You can start the tri-tour from any of the three hostels in the loop. The loop can be done in two OR three days!
Day 1 (5h 14m, 53 miles)
Start point: The Notch Hostel, 324 Lost River Road, N. Woodstock, NH 03262
End point: Rattle River Hostel, 592 US-2, Shelburne, NH 03581
- Start at the Notch Hostel on Route 112 in North Woodstock.
- Follow Route 3 and the Recreation Trail paved bike path to climb to the height of land in Franconia Notch. Enjoy views of Mount Lafayette and Cannon Cliff.
- Possible stop-offs include:
- Flume Visitors Center
- The Basin (natural pothole; cascades)
- Old Man of the Mountain Profile Plaza and Historic Site
- Continue north to Route 115, then head east along Route 2 and Durand Road. Pass through fields of lupines as you take in the looming vistas of the Northern Presidential mountain range and enjoy relatively easy riding the rest of the day.
- Ride past the gas stations and shops in downtown Gorham, ending the day’s ride at the Rattle River Hostel on Route 2 in Shelburne.
Day 2 (3h 27m, 38 miles)
Start point: Rattle River Hostel, 592 US-2, Shelburne, NH 03581
End point: White Mountains Hostel, 36 Washington Street, Conway, NH 03818
- Start at the Rattle River Hostel on Route 2 in Shelburne, ride back to Gorham center and head south on Route 16.
- Ride through the valley between Mount Washington and the Carter-Moriah Range, passing by such attractions as the Auto Road and Wildcat Ski Mountain. Climb to the height of land in Pinkham Notch.
- Possible stop-offs:
- AMC Pinkham Notch Visitors Center/Joe Dodge Lodge (food, restrooms, shop)
- Downtown North Conway (restaurants, shopping, cafes)
- Avoid downtown North Conway by taking West Side Road, or bike through town if you want to check out the shops.
- Take a right on Washington Street right after the Rt 113 junction to arrive at the White Mountains Hostel in Conway, NH.
Day 2 Extended Ride (5h15m, 55 miles)
Day 2 is the easiest day of the tour. Looking for a longer day? Add Bear Notch Road to the route: map
- After riding through Pinkham Notch and the town of Jackson, take Route 302 West into the town of Bartlett.
- Turn left at the start of Bear Notch Road, a summer-only, 8-mile road that winds through the heart of the White Mountains, offering unique vistas and little traffic.
- Emerge from Bear Notch Road on the Kancamagus; follow the Kanc for 8 miles east to the White Mountains Hostel.
Day 3 (3h 43m, 38 miles)
Start point: White Mountains Hostel, 36 Washington Street, Conway, NH 03818
End point: Notch Hostel, 324 Lost River Road, N. Woodstock, NH 03262
- Today’s directions are simple: Begin on the shaded, low-traffic Passaconnaway Road, which parallels the Kancamagus Highway for 6.5 miles. Then, follow the Kancamagus Highway to its end in Lincoln. One of America’s Scenic Byways, the Kancamagus is a bucket list items for cyclists and boasts the best continuous roadside views of any road in the Whites.
- Ride uphill to the Kancamagus Pass (elevation 2,855 feet), then descend steeply into Lincoln, NH.
- Possible stop-offs:
- Sugar Hill Overlook
- Sabbaday Falls (closed this year)
- Hancock Overlook
- Once in Lincoln, stay on 112 W, cross the Route 3 intersection, and travel one final mile to arrive at the Notch Hostel.
MAKE IT LONGER: Stop off in North Woodstock for lunch, then continue on 112 West past the Notch Hostel to explore Kinsman Notch, yet another stunningly scenic area between Mount Moosilauke and Kinsman Ridge. Take a right on Route 116 to see Easton’s farmland and the backside of the Kinsmans.
Don’t have time for a three-day tour? No problem! From the Notch Hostel, you can do a two-day loop to the Rattle River Hostel. The Day 1 itinerary is the same. On Day 2, follow the Day 2 Extended Ride above, but instead of heading east on the Kancamagus after Bear Notch Road, head west to the Notch Hostel.