For adventure seekers, a snowy winter in New England can only mean one thing...time to grab the sled by the handlebars and cruise. Not sure which Northeast destination to rev up your engine in? All signs point to New Hampshire. And here are five reasons why.
The Breathtaking Beauty
New Hampshire may be known as “The Granite State” but it’s actually covered in 84 percent forest. That’s a more lush landscape in one state than pretty much anywhere else in the country. But wait! There’s more! New Hampshire’s also home to diverse terrain, with 944 lakes and 41,800 miles of rivers and streams for you to navigate around while riding. Want sweeping, scenic views? We’ve got that too. Not to mention stunning, wildlife-spotted valleys.
“New Hampshire’s diverse landscape offers everything from lake views to vast forest trails to scenic mountain vistas,” says Chris Gamache, Chief of New Hampshire Bureau of Trails at the Division of Parks & Recreation. All this and much more make New Hampshire the perfect place to explore the outdoors on your snowmobile.
The Top-Notch Trails
New Hampshire has a staggering 7,000 miles of riding. That’s a whole lotta tight and twisted trails. But it’s not just the breadth of trails that make the New Hampshire snowmobiling experience so special. It’s also the superior quality that contributes to the ultimate riding experience.
Yep, New Hampshire takes its trail maintenance seriously. “There’s so much that goes on behind the scenes long before the first snowflakes fall,” says to Monica Pettengill Jerkins, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Snowmobile Association. “Local clubs and volunteers are always building new trails or improving on existing ones.” All the better to snowmobile with!
So ,with so many choices, what are the stand-outs? “You really can’t go wrong anywhere in New Hampshire that you choose,” says Gamache. He recommends the Northern Rail Trail for a long cruising ride, and Twin Mountain to Berlin along Corridor 11 for a great winding forest ride, or for some fabulous views to head to Bear Notch Road in Bartlett, Diamond Peak Trail in Pittsburg or Mount Shaw off from Corridor 15 in Moultonborough.
The Expert Advice
New Hampshire is chock-full of seasoned snowmobilers—local experts who want to help visitors have an unforgettable adventure. Our advice? Take advantage of this knowledge base as you plan your trip, not to mention while you’re there.
“Local clubs are a great way to get involved and learn more about the sport, and if new to riding here I would recommend joining one and to start riding a particular area and then venture out further,” says Gamache. “The New Hampshire Bureau of Trails updates statewide trail riding conditions throughout the winter every Tuesday and Friday.” Snowmobile rental shops in New Hampshire can also be a good resource.
The Spectacular Stops
Just picture waking up in a warm, cozy cabin in the woods, with your snowmobile parked conveniently right outside. You hop out of bed, onto your ride, and head to that hidden gem down the trail to grab brunch with your friends. Sound good? That’s just a taste of the incredible Granite State snowmobile experience.
To snowmobile in New Hampshire is to be immersed in nature one minute and stopping in to a quaint town the next. It’s adventure, shopping, dining, entertainment and enjoying a craft beer all in one day—using a single, epic mode of transportation.
Want the intel on the sweetest spots to stop? “New Hampshire has plenty of people who are passionate about showcasing our state with visitors by sharing local secret spots, so if there’s an area you are interested in exploring, contact the local clubs and ask for recommendations,” says Jerkins. Most communities have direct connections from trails to amenities like gas, delicious food and overnight accommodations.
The Awesome Events
When it comes to snowmobiling, two sleds are certainly better than one. That’s why New Hampshire hosts exciting events all winter long—enticing riders from all over the region and beyond.
Typically on the first weekend in March is the Go North Snofest - an exciting rendition of the former Snodeo event. This event is cancelled for 2021, but has plans to return in 2022! This exciting two-day celebration brings together traditional snowmobile demo rides with the best winter activities in the North County including snowshoeing, e-bikes, ice skating, tubing, and plenty more. And be sure to check out New Hampshire's Open Snowmobile Weekend which allows anyone with a current snowmobile registration from another state or province to ride in NH on March 5-7, 2021. And then there’s the NH Snowmobile Association and various member clubs that offer countless events and organized rides across the state, along with safety classes and meetings.
And there you have it…now who’s ready to ride? Because New Hampshire sure is!