New Hampshire has everything riders love: winding mountain roads, scenic seashores, dense wilderness byways, and picturesque small towns punctuating each route. The state motto, “Live free or die,” reflects the passion of New Hampshire residents and motorcycle riders everywhere. Whether you want to hit the road for a couple of hours or the entire weekend, you’ll find the perfect starting point here!

Find all New Hampshire motorcycle events.

1. Kancamagus Highway

Length: 25 miles
Time to Ride: 1 hour
Tolls: Free

Known as “the Kanc” to bikers and locals, the Kancamagus Highway cuts the highest altitude highway in the American northeast, and it’s probably the most famous drive in the state. The Kanc begins about 60 miles north of Concord and passes through the heart of the White Mountains. The winding road highway is a comfortable ride with plenty of curves to keep things interesting but few tight switchbacks. The route flanks Mount Kancamagus, slices through the White Mountain National Forest, and passes countless scenic vistas and overlooks along the way. Many riders choose to stop at the   Russell-Colbath Historic Site for a bit of colonial history and a walk along the Forest Discovery Path.

Good to Know: The Kanc is beautiful all year, but it’s especially stunning during the autumn. Foliage hunters flock to the White Mountains and Mount Kancamagus every fall, seeking out the next great vista over the White Mountains. During September-October, every overlook displays a spectacular patchwork of miles of gold, crimson, sunset orange, and green.

2. Mount Washington Auto Road

Length: 7.6 miles
Time to Ride: 30-40 minutes each way
Tolls: $17 for one motorcycle and operator

Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeast and the most prominent mountain east of the Mississippi, so the scenic Mount Washington Auto Road is definitely a ride for the bucket list, despite the steep toll fee. The ride is short but offers plenty of scenic stops and overlooks along the way. This ride is not for the height-phobic; forbidding drop-offs from the road’s edge have given more than one driver a bout of anxiety in the past, and a 12% grade keeps things interesting. Once you reach the top, you can park and wander around the gift shop, explore the views, take advantage of the restrooms, and even take a ride on the steep Cog Railway to the summit.

Good to Know: For a once-in-a-lifetime view, plan a sunrise ride to the peak during one of the three Sundays when the road opens early. No matter when you visit, be prepared for extreme weather fluctuations; it could be 80 degrees at the bottom and 20 at the top.

3. The Seacoast Highway

Length: 18.5 miles
Time to Ride: 40 minutes
Tolls: Free

The Seacoast Highway/Route 1A runs directly along the shore from the Massachusetts/New Hampshire state line up to the motorcycle-friendly city of Portsmouth. For at least half of the drive, you’ll be riding right next to the crashing waves. The ride is smooth with just a few twists and curves as it hugs the coast and wends among neighborhoods of beach cottages and small local restaurants. You’ll find plenty of places to stop and eat and spellbinding views of the Atlantic waves and the Isle of Shoals.

Good to Know: Portsmouth is home to some of the best restaurants in the Northeast, so plan to spend some time wandering and grabbing lunch or dinner here!

4. Sunapee Loop Scenic Drive

Length: 140 miles
Time to Ride: 3 hours
Tolls: Free

The Sunapee Loop ride offers a low-stress, easy escape to New Hampshire’s lake region. Spend half a day taking in the rolling hills, sparkling lakes, and historical towns of the area–including Washington, NH, with arguably the most picturesque city green in New England. You’ll pass through forest, skirt the beautiful Otter Pond, ride to the top of Mount Sunapee, and beside Mount Sunapee State Park. Many bikers decide to stop at the state park to relax on the beach, use the restrooms, and go for a short hike.

Good to Know: This is a circular route that starts and ends in Greenfield. You can extend the adventure by joining the 80-mile Monadnock Region Loop here.

5. Monadnock Region Loop

Length: 80 miles
Time to Ride: 2 hours
Tolls: Free

Southwestern New Hampshire’s Monadnock Loop is quintessential New England. Rolling hills, gleaming white colonial houses, barns, covered bridges, and views of Mount Monadnock make up this smooth, easy ride. You’ll pass by ponds and bogs, find access to countless trails, and enjoy beautiful views of Mount Monadnock. Great bookstores, antique shops, and local restaurants abound in the towns and villages you’ll pass through.

Good to Know: This is another favorite drive among fall foliage enthusiasts! Keep up with the peak color forecast here.

6. Connecticut River Scenic Byway

Length: 140 miles
Time to Ride: 3 hours
Tolls: Free

The Connecticut River Scenic Byway travels alongside the Connecticut river up New Hampshire’s western border. On the southernmost section of the ride, you’ll take Route 9 through West Chesterfield, then zigzag north to Rt. 12 and 12A to pass through historic Walpole, then Claremont. As you travel north, you’ll enjoy picturesque towns, vistas overlooking the river, and plenty of opportunities for side trips and places to explore–from the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site to the pristine Pisgah State Park at the ride’s southern tip.

Good to Know: You’ll have plenty of opportunities to join other rides from the Connecticut River Byway. Join the Great North Woods Ride from Groveton or the Multi-Notch Mountain Ride from Littleton, NH.

7. Currier and Ives Trail

Distance: 30 miles
Time to Ride: 1 hour
Tolls: Free

The Currier and Ives Trail wanders through some of central New Hampshire’s most charming landscapes and small towns. The ride takes you through Henniker, Hopkinton, Warner, and Webster, NH. Along the way, you’ll pass Rollins State Park, home to Mount Kearsarge and the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum. In Hopkinton, a short detour will take you to two covered bridges. And in Salisbury, you might want to stop and visit the birthplace of Daniel Webster. The Currier and Ives Trail is a smooth, pleasant drive, mostly tree-lined but also speckled with farms and open fields.

Good to Know: Like many New Hampshire rides, this one is particularly striking during the fall months!

8. Moose Path Trail

Distance: 30 miles
Time to Ride: 1 hour
Tolls: Free

For the outdoor enthusiast who wants a ride through the wilderness, the Moose Path Trail has it all: wildlife viewing areas, access to hiking trails and state parks, and a moose population that probably outnumbers the human one. Near the city of Berlin, you’ll travel through the Northern Forest Heritage Park, which offers a full-scale replica of a 19th century logging camp. Between Berlin and Errol, you’ll enjoy a winding road that offers views of the Pontook Reservoir. You’ll be most likely to spot a moose between the reservoir and Dixville Notch State Park.

Good to Know: If you want an even bigger taste of the wilderness, campgrounds are available at Dixville Notch State Park, Lake Francis State Park, and Connecticut Lakes State Forest. You might want to plan on packing a picnic lunch to enjoy at one of the state parks along the route.

9. Lakes Loop

Distance: 134 Miles
Time to Ride: Allow 3-4 hours
Tolls: Free

The Lakes Loop Scenic Drive allows you to enjoy the cottages and shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, travel through Wolfeboro, one of America’s oldest summer resorts, and get a taste of summer in the New Hampshire Lakes that you’ll never forget. The smooth, winding road gives you frequent glimpses of Lake Winnipesaukee for a low-stress, scenic ride that allows plenty of opportunities to stop, browse, and soak up the quintessential New England small-town atmosphere.

10. American Independence Byway

Distance: 21 miles
Time to Ride: 45 minutes
Tolls: Free

One of the state’s most historic rides, the American Independence Byway passes through the heart of Exeter, the capital of New Hampshire during the War of Independence, then loops through Kensington, Hampton Falls, and Portsmouth. You’ll enjoy the seascapes along the shore in Portsmouth and travel between some of the nation’s oldest towns on the region’s oldest (but up-to-date and well-maintained) roads. History buffs will want to stop and visit the American Independence Museum along the way.

Good to Know: Exeter and Portsmouth are both great shopping destinations and fun towns to wander on foot, so you might want to set aside extra time to explore!