Hiking and Biking in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Grab your bike or your hikers and hit the trails!

Great biking and hiking spots around the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Cotton Valley Rail Trail, Wolfeboro
The 12-mile route has several access points and runs through Brookfield and Wakefield. From railroad history at the ends to a restroom, picnic benches, and shelter near Lake Wentworth, the trail showcases Albee Beach, the Linda Baldwin Preserve, and the Back Bay in downtown Wolfeboro. cottonvalleyrailtrail.org

Gunstock Mountain Resort, Gilford
The mountain offers single as well as double track trails, with all levels of difficulty from beginner terrain to advanced riding across the ridgeline from the summit of Gunstock to Mount Rowe. gunstock.com

Highland Mountain Bike Park, Northfield
Downhill mountain biking park offering instruction for beginners and thrills for experienced riders. Safety equipment is available, as well as bike rentals. There are even lifts to bring you — and your bike — to the top of the hill. highlandmountain.com

Ramblin’ Vewe Farm, Gilford
The nonprofit Ramblin’ Vewe Farm Trust protects and preserves the land, conserving the heritage of the working farm, in operation since 1987. Maps are available at the trailheads, or for purchase from Gilford Public Library. Bikers may access trails from the Boyd Hill Road trailhead.

Winnipesaukee River Trail, Franklin
This five-mile trail parallels the Winnipesaukee River and passes a historic covered bridge, mill ruins and remaining portions of their dams. The trail is open to all non-motorized users and runs from Franklin to Northfield. winnirivertrail.org

WOW Trail, Laconia
The WOW Trail is a paved, 10-foot-wide, multiuse rail trail for bikers of all ages. Parking is available near the trailhead in Lakeport, behind the train station in downtown Laconia and at Bartlett Beach, as well as at Belmont Town Beach and near Mosquito Bridge in Belmont. Leashed
pets are welcome. wowtrail.org

Great Biking Trails in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire


The WOW Trail | Laconia

The WOW Trail is a paved, 10 foot wide, multi-use rail trail in the City of Laconia enjoyed by bikers, walkers and runners of all ages.

Built within the State of New Hampshire owned railroad right-of-way, alongside the active tracks currently leased to the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad, the trail currently spans from Elm Street in Lakeport to downtown Laconia and then on to the Belmont town line where it meets with Belmont’s Winnisquam Scenic Trail, creating 4.25 miles of continuous trail between Lakeport and Belmont’s Osborne’s Agway.

A portion of the WOW Trail veers out of the railroad right-of-way, from Bisson Avenue to Lyford Street, and again over the bridge on Fair Street, in order to avoid the RR trestles over the Winnipesaukee River. Users will note a widened sidewalk with a dashed line down the middle of these sections.

The WOW Trail has become a unifying landmark and point of pride for the City of Laconia.

For more information about our fundraising efforts, visit: https://www.wowtrail.org/



The Winnipesaukee River Trail

Looking for a mellow walk or bike ride on a scenic historic trail close to the Twin River’s, downtown areas, yet with the feel of wilderness? This 3.1 mile trail parallels the Winnipesaukee River and passes the historic upside down covered bridge.

You can also explore mill ruins and dams that tell the history of the mills that operated on this section of the river in the mid 19th century. Catch the glow of Spring as you overlook the Winnipesaukee River as it passes through a beautiful gorge. The trail is open to all non-motorized users from the historic railroad trestle in Franklin to Park Street in Northfield. In that area you can also view the collection of antique rail cars and cabooses.


For more information, visit: https://www.winnirivertrail.org/



The Cotton Valley Rail Trail

Wolfeboro – Brookfield – Wakefield, New Hampshire

The Cotton Valley Rail Trail is located in Wolfeboro, Brookfield and Wakefield, New Hampshire. This 12 mile hard packed Trail offers recreational opportunities to people of all ages and interests – walking, biking (please use caution on platforms when transitioning from trail to inside the rails), running, wildlife viewing, fishing and railway motor cars. And in winter cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The Cotton Valley Trail Committee (CVTC) and all its partners and volunteers hope that you enjoy the opportunity to get outside and experience nature in a safe and beautiful environment. The CVTC suggests starting in downtown Wolfeboro or Turntable Park, Wakefield or anywhere in between to enjoy views of lakes, woods, open spaces, wetlands and wildlife. Take a moment to rest on one of our many benches or picnic tables and enjoy the silence and sounds of nature without traffic!

For more information, visit: https://cottonvalleyrailtrail.org/



Franklin Falls

Biking is a very popular use of the Franklin Falls trail system. Visitors are allowed to bike on any of the trails and the Franklin Falls trail system has trails designed especially for bike riders. These trails are located across from the project office, extending off the Coleman Road. The trail system was developed by a local mountain bike association known as NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association).

The mountain bike trail system is centered near the Franklin Falls Dam administrative offices on highway 127, three miles south of I-93 off exit 22. The system currently consists of approximately 10 miles of multi-use trail, built by mountain bikers for mountain bikers.

For more information, visit: https://www.nemba.org/trails/new-hampshire/franklin-falls-dam-franklin


Amazing Family Hikes and Scenery in the NH Lakes Region


Looking for a great opportunity to catch some summer sun in the Lakes Region? Here are some great places to Catch the Summertime GLOW!

There’s nothing like taking in the sunshine from up on high. So, lace up your boots and get some exercise as you enjoy the warm breeze on a Lakes Region trail. Mount Major in Alton is a popular trek that offers stunning views from the summit just two and a half miles from the parking lot off Route 11.

Piper Mountain is a quieter alternative, fun for its summit’s Flintstone-like furniture made from granite stones. The view of the foliage and nearby peaks will be great in the fall, but don’t expect a grand view of the lakes here—just little peeks on this peak.

Belknap Mountain’s woodsy trails are peaceful, and you’ll enjoy a panoramic view from the fire tower at
the top. Learn more about the Belknap Range trails at belknaprangetrails.org.

The Castle in the Clouds property, maintained by the Lakes Region Conservation Trust, covers over 5,500
acres and offers views of waterfalls and the Ossipee Mountains. There are 28 miles of trails and old carriage
roads that the Conservation Trust makes available to the public. The Brook Trail offers views of seven waterfalls. For more difficulty, consider the two-and-a-half-mile Mount Roberts climb, or hike five miles to the Mount Shaw summit —  at 2,990 feet, the highest point in the Lakes Region.
Learn more about the Castle in the Clouds trail system at https://www.castleintheclouds.org/things-to-do/


great things to do in the Lakes Region of NH

Fun for the Whole Family

There’s so much to explore with your family in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire! And when you’ve worked up a HUGE appetite, find a great place for a full dinner or a quick bite using out Come Catch the GLOW Map!

Come catch the Glow - Dining near Lake Winnipesaukee

Seasonal FUN!

Great shopping, events, entertainment and more awaits during the any season in the NH Lakes Region! Come find out what's going on NOW in The Lakes Region!

Come Catch the Glow - Outdoor Activities in the Lakes Region of New Hampshire

Outdoor Adventures

Looking to get out and catch the natural beauty of the Lakes Region? Grab the family and get going!

Come Catch the Glow - Holiday shopping near Meredith NH

Local Shopping

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Explore More Lakes Region FUN!

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