Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail

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The Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail is an 83-mile scenic route for bicyclists that spans the northern counties of the state from the Connecticut River to Maine. It is comprised of a linear connection of existing rail trails, recreation paths, dirt roads, and paved roads. 
Trail Activity
Bicycling
Length
83.0 miles, One Way
Difficulty
Moderate
Towns
Bath (NH), Bethel (ME), Gilead (ME), Gorham (NH), Haverhill (NH), Jefferson (NH), Lisbon (NH), Littleton (NH), Randolph (NH), Shelburne (NH), Whitefield (NH)
Surface
Packed Earth/Dirt, Gravel/Crushed Stone/Cinder, Road, Paved, Road, Unpaved, Snow, Ungroomed
Pets
Permitted on leash
Fees
No
Other Activities
Walking Hiking Horseback riding Ungroomed cross-country skiing Snowmobiling Atv riding Snowshoeing

Description

The Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail:      

  • Travels through Coos and Grafton Counties, the two northernmost counties of New Hampshire and Oxford County of Maine.
  • Weaves through 12 towns in New Hampshire and western Maine. Heading east from the village of Woodsville on the Connecticut River, the route follows the Ammonoosuc River through Bath, Lisbon, and Littleton and then skirts the northern flanks of the Presidential Mountain Range through Bethlehem, Whitefield, Jefferson and Randolph. It follows the Androscoggin River through the towns of Gorham and Shelburne, crossing the state line into Gilead and ending in Bethel, Maine.
  • Strings together rail trails and roads, linking the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail, the Presidential Rail Trail, and recreation pathways (Littleton Riverwalk, Bethel Pathway) via scenic dirt and paved roads.
  • Consists of 31.6 off-road miles, 11 miles of dirt roads, 30.4 miles of quiet paved back roads and a 10-mile section of paved state secondary road.

Please check the Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail website or Facebook page for possible temporary trail reroutes before heading out on your adventure!

There are two alternate routes to consider. Here is a summary, but please check the website for the details.:

  • Woodsville to Bath: Over the summer of 2021, we scouted an alternative route out of Woodsville during trail reconstruction on the Ammonoosuc Rail Trail.  This route is on a short paved section and then a well-maintained dirt road.It is very scenic with one hill climb. Access the route inWoodsville at the long-term parking lot.You will enter back on the rail trail at the Bath Covered Bridge.
  • Lisbon to River Road: This is an easy riding 3.7 miles on recently paved and dirt back roads along the Ammonoosuc River. Yes, you could stay on the rail trail all the way to Littleton, but the route gets off the rail trail here to enjoy some quiet backroads as a change. One highlight is riding along some beautiful farm lands next to the river.

Other Information

This route can be used for multi-day cross-state adventures or for shorter, local day trips. The Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail website includes descriptions of different day rides (short and long) and information about on-trail or close-by lodging, food, and bike shops.

A road bike is not appropriate for this 83-mile cross state adventure due to the surfaces on the rail trails. The best bike for this route would be a hybrid, gravel or touring bike with wider tires that can tolerate the sections of gravel, grass, and occasional mud. It is an Adventure!!!

If you do plan to do the trail in sections, a road bike is excellent on North Road, the eastern 19 miles of the route from Gorham to Bethel, Maine.

There are 10 fixed bike repair stations and air pumps along the route. Five other businesses were provided portable bike tools and pumps. The program will continue to grow in 2022. For a complete list of sites, please check the website.

Be sure to check out our website for a directory of lodgings, campgrounds, restaurants, cafes and services that provide cyclists what they need to make trip planning easy.

Trail Manager

Please visit the Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail online or email for more information:

Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail
Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail
crossnewhampshire@gmail.com
View website

Trail Tips

Plan Ahead and Prepare
Use common sense. If it seems like a bad idea, it probably is.

Trailhead Information

There are parking areas adjacent to the trail in each town along the route. Consult the website for locations.

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