Lakes Region Tour
Alton, Ashland, Center Harbor, Gilford, Holderness, Laconia, Meredith, Moultonborough, New Hampton, Ossipee, Sandwich, Tamworth, Tuftonboro and Wolfeboro
Circumnavigate New Hampshire’s largest lake – Lake Winnipesaukee – and stop for a mountain hike, a walk through the region’s friendly downtowns, a visit to a historical museum, or cruise the Big Lake on the MS Mount Washington.
The Lakes Region Scenic Byway circles Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest and most popular lake in New Hampshire. Beginning in Alton, the route follows NH 11 north through Alton Bay up through Gilford. This western side of the lake shows off exceptional views of the lake and Ossipee Range and offers many different recreational opportunities. Take a hike up to the summit of Mt. Major for wonderful sights of the Lake and surrounding mountain ranges or stop in at Ellacoya State Park for a picnic or a swim.
Weirs Beach, with its amusement parks, arcades, and shopping, is one of the most popular family resort areas in the state. This area of the Lakes Region Tour is always bustling with activity. A few miles to the north, view scenic gateways to Meredith‘s traditional New England village with a panorama of Lake Winnipesaukee and the White Mountains.
The route can then be followed via NH 25 to the quaint lakeside village of Center Harbor and on to Moultonborough before choosing to either continue on NH 25 to explore the Ossipee Lake area or travel south on NH 109 to experience the charm of the less developed eastern side of Lake Winnipesaukee to Wolfeboro, known as the “Oldest Summer Resort in America.”
The Branch River Valley Trail
Wakefield Corner, Sanbornville and Union
The Branch River Valley Trail highlights the history of industrial, agricultural and tourism development in New Hampshire. The byway takes you through Wakefield Corner, a well preserved village featuring 26 buildings on the National Historic Register. You’ll also pass through Sanbornville, Union, and by the New Hampshire Farm Museum. At the New Hampshire Farm Museum, you will experience a 19th century working farm and an agricultural heritage museum. Continuing on, the byway weaves through woodlands, open pastures and alongside rivers and streams. Along the way you’ll also see beautiful views of the Belknap Range. You might also want to stop in at the Museum of Childhood, open seasonally, to admire an impressive private collection of toys, including dolls, doll houses, stuffed animals, puppets and music boxes. There are thousands of toys on display, collected both here and abroad. Be sure to take a break at the Wakefield Heritage Center, a seasonally run interpretive and information center.
Approx. 134 miles
Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough, Wolfeboro, Sanbornville, Conway, Union, Farmington, Rochester, Northwood, Nottingham, Raymond, Deerfield, Epsom, Pittsfield, Barnstead, Gilmanton and Laconia
From the town docks in Meredith on the shores of Lake Winnipesaukee, turn east on Rt. 25 to Center Harbor and Moultonborough, where you’ll turn south on Rt. 109, a windy route that offers frequent glimpses of the “big lake” as it takes you through Wolfeboro (the oldest summer resort in America).
Outside Wolfeboro, Rt. 109 turns east, passing Wentworth State Park, to Sanbornville were you join Rt. 153.
Go north to Conway to join the Multi-Notch Mountain Ride, or to continue the Lakes Loop, follow it south through Union to Farmington and Rt. 11 east in Rochester. In Rochester, turn southwest on Rt. 202A to Northwood, where you’ll briefly turn east on Rt. 4 to pick up Rt. 152 south. In Nottingham, pick up Rt. 156 to Raymond where you’ll head north on Rt. 107 through Deerfield, Epsom, Pittsfield, Barnstead, Gilmanton and Laconia. Turn onto Rt. 3, which will take you back to Meredith.