be prepared for various elevation changes as the route reaches an altitude of nearly 3,000 feet at its highest point, with plenty of pull off areas for views of rolling mountains, rivers, and lush forests. Whether you’re revving your engines for spring blooms, summer sun, or the reds and oranges of peak fall foliage, plan your trip with care — the route’s popularity can cause traffic snafus on weekends during peak times of the year.
4. Ride With Laconia Motorcycle Week
If you value camaraderie on your motorcycle rides, plan a trip to the Lakes Region during the Laconia Motorcycle Week. This annual motorcycle rally is the oldest in the world, drawing riders from all corners for a week of races, events, and scenic group rides. The celebratory week happens each June with a variety of organized rides to choose from, ranging from a lap around Lake Winnipesaukee to more distance-heavy routes up to the northernmost reaches of the state.
Whether you stick close to the lake or venture further afield to the mountain passes, a day enjoyed out on the open road calls for a night of recuperation. Give the bike a rest, hang up the helmet, and treat yourself to a full meal and comfortable bed at Mill Falls before you plan your next grand motorcycle move.
Photo: Matthew Bennett via flickr (CC BY 2.0)