Connections in the Great Northern Woods and Eastern Vermont

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This past weekend I made my first attempt at a mini-bike tour since breaking my leg in Rwanda. I switched around my work schedule, cranked out ten days in a row, and then took a four day weekend so I could ride around Northern New Hampshire. I’ve always been curious about the northern sliver that borders Canada known as the Great North Woods, and thought I could take this opportunity to do a little exploring. Before leaving, I scoured google maps, and and older New Hamsphire Gazateer. I focused on the thinnest red lines, avoiding any road with a route number if possible, and made note of several “trails” that looked like they might connect.

After my experience in the White Mountains last year, I knew I would have to keep my plans flexible and be open to riding wherever the roads would take me, but I was also very open to adventure. I would be solo this time, so that would make it easy to change plans and pace when needed. I packed fairly light, and set out on Friday morning from Whitefield, NH, just north of Franconia Notch.

Over the next few days, I made my way through the northernmost part of the White Mountains National Forest, up through Nash Stream Forest, and up to Colebrook. With a lack of water, and time running out due to a decent portion of my time spent bushwhacking through snowmobile trails, I decided to head west in Vermont and explored the West Mountain/Maidstone State Park area, which proved to have several dozen miles of beautifully isolated dirt roads.

The final push on the third day back through the white mountains, over Franconia Notch into a ten mile descent is always a triumphant end to a ride.

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