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North of White Mountains

31 July 2015

Trip Report: 31 July–2 August 2015

The Boston Chapter of Appalachian Mountain Club has been running this trip for 23 years. This post is a compilation of my participation in this trip 2010–2015.

It is a classic trip that features:

  • All the mountain views without climbing the mountains
  • Hearty home made meals
  • Choices of pace, routes, & distances
  • Varied routes from year to year
  • Great company of participants

My First Trip 2010: 18th Annual

I had joined this trip just a few days earlier with one space left.

I was not sure what rides the group had in mind. Either way, I would decided day by day whether to join them or try one of the other mountain loops nearby.

Hill Junkie had been maintaining a site with bicycle climbs in New England & around the world. Two challenging loops travel through the heart of the White Mountains: east & west. Between them, they cover the majority of the area, providing continuous mountain views. But not without steep and long hills to climb.

I travelled to the area a few days earlier on Wednesday 28 July 2010 to ride the White Mountains west loop, climbing some unknown passes, Franconia Notch, Crawford Notch, Bear Notch, & Kancamagus Pass. Distance 180km & elevation 2,450m.

I spent Thursday & Friday working remotely from Highland Center.

I joined the group for Saturday ride a loop around Lost Nation, Stark, & Mountain View hotel:

On Sunday, I was ready for east mountain loop: Evans Notch, Hurricane Mountain Road with long stretches at a grade over 20%, & Pinkham Notch.

The road has very few services. Plan accordingly. Two good stops of note are Stowe Corner bakery in Stowe, ME, & AMC Joe Dodge lodge.

I do not recommend this loop due to very traffic on routes 2 & 116.

Co-lead 2011: 19th Annual

Mike trusted me to co-lead this trip, so we got working on plans for another bicycle trip to the White Mountains. This time without any additional mountain loops.

We had the traditional Lost Nation, Stark, & Mountain View hotel loop on Saturday: distance 114km & elevation 773m. The loop included the fun sprint up Bridge Hill Road from Gilman:

Sunday ride included an experiment with new route that turned out to include extended sections of gravel. We all finished it smiling, at least to the camera:

Lead 2012: 20th Annual

This was a big challenge to lead the 20th anniversary trip. One idea was to extend it to three days, starting with a short ride on Friday.

The group had a great time on this trip last year, that we decided to repeat it. Possibly every year. The area has much variety for routes, scenic views, beaches, & food stops.

  • Friday ride in the rain, yet many riders joined on a loop from Bethlehem to route 3 back on route 302.
  • Saturday ride to Lancaster & Mountain View hotel.
  • Sunday ride is a mystery: I do not remember the ride nor do I have a record of it! It was likely of Lost Nations.

Jefferson Inn 2013: 21st Annual

After decades running this trip from Applebrook B&B, the owners decided to close & sell. They were no longer able to host our trip. It was time to hit road searching for alternate venue.

Ben & I spent a full weekend knocking on doors to find a suitable venue. We even considered changing the ride area to be the Lakes District on New Hampshire. We finally settled on staying the same area, next door, at Jefferson Inn.

We had planned to ride on Friday again, but cancelled due to heavy rain. Instead, we had clear weather for the rest of the weekend.

We introduced a new route on Saturday to start from Groveton to the Canadian border with a lunch stop at Spa restaurant in Stewartstown, NH.

Sunday was classic route to Lancaster & Mountain View hotel:

Overflow 2014: 22nd Annual

Demand was increasing for the trip. We decided to accept additional riders than can stay at Jefferson Inn. Instead, they could make their own lodging arrangement & join us for day rides. Applebrook was back in business, so many of them stayed there.

Friday ride started in North Woodstock for a loop to Franconia & Kinsman notches, dinner at Woodstock Inn, before traveling another hour to reach Jefferson Inn.

Saturday was another remote start for a beautiful loop through Vermont, stop at duty free shop, lunch at Spa restaurant in Stewartstown, NH, & return along the Connecticut River.

Sunday returned to the classic loop of Lancaster & Mountain View hotel:

Last 2015: 23rd Annual

I was not returning to this trip in 2016 due to a very busy work & travel schedule.

Starting on Friday was the default for this trip, although remained optional for many riders who could not escape from work early. We also kept the loop to Franconia & Kinsman notches, because of the irresistible plunge in Beaver Pond at the top:

Saturday we wanted to stay local riding our bicycles from the Inn, instead of driving to a remote start as we had done the prior two years. The route took us on Lost National Road, Stark covered bridge, & Guildhall library:

Sunday was the classic loop of Lancaster & Mountain View hotel:

Return 2017: 25th Annual

Luckily, I returned with Mike in 2017 to celebrate this beautiful trip.

Weather was misty & cold on Friday. But I still went for the a loop to Franconia Notch, Kinsman Notch, & Beaver Pond:

Saturday we drove an hour north to North Stratford, NH. We parked at an old train depot. The loop was repeat from 2014 through Vermont, stop at duty free shop in Canada, lunch at Spa restaurant in Stewartstown, NH, & return along the Connecticut River.

Across the river, in Bloomfield, VT, there was a general store with many local products.

Location: 44.753375°N, 71.632392°W

Sunday was the classic loop along Connecticut river & climb to Mountain View Grand resort:

Reward was view of the Presidentials mountain range & Greek yogurt with chocolate mint from Green Mountain Creamery, limited batch, seasonal selection:

Location: 44.397522°N, 71.588997°W

Day Map Log
Friday 18 August 2018 14:51 Map from Garmin & Strava: download GPX, FIT, TCX, KML, & other file format for GPS track. Distance ➡️64.51km, speed ⏩18.4km/h, duration 🔄3h:30m:14s, ascent ⬆️838m, descent ⬇️596m, calories *️⃣2,139, temperature 📶14.0ºC.
Saturday 9:43 Garmin & Strava. ➡️112.55km, ⏩17.0km/h, 🔄6:36:43, ⬆️865m, ⬇️851m, *️⃣3,572, 📶23.9ºC
Sunday 9:29 Garmin & Strava. ➡️63.59km, ⏩13.3km/h, 🔄4:46:39, ⬆️702m, ⬇️728m, *️⃣2,111, 📶22.4ºC


From → Bicycle

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