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View Full Version : Looking for easy, quiet mountain bike riding in southern Whites



sardog1
08-26-2015, 08:45 PM
I realize this might be the summertime equivalent of asking for your favorite powder stash in the winter. :rolleyes:

I'm looking for some easy mountain bike riding on the southern side of the Whites, preferably east of Kanc Pass, and without said route(s) being open to motor vehicles driven by the public. Emphasis is on easy (no big hills) and quiet. I can tolerate the occasional logging truck. Don't need more than a scant few miles of length, at most.

sierra
08-26-2015, 09:19 PM
The Rob Brook rd. off Bear Notch road, might fit your ambitions. It's about 1 mile from the kanc on your left.

sardog1
08-26-2015, 09:26 PM
The Rob Brook rd. off Bear Notch road, might fit your ambitions. It's about 1 mile from the kanc on your left.

Thanks, that is exactly the sort of thing I'm looking for and already on my list. ;)

Jazzbo
08-27-2015, 05:54 AM
I second Sierra's comment. I accessed these roads on foot back 2010 to go to Green's Cliff and was wishing I had taken my mountain bike along. I accessed the FR35 via the ford south of Church Pond. The ford is pretty easy this time of year. I could have left my boots on.

You might check out Slippery Brook Road and East Branch Road. Post from earlier this year indicates they are working on the roads and FS still shows them as closed. You might call FS. Maybe they're open by now.

For something a little different you might consider checking out the old Beebe River RR between Campton and Sandwich Notch. It is about 10 miles distance and is gated to vehicles and open to hikers and bikers. Grades are moderate at Campton end and bit rougher towards the Sandwich Notch end. A power line cut parallels it for portions of the route which may spoil your wilderness experience, but it doesn't get too much traffic. It doesn't show up on many maps. Beebe River is real pretty when it is flowing good, not so much in a dry season.

Stan
08-27-2015, 07:24 AM
Although public, there are gravel roads lightly traveled in Sandwich. Mt. Israel Road/Wing Road stands out in particular with a great spot for a ice cream break at Sandwich Creamery on Hannah Road and a place to stretch your legs on a nature trail at Chapman and Visny Woods Sanctuary.

sardog1
08-27-2015, 08:22 AM
I second Sierra's comment. I accessed these roads on foot back 2010 to go to Green's Cliff and was wishing I had taken my mountain bike along. I accessed the FR35 via the ford south of Church Pond. The ford is pretty easy this time of year. I could have left my boots on.

You might check out Slippery Brook Road and East Branch Road. Post from earlier this year indicates they are working on the roads and FS still shows them as closed. You might call FS. Maybe they're open by now.

For something a little different you might consider checking out the old Beebe River RR between Campton and Sandwich Notch. It is about 10 miles distance and is gated to vehicles and open to hikers and bikers. Grades are moderate at Campton end and bit rougher towards the Sandwich Notch end. A power line cut parallels it for portions of the route which may spoil your wilderness experience, but it doesn't get too much traffic. It doesn't show up on many maps. Beebe River is real pretty when it is flowing good, not so much in a dry season.

Thanks very much. Slippery Brook and East Branch were on the list as well, good to have some affirmation. Really appreciate the info about Beebe River RR!

sardog1
08-27-2015, 08:23 AM
Although public, there are gravel roads lightly traveled in Sandwich. Mt. Israel Road/Wing Road stands out in particular with a great spot for a ice cream break at Sandwich Creamery on Hannah Road and a place to stretch your legs on a nature trail at Chapman and Visny Woods Sanctuary.

Thanks. I'm looking for something a little less public.

Jazzbo
08-27-2015, 08:50 PM
Thanks very much. Slippery Brook and East Branch were on the list as well, good to have some affirmation. Really appreciate the info about Beebe River RR!

I had a few hours this afternoon to do something fun so I zoomed over to Campton and rode the Beebe RR. It's a bit rough. I went 3.5 miles in and 300 feet elevation gain. Nice and fast downhill back to the Beebe River bridge. There is horse farm over by the Bump bridge in the beautiful intervale. I saw some horse tracks on the road.

peakbagger
08-28-2015, 05:30 AM
Somewhat out of your range and not to be done on weekends is the old B&M right of way along the east side of the Androscoggin river starting in Berlin which eventually turns into the Presidential Range Trail after it crosses the river and heads west. The downside is that the Easterly portion of the route is also part of the Ride the Wilds ATV route that gets heavy use on weekends. It is one long gradual grade down from Berlin. If you don't want to deal with ATVs, the trail east of the parking lot on Rt 2 in Gorham all the way to Whitefield is closed to ATVs. The stretch along the Moose River valley is very wild with a couple of old railroad bridges, the old bottling plant and the ruins of Harriman Spring spring pool. The trail is just graded railroad ballast, fine for mountain bikes but not good for road bikes. Once the trail crosses pinkham B road, it parallels RT 2 and is less wild. There are still a couple of wetland complexes but to me a bit less interesting.

MikeB
08-28-2015, 03:28 PM
I second (third?) the Rob Brook trails, but there are definitely hills to be found once you get off the main logging road. There's a good mountain bike trail map for that area available at most local bike shops.

The Conway recreation path along the Saco has a couple of miles on nice flat scenic riding. You can tie it into the power line trails going north and link up to the Whittaker Woods trails (mostly flat). The Conway area mountain bike trail map shows them all. It's easy to get lost in the network of snow machine trails around the Redstone quarries, but still fun to meander around.

A little more off the beaten track is the Freedom NH Town Forest, with about 10 miles of mostly flat-ish trails good for riding. I rarely see another person there (but I avoid it during hunting season).

http://www.townoffreedom.net/pdfs/TroutPondbrochure.pdf
http://www.townoffreedom.net/pdfs/Trailmap.pdf

Finally, if you're looking for a *fantastic* fall mountain bike ride in the Conway area you should definitely check out the North Conway Public Library's Bike For Books ride:

http://www.northconwaylibrary.com/index.php?page=bike

It's a super scenic off-road route, during the height of leaf peeping season, with a covered bridge rest stop and lunch at the end. It uses much of the Conway mountain bike trail system, including Whittaker Woods, "Sticks & Stones", the power line trails, the rec path, the mineral site trails, and the Moat mountain trails. Marked options to make it as easy or technical as you want... A great introduction to the area trail system. I try to ride it every year, and I can't recommend it highly enough!

sardog1
08-28-2015, 08:26 PM
Thanks to peakbagger and MikeB for the excellent info! This thread has already surpassed my hopes.

hiking lady
08-30-2015, 03:54 AM
I second peakbagger recommendatipn, I've done the whole presidential trail from berlin to pondicherry, and loved it, even saw an eagle on the river between berlin and Gorham and heard a cuckoo bird which was neat. I'm bookmarking the conway one mentionef! Good stuff.