Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Cycling the White Mountain Circuit, New Hampshire

The White Moutain Circuit is a 2-3 day, ~140 mile bike ride between Conway, Gorham/Shelbourn, and Woodstock/Lincoln, New Hampshire.  Overall, I would rate this 3 day tour as easy/moderate....but then again, I'm an experienced cycle tourist--all things relative...

Each destination has a ~$40 bunk bed hostel and good food options nearby.   The hostels cater mostly to Appalachian Trail through hikers. 
For those arriving from Boston, I'd suggest parking in Conway and doing the route counter-clockwise in 3 days (as I did).  To do it in 2 days of cycling, I'd suggest starting in Woodstock/Lincoln and doing it clockwise.
The roads are mostly well sealed and %80+ of the time there is sufficient shoulder to cycle in.  Of course, there's always some tight stuff.....
As with any bike tour, a good mirror  is vital to help manage traffic.  A mirror is more valuable than a helmet, in my opinion.

Conway to Gorham: 38 miles 
I arrived late and got on my bicycle at 4pm.  To arrive before dark I had to push it.  I made it to the Rattle River hostel in 3:15, including dinner in Gorham.
Traffic is heavy in and around Conway.

Gorham to Lincoln/Woodstock: 58 mile  
Rolling hills with some medium climbs to Rt 3 south.  The first 1/3 of the day has heavy trucks passing but there's plenty of shoulder to stay clear.
A paved bike path starts soon after turning south on Rt 3. After a swim in echo lake it is mostly downhill. The last few miles of which are fun windy down hill on bike path in the woods.  The bike path ends at Flume Gorge and spits you back out to the highway, but it is smooth cruising past a water park to Lincoln /Woodstock. 


Woodstock/Lincoln to Conway: 40 miles 
The Kancamagus highway climb is the largest of the tour.  The incline is gradual, however, which makes the climb quite manageable.  There are only occasional views of the open landscape around. There are no supplies/water anywhere between Lincoln and Conway. Overall it is not a challenging day.

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