NH Seacoast Bike Trails
New Hampshire doesn’t have a lot of seacoast but we do have world class bicycling. The problem for visitors is to find the routes and to discover what fits their needs. So let me make a few suggestions.
A complete loop ride from Dover is described in Seacoast History Ride. These notes supplement that information and provide information to plan your own rides.
A little background you will need:
1. Downtown Portsmouth is a great bike destination. It has lots of coffee shops and outdoor dining. It also has Strawberry Bank, historic houses, and Prescott Park with flowers, music and shows.
Dover Bike Routes
2. Downtown Dover also has lots of coffee shops and dining. Not as pretty as Portsmouth, more of an early mill town look, but also not as busy and expensive as Portsmouth.
3. There are two important bike bridges that make travel much easier. One is between Dover and Newington. The other is over Rt. 95 near the Portsmouth Traffic Circle. These bridges provide an almost traffic free route between Dover, Durham, Portsmouth, Maine and the New Hampshire Seacoast.
4. Bike routes in New Hampshire are unmarked but Maine has a nicely marked bike route system.
5. Route 1A and 1B along the New Hampshire Seacoast is a beautiful and easy ride 15 mile ride that includes historic New Castle and Fort Constitution. This route is best ridden from South to North from where Rt. 111 meets 1A. If you ride North you are on the seaward side of the road and there is a bike lane most of the way plus the wind is usually behind you.
6. West Road in Rye provides a nice southward route out of the coastal winds and with little traffic until you reach the bike path along rt. 111.
7. Route 103 and River Road in Elliot, Maine provides a pretty alternative route back to Dover from Portsmouth with little traffic. The highlight is River Road that follows the north side of the bay. The Maine Bike Path follows Rt. 103 but misses River Road so watch out for the turn in Elliot onto Old Road by the Library.
8. Spur Road is Dover runs parallel to Dover Point Road and along the river with much less traffic and puts you onto the Bike Bridge after the Traffic Lights at Rt. 4. You may see deer or turkeys along this road. This is a great road in the summer when the trees form a protective canopy over the road.