New Hampshire Bicycling Maps
I am going to supplement my series on Bicycling Route Planning with several posting about areas I am familiar with. So I’ll start with my home state, New Hampshire.
New Hampshire has quite a bit of world class cycling but it isn’t easy to find and isn’t very well publicized. The State of New Hampshire maintains a set of downloadable Bicycling Maps in PDF format. These are fine for planing but not something you can easily carry. However, if you send a note to Jerry Moore (firstname.lastname@example.org), the NHDOT Bicycle Pedestrian Transportation Technician or call him at (603) 271-3320, he will happily send you a very nice printed sets.
The Maps are currently being revised and the draft versions can be seen at NH Bicycling Maps Draft. There has been quite a bit of growth in bicycling paths in New Hampshire and these new maps when published should include these new paths.
We actually have a fairly nice set of bicycling routes and the best Bike Path anywhere, the Franconia Notch Bike Trail, in New Hampshire but unlike Maine we don’t mark our bicycling routes or publish them. Good luck to touring cyclists if you don’t have a state bicycling map and talk with local bicyclists. For example, we have a great set of paths that take bicyclists from Dover to Portsmouth that use two bridges only available to pedestrians and bicycles. This is a great ride to a great destination. However, if you if don’t know about these bridges and paths, you will be in serious trouble making this ride and are in for a not very pleasant ride.
When I met the Hobo Bikers, Nancy and Randy, they were sitting in a Grocery Store Parking Lot at 7 PM trying to figure out what road to take, this is a good example of what can happen to experienced bicycle tourists in New Hampshire. They did not have a State Bicycling Map or a Delorme Atlas for New Hampshire, all they had was a Highway map. They had fought their way to Dover on busy roads and had a frustrating day and no clue on where to spend the night. I invited them home and gave them a Delorme Atlas for New Hampshire plus tips on which routes are best for cycling. They had missed some world class cycling and wasted time riding through shopping malls and along busy highways.
The take away here is that doing your homework which includes getting maps and talking with local cyclists can make for a much more enjoyable ride or tour.
Another great resource for visiting cyclist is the Granite State Wheelmen, a very active bicycling club. They have lots of rides during summer months and all bicyclists at all levels of ability are invited to their rides. If you can join a ride, this is a great source of New Hampshire Cycling information and some nice folks to ride with.
There are also a few NH Bicycling Books with suggested New Hampshire Bicycling Routes. These are by their nature limited by space and the author’s guess of what will appeal to you but they do provide some good loop rides. A book I would highly recommend is Adolphe Bernotes’ 30 Bicycle Tours in New Hampshire. Adolphe is a long time leader in the Granite State Wheelmen and these rides are all classic New Hampshire rides.
I will be adding similar posting for at least Maine and Quebec. I encourage you to post questions in this blog if you are planning on bicycling in Maine, New Hampshire, or Quebec. I may not have all of the answers but I know people who may and can at least point you in the right direction and help you avoid major bad cycling locations.
NH DOT Bicycling and Pedestrian Information Center
Granite State Wheelmen – New England’s most active recreational bicycling group
Trail Link – listing of Bicycling Trails paved and unpaved
SABRonline Seacoast Area Bike Routes
FOMBA – Manchester Bicycling Trails
Keene Pathways – Keene area Bicycling Trails
Londonderry Trailways – Londonderry Area Bicycle Paths