This route crisscrosses the Connecticut River, which drew settlers to this region in northwestern New Hampshire and now forms the border with Vermont.
I began in downtown Lancaster. Starting at the town’s welcome center, two quick rights sent me south on quiet New Hampshire Route 135, a.k.a. Elm Street. The two-lane road winds through woods, but the landscape quickly reveals pasture, cornfields, the river in the distance, and clouds billowing up beyond the Vermont hills to the west.
I pedaled past farm stands and vegetable plots and watched free-range chickens scurry away from the approaching bike. Just 5 miles out, for the fun of it, I coasted through the Mount Orne covered bridge, crossing into Lunenburg, Vermont. The click of the bike wheels turning echoed off the wood walls and roof. Then I turned around and went back through the bridge into New Hampshire, where I rode south to Dalton. There, I crossed the river into Vermont again and headed north.
The route is like a mini-history lesson. Riding north on US Route 2, I passed an idle paper mill, a vestige of better economic times. Then I headed north on Vermont Route 102, past farms and woods, the river off to my right, hills to the left. I was cranking along—until I came upon the village square in Guildhall.
The white-clapboard enclave making up the Guildhall Village Historic District dates to 1761. I got off the bike and explored. Historic buildings include the neo-Georgian Guildhall Public Library and the original 1795 Guild Hall, which is still the town’s center. A stroll and spin around the grassy quadrangle left me feeling like I wasn’t just cycling through the countryside but pedaling back to an earlier century.
Cabot Inn and Suites is just east of downtown Lancaster on US Route 2. It has a pool and fitness center. Rates start at $99. 603-788-3346; cabotinnandsuites.com.
Organizations and state tourism office websites in Maine (exploremaine.org/bike) Vermont (vermontvacation.com/things-to-do/recreation/biking), and New Hampshire (visitnh.gov/things-to-do/recreation/biking) offer more bike routes.