Road and mountain bike cyclists have a treat in store when they come to the Lakes region! If they are fit, they can ride the Lake Winnipesaukee New Hampshire Scenic Byways Trail. This is an 81-mile loop through the Ossipee Mountains and along the north shore of Lake Winnipesaukee and Squam Lake. Lake Winnipesaukee glistens among rolling hills. Squam Lake is one of New Hampshire’s most beautiful lakes with its stunning setting, rocky shore, and forested islands. The route threads past the north and east shores of both lakes and weaves through pristine woodlands in the Ossipee Mountains. It is kept open year-round, offering uncrowded roads, except for a short highway stretch that should be approached with a bit of caution.
Attractions along the route which may be included as side trips are the Science Center of New Hampshire, White Mountain National Forest, Hemenway State Forest, White Lake State Park, Mount Chocorua Scenic Area and Wentworth State Park. Perhaps the best time to bike this trail is the Fall when Autumn foliage colors the landscape.
For novice riders or those who have limited time to visit, there is a five-mile long pedestrian/biking trail linking Tilton, Northfield and Franklin on the shores of the Winnipesaukee River. The trail includes views of a river gorge used regularly for whitewater kayaking. Historic and cultural sites along the way include old railway trestles, remains of former paper mills and the Sulphite Bridge that is upside down. A trailhead, green spaces and a parking area have been provided as part of a revitalization initiative.
Visitors can use a bike/cruise option to make use of both the trails and Lake Winnipesaukee. The MS Mount Washington takes cyclists across the lake to Weirs Beach. From there, the ride back along the edge of the lake is just 30 miles. Most cyclists, including those who may not be in the best shape, can likely enjoy this route. The boat docks at several ports around the lake providing cyclists with a variety of routes from which to choose. Bikers can cycle first and then take the boat or do the reverse. The road winds by the lake descending past Ellacoya State Park. Then it curves past small homes, wooded areas and the occasional convenience store. Beautiful mountains can be seen in the distance throughout the ride which ends on Wolfeboro’s main street.