Page Contributor(s): John Summerson, The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition.
Kearsarge Mt. Road
Steepest Gradient (%)
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Cycling Kearsarge Mountain Road, New Hampshire
Ride 3.5 miles gaining 1,470’ at 8% average grade.
This is the third hardest bike climb in New Hampshire and may be the most scenic -- particularly during leaf peeping season. 👍👍 It is said that on a clear day the skyscrapers of Boston can be seen 80 miles away. While we could see Boston from Wachusetts Mountain on our trip there, we could not spot it from Mt. Kearsarge on the October day we rode this beauty. Mt. Kearsarge is the southernmost of New Hampshire’s top bike climbs located in the White Mountains.
There are some brief extremely steep sections (22% is the highest grade I encountered).
The steepest quarter mile (13.6%) and half mile (12.8%) begin about a quarter mile from the start.
“Kearsarge Mountain Road is a solid climb in central New Hampshire within Rollins State Park. Very narrow and twisty, it is also through a dark tunnel of trees over its lower end. It carries a stout and variable grade over much of its route and is double digit in places. Towards the top the trees thin in spots which provide views on clear days. The grade eases a bit as well over the 2nd half and the ascent ends at a parking lot. Because of its characteristics it is a somewhat difficult but fun descent.” (This quote is provided with the approval of John Summerson from his book The Complete Guide to Climbing (By Bike), 2nd Edition, pg. 76.)
The ride can begin in Kearsarge, five miles from the true start of the climb.
The scenery is very nice on the way to the climb.
$4.00 entrance fee as of October 2020.
We parked just outside the park, but cyclists and hikers must pay an entry fee.
This bike climb is completely within Mt. Kearsarge State Forest Park, and we begin our climb at the entrance to Rollins State Park, fully within the State Forest. The climb is up Mt. Kearsarge, with a peak of 2,937 feet, although our climb ends at the upper parking lot at just over 2,600 feet.
We were fortunate to ride during the peak of fall colors.
The name “Kearsarge” derives from the native Pennacook word Carasarga, which means “mountain.”
First third of the climb.
Middle of the climb.
Last third of this climb.
PJAMM App shows the grade, with one brief descent along the way.
There are a parking lot, picnic benches, and a hiking trail at the top.
That’s a wrap!