By Bob Peterson
Here are two bike rides easily accessible from the Grantham Park & Ride, or from South Cove or the former ECA Office parking area for those looking to finish with an uphill slog.
Corbin Covered Bridge, Newport
This is a relatively flat, 20-mile, out-and-back ride on Route 10 through Grantham and Croydon to a covered bridge over the Sugar River in Newport. Route 10 has good shoulders for most of the ride, although the traffic can be heavy during the morning and afternoon commutes.
Heading south on Route 10, you’ll pass by the Grantham Fire Station and Post Office as well as the Dunbar Free Library. In Croydon you’ll pass by the Village School and Croydon Fire Station, as well as Loverin Hill Road. Loverin Hill is a “worthy” hill, meaning it’s worthy of the name “hill.” It’s worth climbing if you want hill training and a scenic loop back to Route 10 in Croydon Flat.
In Newport turn right off Route 10 onto Corbin Road and stop at the covered bridge. Have a snack and check out the bridge, the fishers and kayakers on the Sugar River, as well as Parlin Field Airport’s paved and grass runways.
On your ride back to the Park & Ride, consider taking right turns onto Camel Hump Road in Newport and Bouldervale Road in Grantham for short, scenic jug-handle diversions off Route 10.
As you complete your ride, think about the natural phenomenon you’ve likely experienced: most of the time there’s a head wind both ways on Route 10. How can that be?!
Starting at the Grantham Park & Ride, head south on Route 10 through Grantham. Turn left on Route 114 just before the Dunbar Free Library and the Grantham United Methodist Church. Continue on Route 114 past Mount Trashmore, Grantham’s transfer station, and climb several rolling hills into the Village of Springfield.
Continue on Route 114, passing Lake Kolelemook (pond 1) on your left, climbing several more hills to the intersection of Route 114 and Little Sunapee Road at the bottom of a steep downhill. Turn right onto Little Sunapee Road, keeping Little Lake Sunapee (pond 2) to your right.
Turn right at the intersection with Otterville Road passing Goose Pond (pond 3) and Otter Pond (pond 4) on your right. Continue to the intersection and turn right onto Route 11 and then turn right onto Springfield Road in Georges Mills. Look to the left just before the turn and you may be able to see Lake Sunapee (pond 5).
Turn left off Springfield Road onto Stony Brook Road, crossing under I-89 and passing Baptist Pond (pond 6) on your right. Continue on Stony Brook, down a steep hill passing Palazzi Pond (pond 7) on your right.
Turn left at the intersection of Stony Brook and Route 114. Follow Route 114 into Grantham to the intersection with Route 10 and turn right to go back to the Park & Ride.
Seven ponds, light traffic, and nice scenery are the rewards for climbing a few hills on this 21-mile ride.
I’ll be looking for you on these rides this summer!
Bob Peterson is an enthusiastic cyclist who rides 1,500-1,700 miles per year. He developed his skills as the “sweep” on group rides and a tour leader with Bike Vermont (now Discovery Bicycle Tours) in Woodstock, VT.