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Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire (July 2024)

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Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire

Nestled in the heart of New England, New Hampshire captivates motorcyclists with its breathtaking landscapes: pristine lakes, dense forests, and majestic peaks. As riders explore the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, they are enveloped in nature’s symphony – the whisper of pines, the murmur of streams, and the commanding presence of the White Mountains. Known as the Granite State, New Hampshire not only flaunts its rugged beauty but also echoes tales of rich history and vibrant culture. From colonial coastal towns to mountain-hidden rustic villages, these motorcycle routes unveil a fusion of New England charm and mesmerizing scenic paths. Each ride in this state promises a new vista and a new chapter of its compelling story. Dive in, and discover the must-ride routes that New Hampshire has to offer.

The Kancamagus Highway: A Ride Through Alpine Majesty

The Kancamagus Highway, fondly dubbed “The Kanc,” stands as one of the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire. This captivating 34-mile stretch winds its way through the heart of the White Mountains. It’s particularly breathtaking during autumn when the foliage bursts into a riot of colors. Riders can feast their eyes on panoramic views, with notable spots like the stunning Sabbaday Falls. For those seeking a peaceful ride, early mornings or late afternoons are ideal to sidestep the crowds, truly immersing in New Hampshire’s alpine beauty.

Ride Details

The Kancamagus Highway, fondly known as “The Kanc,” spans 34 miles through the heart of the White Mountains. As you navigate this scenic route, you’ll be met with a series of breathtaking vistas, particularly during the fall when the foliage transforms into a kaleidoscope of colors.

Must-Visit Spots

Don’t miss the Sabbaday Falls, a picturesque three-tiered waterfall easily accessible from the highway. For panoramic views of the valley below, pull over at the numerous scenic overlooks.

Local Tip

Visit during early morning or late afternoon for a serene experience, as it’s a popular spot and can get crowded during peak times.

Coastal Route 1A: Where the Mountains Meet the Sea

Coastal Route 1A, a highlight among the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, offers riders an unparalleled experience, seamlessly blending the state’s majestic mountains with its tranquil coastline. Stretching from Portsmouth to Seabrook, this route unveils expansive ocean panoramas, time-honored seaside towns, and inviting beachfronts. It’s more than just a road; it’s a journey where nature’s grandeur meets cultural heritage, perfect for bikers yearning for both mountainous excitement and the soothing embrace of ocean breezes.

Ride Details

Stretching for about 18 miles along New Hampshire’s short, but stunning coastline, Route 1A offers riders the intoxicating blend of salty sea air and the distant views of granite peaks. This route is especially popular during the summer months when the beaches come alive.

Must-Visit Spots

Stop by the historic Portsmouth Harbor Lighthouse or take a detour into the lively town of Portsmouth, rich with colonial history and New England charm.

Local Tip

Keep an eye out for the numerous seafood shacks along the route – nothing beats fresh lobster or clam chowder after a long ride.

Bear Notch Road: The White Mountains’ Hidden Gem

Bear Notch Road, a standout in the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, is tucked away in the heart of the grand White Mountains. This picturesque byway invites riders on a captivating journey, weaving through lush forests, alongside babbling streams, and offering expansive mountain overlooks. It’s not just a route; it’s an odyssey into nature’s marvels, underlining the untouched allure and tranquil mood of the White Mountains. For adventurers seeking a road less frequented yet visually stunning, Bear Notch Road undoubtedly delivers.

Ride Details

This lesser-known 9-mile stretch connects the Kancamagus Highway to Route 302. The road might be short, but it’s packed with undulating terrains, tight turns, and unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains.

Must-Visit Spots

The Nancy cascading Lower Falls is a refreshing spot to stretch your legs, especially during the warmer months.

Local Tip

The road is seasonal, so ensure it’s open before planning a ride. The fall offers an exceptional foliage display along this route.

Crawford Notch State Park Route: A Journey Through History

Among the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, Crawford Notch State Park Route stands out for its historical resonance. As riders weave through its expansive mountains and lush forests, they are transported into New Hampshire’s storied past. Melding breathtaking natural vistas with poignant landmarks, this route unfurls tales from yesteryears. Every twist and turn delivers not only scenic brilliance but also a chapter from history. This journey isn’t merely a ride – it’s a vibrant tapestry of New Hampshire’s legacy and landscape.

Ride Details

Beginning in Bartlett and ending in Carroll, this 30-mile route is steeped in history, with markers reminding riders of the area’s rich past, from Native American tribes to early settlers.

Must-Visit Spots

The historic Willey House, an old homestead with a haunting past, and the awe-inspiring Arethusa Falls, one of the state’s tallest waterfalls.

Local Tip

The Silver Cascade and Flume Cascade, two picturesque waterfalls, can be viewed right from the road, making for excellent photo opportunities.

Lakes Region Loop: Waterways and Winding Roads

The Lakes Region Loop, one of the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, promises riders a journey enveloped in nature’s aquatic tapestry. Winding roads meander beside glistening lakes and ponds, providing breathtaking views and serene breaks. With picturesque towns and idyllic overlooks punctuating the route, this loop epitomizes New Hampshire’s water-bound beauty. For those yearning for a peaceful excursion filled with nature’s wonders, this route is an unmissable chapter in the state’s motorcycle adventures.

Ride Details

Spanning roughly 100 miles, this loop takes riders around the iconic Lake Winnipesaukee and through several charming lakeside towns.

Must-Visit Spots

Wolfeboro, often hailed as the “Oldest Summer Resort in America,” and the Castle in the Clouds, an early 20th-century mansion with sweeping views of the lake.

Local Tip

Consider renting a kayak or boat in one of the towns to truly experience the vastness and beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee.


Uncover the allure of the Top 5 Motorcycle Routes in New Hampshire, a haven of enchanting landscapes best explored on two wheels. Traverse the alpine grandeur of the Kancamagus Highway, delve into the historical depths of the Crawford Notch State Park Route, get lost in the tranquil embrace of the Lakes Region Loop, and ride along the mesmerizing coastlines of Route 1A. Each journey offers riders not just scenic beauty, but also stories of the past, and exhilarating roads waiting to be discovered. With every twist and turn, experience the seamless blend of nature and adventure that New Hampshire has to offer.

Tomas possesses more than 20 years of comprehensive motorcycle experience, spanning from long-distance cross-country trips to everyday journeys to and from the motorcycle repair shop where he formerly worked. His profound knowledge of motorcycles and their mechanical components affords him a distinctive understanding and perspective of the motorcycle universe.


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