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Thread: Cross NH Trail - First Winter First Bike End to End

  1. #1
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    Cross NH Trail - First Winter First Bike End to End

    https://www.conwaydailysun.com/outdo...5471f0c4d.html

    This new relatively new 83mile long trail just doesnt seem to get the PR it deserves. https://www.xnhat.org/. Its got the views and hard to beat the terrain but whenever I go by the Randolph Trailhead I rarely see cars parked. Its definitely on my list for my E mountain bike this year. I think one of the reasons it is less popular is that the trail bed is to rough for road bikes in many places, tracks were removed and ballast has been graded but unlike many rail trails there hasnt been any stone dust hauled in My guess is with some planning it probably has some nice stealth camping along the route. I am not a fisherman but it does follow a few rivers and drainages. The only stretch with a marginal rep is the Hogan Road in Shelburne which is private logging road that doesnt get routine maintenance. I think some riders take a combination of local trails in Gorham and some rides on the side of RT2 to connect up with the end of Hogan Road and the start of North road that runs to the Maine line. Once the soon to open brewpub in Gorham opens up I think that bypass may be even more popular.

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    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Would it be suitable for hybrid tires?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Would it be suitable for hybrid tires?
    I suspect you can ride it with pretty much any tires. Looks like half of the route is the presidential rail trail. Then North Road and pavement to Bethel.

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    I am not enough of a bicyclist to comment on what would work. I just have heard that skinny high pressure road tires are not going to work in sections.

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    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    It's ideal for a gravel bike.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

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    Senior Member Mohamed Ellozy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mac View Post
    Would it be suitable for hybrid tires?
    From their site: What bike to ride

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    Senior Member ChrisB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mohamed Ellozy View Post
    From their site: What bike to ride
    What a great website Mohamed. Thank you!
    A man needs to know his limitations -- Dirty Harry / Clint Eastwood

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    Hard to beat the photography on a dreary March Day.

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    Senior Member Mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    What a great website Mohamed. Thank you!
    Agreed. Thanks for this. So (except for mud season) wide tires with smooth tread.

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    Senior Member dave.m's Avatar
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    I really, really need to finish the 650B conversion.

    About 10 years ago, I did the Bebe Rd/Sawyer Notch loop out of Plymouth on my similarly ancient Fuji S-12S Ltd. Both bikes ridden wit 700x32 Paselas, which I use for both road and gravel. But yeh... some 650Bx42s would be a lot nicer.

    Thanks for posting this link.
    - Dave (a.k.a. pinnah)

    " Power corrupts. Absolute power is kind of neat." - John Lehman, US Secretary of the Navy 1981-1987

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    Senior Member B the Hiker's Avatar
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    I biked this two summers ago. We started in Woodville and didn't take the trail, but rather made our way up and across NH over the course of several nights up to the campsites on the Gale River Rd. The next day we cycled over Jefferson Notch Rd, and then got onto the trail and stayed at Moose Brook. Following day we went over the dirt trails/roads used by the ATVs up to Jerico Mtn State Park, and then over to Umbagog (which is quite an amazing place).

    Anyhow, we biked back along the entirety of the Cross New Hampshire Adventure Trail on the way back, after another night at Moose Brook.

    If what you want is easy cycling along a flat gravel/grass/dirt trail, it's fun! You see a lot of things, and the trail did help me see how some pieces of New Hampshire are stitched together. As we were biking out to Moose Brook, I kept dreading having to go up the steep hill that one take on Rt. 2 to get to Gorham, and yet we never did, since the trail goes under the highway and never goes up the hill, for example. There's also a beautiful stream and an interesting old building right on the trail that those driving Rt. 2 will never see. You get to ride past Pondicherry wildlife preserve, and after that, you're out in the sticks for quite a while. The long stretch on Rt. 302 is dirt, and if you're out in the summer, there can be a large number of ATVs and Polarises passing, and it can get quite dusty.

    There are also some stretches on road, and they are less than inspiring, but it is what it is.

    I used a fat tire, my friend was on a gravel bike, we were both happy. A mountain bike would also be fine. Certainly not for road bikes!

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    You can also do most of this on a snowmachine, including Pondicherry and the whole rail trail and building that is mentioned. If you bike, you should also consider hopping off at the Pondicherry RR junction and take the short walk to Little Cherry Pond to the northwest.

    If you really want to see Umbagog, start in Errol above the dam and canoe or kayak up Magalloway River into Umbagog. You will see bald eagles along the river. Umbagog is super shallow near the river's junction -- can stand quite a bit out into the lake if you stay out of the river channel.

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    BTW, snowmobile access does not equal ATV access. I am unsure on the western section but pretty sure that from Whitefield to the parking lot in Gorham on RT2 is no ATVs thus only a winter fat tire cyclist would encounter snowmobiles. The trail officially continues east on the RR bed in Gorham at the parking lot on RT 2 but many choose to the cross the street and take a well built no motorized vehicles route to Maine street in Gorham and ride south along Main street in Gorham. The official trail continuation from the parking lot is shared with ATVs. Just before the high former railroad trestle in Gorham the primary ATV access from Gorham comes in from the north and the stretch from this point to the turn off at the next bridge is very busy with ATV traffic and generally very noisy and dusty. Once on Hogan road there is no ATV traffic to Shelburne. Hogan road has canopy over it so the views are minimal although there are some obscured views on rare occasion to the river. There are ways to skip the majority of the shared section using the pedestrian bridge under the trestle and following the road on the island instead of scrambling up a steep slope to the rail trail.

    The bypass around the steep hill between Gorham and Randolph is quite a wild area with 3 1920s railroad bridges not shown on the website. It follows the Moose River and has a few small waterfalls created by construction of the railroad along it. At the center bridge, there is the large two story concrete remains of regionally known bottling plant supplied from the ruins of still flowing granite spring house on a side path. This used to be railroad stop and a trailhead for two trails up Pine Mountain. There have been active archeological digs along this section which showed extensive use by Paleo Indians for east west migration (I guess they didnt want to climb over the large hill either)

  14. #14
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
    I really, really need to finish the 650B conversion.

    About 10 years ago, I did the Bebe Rd/Sawyer Notch loop out of Plymouth on my similarly ancient Fuji S-12S Ltd. Both bikes ridden wit 700x32 Paselas, which I use for both road and gravel. But yeh... some 650Bx42s would be a lot nicer.

    Thanks for posting this link.
    Paying attention to your tire tread pattern and tire pressure can also add some versatility. Finding a tread which is smoother in the middle of the tire and more aggressive on the sidewalls in conjunction with more or less tire pressure can give varied performance. On harder surfaces especially pavement if this tire is pumped up to a higher pressure it will ride on the smoother center bead therefore creating less resistance for the rider to overcome. When riding rougher or looser surfaces the tire can be deflated creating more surface area touching the riding surface while also providing a more aggressive bite by the tire itself in addition to increased stability. I would think that this trail with its's variable surfaces that this strategy could be conducive.
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

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