Wednesday, May 13, 2009

New Hampshire Biking Maps Are Out There

It took a little work, but I did get some "official" 2008 New Hampshire biking maps put out by the Department of Transportation. My first stop was a local bike shop, but the map they gave me was a few years outdated. Next I stopped at the State Rest Area (Tourist Information Center?) near exit 6 in Nashua. Success! They gave me two maps: one for the Merrimack Valley Region (where we live) and another for the White Mountains (where we're headed in a few weeks).

The maps are pocket size, maybe 3 by 4 inches when folded. Obviously, they're available by tourist region - I think there are six or seven in the state.

The downside is that New Hampshire doesn't seem to have that many decent off-road bicycle routes that are suited for touring (not mountain) biking. The maps show "recommended bike routes," most of which are regular paved roads. They also show "improved rail trails," and "unimproved rail trails," as well as what they call "recreational bicycle loops."

Just to give you an idea, the Merrimack Valley Region has three recreational bike loops and four bike paths, some of which are pretty short. I'm going to study them a little more closely to see what I can learn and will try to share information here. For now, if you'd like a bicycle map of your own, go to your nearest state rest stop and ask at the counter, if there is one. The maps aren't available in the "take-one" racks, you have to ask for them. Hope to see you on the trail!

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