Welcome to the beautiful Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest and most captivating lake in New Hampshire. If you’re a motorcycle enthusiast seeking adventure and breathtaking scenery, you’re in for a treat. Explore the stunning landscapes and charming towns along the scenic motorcycle routes that form a loop around this magnificent lake. Whether you’re a local rider or visiting from afar, these routes offer unparalleled beauty and the chance to create unforgettable memories.
As you embark on your scenic biking adventure, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the splendor of Lake Winnipesaukee, surrounded by lush greenery and framed by the majestic White Mountains. Cruise along twisting roads, inhaling the fresh mountain air and feeling the thrill of the open road beneath you. The picturesque towns along the way will welcome you with their New England charm, offering a perfect blend of history, culture, and natural wonder.
Throughout this article, we’ll guide you through the different sections of the Lake Winnipesaukee loop, highlighting the key attractions and memorable views to enjoy along the way. From the western side views of Alton to Gilford, to the vibrant towns and family resort areas from Laconia to Meredith, and the rural charm of Center Harbor to Moultonborough, you’ll discover the diverse beauty that surrounds the lake.
As we continue our journey, we’ll also explore the historical sites and scenic roads from Tuftonboro to Wolfeboro, learn about other road trips in the surrounding region, and discover the Lakes Region NH’s scenic routes. Additionally, we’ll share recommended stops and attractions that will enhance your experience, offer timing and duration considerations, and provide important safety tips to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride.
So, saddle up, put on your helmet, and get ready to embark on an unforgettable adventure through the scenic motorcycle routes around Lake Winnipesaukee. This is your chance to discover New Hampshire’s natural beauty and immerse yourself in the charm of the Lakes Region. Let’s hit the road!
Alton to Gilford: Western Side Views
The route from Alton to Gilford on the western side of Lake Winnipesaukee offers breathtaking views of the lake and the Ossipee Range. This area has been a popular tourist destination since the 19th century, attracting visitors with its natural beauty and rich history.
“The Western side of Lake Winnipesaukee is a hidden gem. The views are simply stunning, especially during sunset when the golden light reflects off the calm waters. It’s a true paradise for nature lovers and photographers.”
– Sarah Adams, Travel Enthusiast
One of the highlights of this section is the opportunity to hike up to the summit of Mt. Major, where you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The hike is challenging but well worth the effort. If you prefer a more relaxed experience, head to Ellacoya State Park, where you can enjoy a peaceful day by the lake, swim, have a picnic, or simply soak in the picturesque scenery.
Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone who appreciates scenic beauty, this section of the Lake Winnipesaukee loop has something for everyone. Take your time to explore and savor the magnificent views along the way.
Laconia to Meredith: Vibrant Towns and Family Resort Areas
Embark on a scenic journey from Laconia to Meredith, and discover the vibrant towns and family resort areas that make this section of the Lake Winnipesaukee loop truly special. Beginning in Laconia, known as the “City on the Lakes,” you’ll be greeted with a lively atmosphere and a rich history. Take your time to explore the charming streets, visit local shops, and immerse yourself in the town’s unique character.
As you continue your ride, the route will lead you to Weirs Beach, a beloved family resort area offering a myriad of attractions. Indulge in the excitement of amusement parks, try your luck at the arcades, and browse through the delightful shops that line the waterfront. Weirs Beach is the ideal spot to relax, have fun, and create unforgettable memories with your loved ones.
As you venture further north, you’ll arrive in Meredith, the oldest resort community in the United States. This charming town combines history, natural beauty, and a warm hospitality that will make you feel right at home. Stroll through the downtown area, visit the local galleries and boutiques, and savor a delicious meal at one of the cozy lakeside restaurants.
Highlights of Laconia to Meredith:
- Explore the vibrant town of Laconia, known for its lively atmosphere and rich history.
- Experience the excitement of Weirs Beach, a popular family resort area with amusement parks, arcades, and shopping.
- Immerse yourself in the charming streets and unique character of Meredith, the oldest resort community in the United States.
Discover the mix of charming towns and bustling tourist attractions along the Laconia to Meredith section, offering scenic views of Lake Winnipesaukee.
So, hop on your bike and get ready to experience the vibrant towns and family resort areas on the Laconia to Meredith route. The beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee awaits, with its breathtaking views and unforgettable adventures.
Center Harbor to Moultonborough: Rural Charm and Serene Landscapes
The section from Center Harbor to Moultonborough, when taking the route clockwise, showcases the rural charm and serene landscapes of the eastern side of Lake Winnipesaukee. This less developed area offers a quieter and more peaceful biking experience.
“This section of the Lake Winnipesaukee loop is a hidden gem, away from the bustling tourist areas. It’s the perfect escape for those seeking a more relaxed and picturesque ride.”
As you start your journey from Center Harbor, you’ll immediately be captivated by the beauty that surrounds you. The town itself exudes a small-town charm, with its historic buildings and local shops. Center Harbor is situated on a hill, providing breathtaking views to the south, where the lake stretches out before you.
Continuing on, you’ll venture into Moultonborough, where the true serenity of the area comes to life. The landscape here is characterized by rolling hills, peaceful forests, and pristine shorelines. It’s a place where time seems to slow down, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.
Exploring the Quaint Town of Center Harbor
- Visit the Village Store and Bakery for homemade treats and local products.
- Take a leisurely stroll along the harbor, admiring the picturesque waterfront.
- Learn about the area’s history at the Center Harbor Historical Society.
Discovering the Scenic Beauty of Moultonborough
- Stop by The Old Country Store and Museum, a beloved local landmark.
- Enjoy a picnic at Lions Park, overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee.
- Explore the Castle in the Clouds estate, nestled in the Ossipee Mountains.
Whether you’re gazing at the serene landscapes, visiting the charming towns, or simply enjoying the peacefulness of the ride, the Center Harbor to Moultonborough section offers a truly enchanting experience. It’s a chance to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday life and immerse yourself in the rural charm and natural beauty that Lake Winnipesaukee has to offer.
Tuftonboro to Wolfeboro: Historical Sites and Scenic Roads
As you head back towards Alton, you’ll pass through Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro, two towns with rich historical significance. Wolfeboro, once home to Governor John Wentworth, offers a glimpse into the past with its preserved historical sites and charming architecture. The Lakes Region Tour takes you through sections of Wolfeboro that coincide with Governor Wentworth’s vision for economic development, providing an opportunity to explore the town’s authentic character.
Along this route, you’ll be treated to a blend of historical sites and scenic roads that showcase the beauty of Lake Winnipesaukee. Take a leisurely ride through the picturesque streets of Wolfeboro, and then make your way to the shores of the lake for stunning views that are sure to leave you in awe.
Discover the charm of Tuftonboro, where you can immerse yourself in local history and experience the quaint atmosphere of this New England town. Learn about the region’s past at the Tuftonboro Historical Society, or take a walk along one of the town’s scenic roads, surrounded by picturesque landscapes and serene beauty.
Historical Sites in Wolfeboro:
- The Wright Museum of World War II: Explore exhibits that bring the history of World War II to life and pay tribute to the brave men and women who served.
- Pope House Museum: Step into the past and visit this restored 19th-century home, showcasing local history and the lifestyle of a bygone era.
- The Libby Museum: Delve into natural history and art at this unique museum that features a variety of exhibits and collections.
“Wolfeboro is a town steeped in history, offering visitors a chance to step back in time and witness the stories of the past. From its charming streets to its historical sites, you’ll find something captivating around every corner.” – Local Resident
As you navigate the scenic roads of Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro, don’t forget to capture the breathtaking views and create lasting memories of your Lake Winnipesaukee adventure.
Road Trips: Exploring the Surrounding Region
While the focus of this article is on the Lake Winnipesaukee loop, there are also several other scenic road trips in the surrounding region worth exploring. Expand your biking adventure and take in more of the stunning New Hampshire scenery with these road trips:
- Ellsworth Hill Road: Experience incredible views of the White Mountains as you ride along this scenic route.
- Route 118: Enjoy a beautiful ride over the shoulder of Mt. Moosilauke, taking in breathtaking landscapes along the way.
These road trips offer a chance to discover even more of the surrounding region’s natural beauty. Whether you’re seeking mountain views or serene countryside, these routes will provide you with unforgettable experiences.
So, why limit yourself to just the Lake Winnipesaukee loop when there’s so much more to explore? Hit the road and embark on these scenic road trips to fully immerse yourself in the stunning New Hampshire landscape.
Scenic Routes in the Lakes Region NH
The Lakes Region NH offers a variety of scenic routes that are worth exploring. From Route 109, which takes you from Center Sandwich to Wolfeboro, to Route 140, which goes from Alton to Belmont, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy gorgeous views and discover small towns along the way.
These routes are filled with charming shops, waterfront dining options, and picturesque landscapes that make for a memorable biking experience. Whether you prefer the winding roads and rolling hills of Route 109 or the scenic beauty and lakeside views of Route 140, you’ll find plenty to admire as you explore the Lakes Region NH.
Highlights of the Scenic Routes:
- Enjoy the charming town of Center Sandwich, known for its historic buildings and beautiful town center.
- Make a stop in Wolfeboro, often referred to as the “Oldest Summer Resort in America,” and take a stroll along the picturesque waterfront.
- Experience the natural beauty of the region as you ride through rolling hills, lush forests, and alongside sparkling lakes.
- Discover hidden gems like small shops, art galleries, and local eateries that offer a taste of the region’s unique culture.
“The scenic routes in the Lakes Region NH offer a perfect blend of natural beauty and small-town charm. Whether you’re an avid biker or simply looking for a relaxing road trip, these routes will not disappoint.” – Local Biking Enthusiast
So gear up, hop on your bike, and immerse yourself in the stunning scenery and warm hospitality of the Lakes Region NH. Whether you’re a seasoned rider or a casual adventurer, these scenic routes promise an unforgettable journey through New Hampshire’s picturesque landscapes.
Recommended Stops and Attractions
Along the Lake Winnipesaukee loop and the surrounding scenic routes, there are several recommended stops and attractions that you shouldn’t miss. Whether it’s walking the boardwalk at Weirs Beach, visiting The Loon Center to learn about these beautiful birds, or exploring Castle In The Clouds for breathtaking views, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Don’t forget to try some of the local cuisine, such as the Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese at Canoe restaurant in Center Harbor.
“Weirs Beach is the perfect spot to take in the lake views while strolling along the boardwalk. You’ll find buzzing activity, fun shops, and delicious ice cream to satisfy your cravings.”
When visiting the scenic routes, make sure to stop by The Loon Center, where you can discover fascinating facts about these magnificent birds and their conservation efforts. It’s a great educational experience for both adults and children.
Castle In The Clouds
A must-visit attraction along the Lake Winnipesaukee loop is Castle In The Clouds. This historic mansion offers stunning panoramic views of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Take a guided tour to learn about the history and architecture of the castle, or simply enjoy a leisurely stroll through the beautiful gardens and grounds.
- Explore the mansion’s rooms and admire its grandeur
- Take in the breathtaking vistas from the observation deck
- Enjoy a delicious meal at the Carriage House Restaurant
- Visit the Art Gallery to see local and regional artwork
When you’re ready for a break, head to Canoe restaurant in Center Harbor for a taste of the local cuisine. Their Lobster Mac ‘n Cheese is a crowd favorite and is sure to satisfy your cravings.
Timing and Duration of the Scenic Biking Adventure
The timing and duration of your Lake Winnipesaukee scenic biking adventure can vary depending on various factors. From the number of stops you plan to make, the traffic conditions, to your personal preferences, it’s essential to consider these aspects to ensure a memorable experience.
Some riders may choose to complete the loop in as little as 2 hours, enjoying a quick yet exhilarating ride around the lake. This option is ideal for those pressed for time but still wanting to soak in the stunning scenery. However, if you prefer a more leisurely pace, taking a full day to explore the different sections of the loop is highly recommended.
By allowing for additional time, you can immerse yourself in the beauty of the region, stopping at various attractions, and taking in the breathtaking views along the way. Whether it’s pausing to capture the perfect photo or indulging in local delicacies in charming towns, the scenic biking adventure becomes an unforgettable journey.
It’s important to plan accordingly and be flexible with your time to fully enjoy every aspect of the Lake Winnipesaukee loop. Consider creating a rough itinerary, allowing for spontaneous detours, and embracing the freedom of the open road. Remember, the duration of your adventure is entirely up to you, so make the most of it!
Safety Tips and Considerations
Before embarking on your biking adventure, prioritizing safety is essential. Take note of the following safety tips and considerations to ensure a secure and enjoyable ride:
- Check your bike: Before hitting the road, thoroughly inspect your bike to ensure it’s in good condition. Check the brakes, tires, lights, and any other essential components to avoid any mechanical issues during your ride.
- Wear protective gear: Always wear proper protective gear, including a helmet, gloves, and protective clothing. This will help protect you in case of any accidents or falls.
- Obey traffic rules and regulations: Stay safe by adhering to all traffic rules and regulations. Observe speed limits, use proper signals, and be mindful of other motorists on the road.
- Be aware of your surroundings: Stay alert and constantly scan your surroundings. Keep an eye out for pedestrians, other vehicles, and any potential hazards on the road.
- Check the weather forecast: Check the weather forecast before your ride and plan accordingly. Avoid riding in inclement weather conditions that may pose risks to your safety.
- Carry a map or GPS device: Always have a map or GPS device with you to stay on track and navigate the route effectively. This will minimize the chances of getting lost and help you find your way back if needed.
By following these safety tips and considerations, you’ll be well-prepared for a safe and enjoyable biking adventure around Lake Winnipesaukee.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
Biking the Lake Winnipesaukee loop and exploring the scenic routes in the Lakes Region NH is a truly unforgettable experience. The combination of stunning views, charming towns, and recreational opportunities make it a must-do for any motorcycle enthusiast. Whether you choose to complete the loop in one day or take your time to fully immerse yourself in the beauty of the region, you’re guaranteed to create lasting memories.
Throughout your journey, you’ll be greeted with panoramic vistas of Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. The scenic roads will lead you through vibrant towns such as Laconia and Meredith, where you can explore and appreciate the rich history and family-friendly resort areas. As you venture along the western side, you’ll be captivated by the exceptional views of the lake and the Ossipee Range.
But the adventure doesn’t end with the Lake Winnipesaukee loop. The surrounding region offers additional road trip options, allowing you to expand your biking adventure and discover more of New Hampshire’s natural beauty. From incredible views of the White Mountains to picturesque rides through rural charm, there’s something for everyone.
So, pack your gear, buckle up your helmet, and get ready for an exhilarating journey through the scenic splendor of Lake Winnipesaukee. Whether you’re a seasoned biker or a novice rider, this experience will leave you with a sense of awe and wonder. Don’t miss out on the chance to create everlasting memories as you embrace the open road and immerse yourself in the breathtaking landscapes of the Lakes Region NH.