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Old 08-02-2009, 08:07 PM   #1
Jersey Joe
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Default Rt 93 to Alton Bay ??? Advice ?

Hi,

I will be traveling up to Alton Bay next week. I need advice on best way to get from Rt 93 to Alton Bay while towing a trailer?

Route 28 looks direct from just north of Manchester - to Alton Bay. (but looks like mountains?)

But, Route 3 to Route 140 from Northfield also looks like a good choice, (but again, looks like hill, and secondary roads)

Or, is Route 3, to Route Route 11 (the best route?

Thanks for any advice. We have always gone to Meredith and Center Harbor, so I do not know the roads on the Southern end of the lake.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #2
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Hi JJ,
We make this trip several dozen times per year. Twice a year with a 23 foot boat in tow. The route we have come to know as our preferred route is as follows.

Route 93 to Concord NH
Exit 15E onto 393 (interstate highway)
393 turns into 202 / 4 (mostly 2 lane good road)
At the traffic circle you take 28 North.
About 2/3 of 28 is pretty good.
Last 1/3 gets a bit lumpy but reasonable for towing.
At Alton traffic Circle take 11 North.

We see plenty of boats towed along this route and their are not any really challenging hills.

Enjoy your time.
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Old 08-02-2009, 08:39 PM   #3
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Thank You Rattlesnake Guy.

I looked on the map and that looks like a great route. I will try that way. I am only towing a 19' - but my tow vehicle is only a V-6, so I always try to be careful with the hills.

Again - Thanks for the advice !
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Old 08-02-2009, 10:56 PM   #4
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Default Another option

You may want to get onto Rt28 below the circle mention by RS. Our freinds have used this route who go to Wolfboro. They also have hauled trailers. Take Rt93 North to Rt3A just out of Manchester(You could also get off at the Hooksett toll booth and end up at Rt3A as well)) Follow and take the bridge across the Merrimack River to Rt28/Rt3 in Hooksett. Follow North until Rt28 branches off to the right. This avoids the huge traffic jam that usually happens in Concord approaching Rt89 to Rt393. They should make the highway 3 lanes from the NH/Mass border to past Concord, too many merges.

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Old 08-03-2009, 08:19 AM   #5
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Thanks - I was looking at that too. Will see what time we get in that area and see how traffic is flowing. Game plan is to leave NJ at about 5:30, but I drive pretty slow 55 - 60, so I may be there right at noon, which would mean you bypass will be hepful.

As always - thanks to fellow forum users for useful help !
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Old 08-03-2009, 11:09 AM   #6
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Default R-Guy's route is the best

I have tried all sorts of routes to get to Minge Cove which is still considered Alton Bay. There is a short cut throught Chichester if you are not towing which cuts off Epsom Circle. This is the very fastest way. (I learned it from ghaltonbay).
The time of day you are traveling should be just fine for this route.

Depending of where you are going in Alton Bay... exit 20 from rt 93 in Tilton is also a good road. It is within 5 minutes of using exit 15 to get to Minge Cove. Probably an extra 10 minutes to the tip of Alton Bay.

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Old 08-03-2009, 11:21 AM   #7
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Default Depends

I would go the Concord route only if you will be going through Concord in off peak traffic.Living in Manchester my whole life,I have always gone up rt 3 to rt 28.If you do this route you can exit in Manchester at exit 9 north and follow till route 28 forks off in Suncook and then on to Alton.
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:07 PM   #8
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Default Also heading up from Jersey

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Originally Posted by Jersey Joe View Post
Thanks - I was looking at that too. Will see what time we get in that area and see how traffic is flowing. Game plan is to leave NJ at about 5:30, but I drive pretty slow 55 - 60, so I may be there right at noon, which would mean you bypass will be hepful.

As always - thanks to fellow forum users for useful help !
Having made this trip many times myself from NJ, the only time I've hit traffic heading up 93 towards Concord was during weekday afternoon rush hours or on the Sunday of a NASCAR race. You should do fine on Sat. mid-day taking the route recommended by Rattlesnake Gal (exit 15E to 393 and then 4/202 to the Epsom circle to 28North). Most of the time I leave northern NJ (Clifton) around 6 am and arrive in Alton Bay by 11:30 am.

Do you take 93N all the way from 495? I have found that exiting 495 in Chelmsford and taking 3N which becomes the Everett Tpke. in Nashua saves time, although there is 1 added toll in Bedford. The Everett pike merges with 93 just below the Hooksett Toll. I find it much better than 93 all the way up.

Last edited by ghfromaltonbay; 08-03-2009 at 02:09 PM. Reason: added sentence
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Old 08-03-2009, 02:35 PM   #9
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Great advice from all around - thanks !

Hey GHFromAltonBay -

From New Jersey we take Tappan Zee, to 684, to 84, to Mass Pike, to 290, 495, to 3 (Nashua) into 293 then 93.

We usually hit traffic getting onto the Mass Pike, the Big Left Hand exit from 290 onto 495, and then sometimes near Concord. We have always been on the North End, so we just took 93 all the way up to 94. This is our first time renting on the Southern End of the lake.

Looking forward to learning all about Alton, West Alton, Gilford, etc.

Thanks
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Old 08-03-2009, 08:57 PM   #10
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Default This was our favorite route

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You may want to get onto Rt28 below the circle mention by RS. Our freinds have used this route who go to Wolfboro. They also have hauled trailers. Take Rt93 North to Rt3A just out of Manchester(You could also get off at the Hooksett toll booth and end up at Rt3A as well)) Follow and take the bridge across the Merrimack River to Rt28/Rt3 in Hooksett. Follow North until Rt28 branches off to the right. This avoids the huge traffic jam that usually happens in Concord approaching Rt89 to Rt393. They should make the highway 3 lanes from the NH/Mass border to past Concord, too many merges.
We traveled to the lake via the Rt. 3A/Rt. 28 route (Hooksett, Rt. 93 Exit 10) from Harvard, MA to Alton Bay every weekend for almost 10 years and seldom had much traffic except on the big holiday weekends. Of the various routes we tried, we always found Rt. 28 to be the least stressful.
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Old 08-04-2009, 07:46 AM   #11
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We traveled to the lake via the Rt. 3A/Rt. 28 route (Hooksett, Rt. 93 Exit 10) from Harvard, MA to Alton Bay every weekend for almost 10 years and seldom had much traffic except on the big holiday weekends. Of the various routes we tried, we always found Rt. 28 to be the least stressful.
DRH
Going to try Exit 10 later today.
A change of scenery on the way to the best scenery is not a bad thing.
Thanks
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:20 AM   #12
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DRH
Going to try Exit 10 later today.
A change of scenery on the way to the best scenery is not a bad thing.
Thanks
RG - We used to drive up Rt. 111 from Harvard, MA to Nashua and get on Rt. 3 north at exit 5. We'd proceed up the Everett Turnpike and drive through Manchester, then get on Rt. 93 south for about 1/4 mile and get off at Exit 10 onto Rt. 3A. So other than that short 1/4 mile or so, we completely avoided Rt. 93. The weather today is going to be excellent, so your drive to the lake on Rt. 28 should be quite enjoyable. We always enjoyed seeing the farms with the mountains in the background.
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Old 08-04-2009, 08:26 AM   #13
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Default Exit 10

Snaking through Hooksett to Exit 10 is a great way to avoid the backup at the toll booths in the area on a busy Sunday night.

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Old 08-04-2009, 09:58 AM   #14
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All these posts recommending Exit 10 (Rt 3A) make me very sad*. Traffic has gotten horrible on weekday afternoons, especially Fridays. Before they built the Target etc I could get from the off-ramp to my house in 13 mins. Now it is more like 18 mins.

If I could do one thing to the area, it would be reconfigure the stoplight in Hooksett village, where you guys are turning right. The majority of traffic takes a right there (I go straight). If I am going over the Merrimack towards Hooksett, I bear right where the road goes over by Robies. It may take a bit to take the left trun to go over the bridge, but sometimes it is easier than waiting for the light to cycle a couple times. When it is way backed up, I even take that route to go the other way. Shhhh don't tell anyone.

*Makes me sad because it makes my commute longer. Woe is me.
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Old 08-04-2009, 10:17 AM   #15
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Default Same route for me

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Originally Posted by Jersey Joe View Post

From New Jersey we take Tappan Zee, to 684, to 84, to Mass Pike, to 290, 495, to 3 (Nashua) into 293 then 93.
Looking forward to learning all about Alton, West Alton, Gilford, etc.
Jersey Joe,

Since you're towing a boat, this is definitely the way I'd go. Lately, since I don't tow a trailer, after the Tappan Zee I take the Merritt Pkwy (next exit past 684 off 287) to 91N and pick up 84 in E. Hartford - cuts 11 miles off the commute and no trucks!

If you want to avoid 84 in downtown Hartford, get onto 691 in Cheshire, CT. and pick up 91N in Meriden and then hook up again with 84E in E. Hartford. 691 has a 55 mph limit and it only takes 4-5 minutes to reach 91N which is 65 mph until you get to the Hartford city line. I find it better than the 45 mph stretch with several twists and turns on 84 going thru the city of Hartford. Learned this shortcut from our Lake Winni neighbor who lived in that area of CT.
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Old 08-04-2009, 01:32 PM   #16
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Default Exit 11

My exit is 11 to get onto 93 on busy weekends, not 10 as I stated earlier.
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Old 08-05-2009, 06:41 PM   #17
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Quote:
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You may want to get onto Rt28 below the circle mention by RS. Our freinds have used this route who go to Wolfboro. They also have hauled trailers. Take Rt93 North to Rt3A just out of Manchester(You could also get off at the Hooksett toll booth and end up at Rt3A as well)) Follow and take the bridge across the Merrimack River to Rt28/Rt3 in Hooksett. Follow North until Rt28 branches off to the right. This avoids the huge traffic jam that usually happens in Concord approaching Rt89 to Rt393. They should make the highway 3 lanes from the NH/Mass border to past Concord, too many merges.

Dave M
If you come off 93 at the Hooksett tolls, turning north (left) on to Rte 3A can be tough, especially if you are towing. I have been making this trip for 20 years and would recommend getting off 293 on to 93 SOUTH. Stay in the right lane and immediately exit on to 3A north.
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Old 08-06-2009, 07:34 AM   #18
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If you come off 93 at the Hooksett tolls, turning north (left) on to Rte 3A can be tough, especially if you are towing. I have been making this trip for 20 years and would recommend getting off 293 on to 93 SOUTH. Stay in the right lane and immediately exit on to 3A north.
That is excellent advice. It is REAL hard to make that left at times, especially during the afternoon commute.

Rt 3A is a great route to bypass the Hooksett tolls. I don't like to recommend it, as I am selfish. But it definately is the way to go on Friday and Sundays.
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Old 08-06-2009, 08:56 PM   #19
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Thanks All,

That looks like the plan - Everett Pike to just north of Manchester to 93 South, 1st exit to 3A. 3A to the Main Street Bridge (Hooksett) a few blocks over to 28 north and then follow that into Alton.

Again - Thanks ALL of you for the input, really appreciate it.
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:10 AM   #20
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Our favorite route is RT107 to 4 to 107 to 28.

Yes, I have towed on that road back when we did that and no, I wouldn't recommend it.

But, stress free? You bet. Top down!
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Old 08-09-2009, 09:37 PM   #21
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I would go the Concord route only if you will be going through Concord in off peak traffic.Living in Manchester my whole life,I have always gone up rt 3 to rt 28.If you do this route you can exit in Manchester at exit 9 north and follow till route 28 forks off in Suncook and then on to Alton.
SIKSUKR's recommendation is the best for getting to Alton. Even though there are a number of traffic lights in Hooksett, they aren't really that bad. After Hooksett it's a nice country drive all the way there. Some hills, yes, but not steep.
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Old 08-11-2009, 09:43 AM   #22
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Thanks, the 93 South, 3A North to Hooksett, then accross the bridge to 28 worked well.

But the road conditions on the latter part of 28 were pretty rough. I one point I was only able to go about 30 - 35 in the 50 mph zone, I thought thet boat was going to come off the trailer .

Anyway - thanks for the advice, tremendous shortcut !
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Old 08-15-2009, 11:44 AM   #23
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Default Best Way from Jersey to the Lake - hands down

After 49 (gulp) years of heading north, I know we have found the best way from Jersey to Alton. It is a variation on some of the routes listed here, but this one is the shortest, fastest and easiest all around:

Over George Washington Bridge to Henry Hudson Parkway

Turns into Sawmill River Parkway

Exit 4 – Cross County/Hutchinson River Parkway

Follow Hutch north to Merritt

Exit 68 E to Rt. 91N

Exit 29 to Rt. 84

Exit 3A to Rt. 20 (exit right before the Turnpike so you miss all the traffic)

To Rt. 290 towards Worcester

Rt. 290 ends @ Rt. 495. Take left Exit 26B to 495N

Exit 33 to Rt. 4

Left @ end of ramp

Left to Rt. 3N – turns into Everett Turnpike N/Rt. 293. Rt. 293 turns into 93N

Exit 15E to 393E

At circle, ¾ around to 28N

At next “circle”, ¾ around onto 28N to Rt 11W

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Old 08-15-2009, 07:15 PM   #24
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Default Mass tpk

How do you miss that 10 mile 1 exit on the Mass tpk coming home. It is always a parking lot when we are going home. Often wondered if this was an alternate route and a way to miss this. Thanks in advance
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Old 08-16-2009, 08:28 AM   #25
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I find it interesting that none of you go all the way to Concord and get off there onto 28. Can you tell me the reason for this. We always thought it was quicker to stay on the highway as long as possible. ????
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Old 08-16-2009, 12:18 PM   #26
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We only go the highway route. Glad to hear so many go the other way.
Since we take the trip so often I plan to do several time trials to see for sure.
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Old 08-16-2009, 07:49 PM   #27
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jerseyonbear - same here, we always get nailed on that stretch of the Mass Pike. If anybody knows a shortcut, that would be great to here. However, I have to say, the rest of the drive back on Saturday was pretty easy.
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Old 08-17-2009, 12:47 PM   #28
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Default Routes from 93 to Alton Bay

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Great advice from all around - thanks !

Hey GHFromAltonBay -

From New Jersey we take Tappan Zee, to 684, to 84, to Mass Pike, to 290, 495, to 3 (Nashua) into 293 then 93.

We usually hit traffic getting onto the Mass Pike, the Big Left Hand exit from 290 onto 495, and then sometimes near Concord. We have always been on the North End, so we just took 93 all the way up to 94. This is our first time renting on the Southern End of the lake.

Looking forward to learning all about Alton, West Alton, Gilford, etc.

Thanks

Joe, I have lived in Wolfeboro 24/7/365 since 2002, but since I started driving in 1966, I've made the trip up 93 to the Alton Circle at least 500 times (and I've also taken Rte 3 from 495 to the Everett Turnpike to 93 N. of Manchester many times, and 495 to 95 at Newbury and then 95 to Spaulding Tpk to Route 11 at Rochester, as well).

My conclusion after all that driving? It doesn't make any difference. Any way you go can be slow on a bad day. I would avoid 140 from exit 20 to Alton at all costs, because both the terrain and the road conditions are poor.
Otherwise, it really makes very little difference.
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Old 08-18-2009, 11:26 AM   #29
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I find it interesting that none of you go all the way to Concord and get off there onto 28. Can you tell me the reason for this. We always thought it was quicker to stay on the highway as long as possible. ????
First,you don't pick up 28 in Concord.The way you are describing must go through Concord which can have heavy traffic backup during peak times.That would lead you to I393-rt4/202 to get to 28.Certainly another alternative.I think both ways are a toss-up unless you have heavy traffic and the Hooksett option is faster.I just did this route on Saturday night.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:14 PM   #30
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When we went this Summer to NH we went:

I-95 to exit 27A 9/15 then onto Merrit Pkwy then Exit 68 91 N then 84 East then the Mass Pike to Exit 10 then 290 to the end then 495N to rt 3 Exit 35 ( I think) which leads us to exit 20. If you do this route at 530am ( saturday) its fast and easy, we left at 540am this year at got there at 1050am.

Going home its the same way backwards 3-495-290-90-84-91-95 to the Throgs Neck Bridge, but.... this yr we stayed on 84 all the way to 684 and it was better since we left on a Wednsday we beat the truck hell on route 91 and 95.
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Old 09-05-2009, 08:24 PM   #31
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Some good news this week. The 9 miles of 28 south of Alton have been resurfaced by the over stimulated asphalt industry.
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Old 09-06-2009, 01:27 PM   #32
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First,you don't pick up 28 in Concord.The way you are describing must go through Concord which can have heavy traffic backup during peak times.That would lead you to I393-rt4/202 to get to 28.Certainly another alternative.I think both ways are a toss-up unless you have heavy traffic and the Hooksett option is faster.I just did this route on Saturday night.
Sorry I should have been more explicit. That is what I meant, of course you can't pick up 28 from the highway in Concord. So you are saying you think Hooksett is faster if there is heavy traffic in Concord, otherwise they are about the same, right?
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Old 09-08-2009, 11:21 AM   #33
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I would say that is true.I used rt 3 to 106 this Saturday and it was about the same as 93 to Tilton and past Winnisquam.It all depends on the traffic.
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Old 09-28-2009, 09:08 PM   #34
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I'm going to have to give the Route 28 path another try. The boat is docked at West Alton Marina, and so far, I've been coming, eventually, to Route 93 to exit 20 - to the bypass, Lake Shore Drive, etc.... to West Alton Marina.

The times I've taken 393 to 28, it *seemed* longer... probably due to traffic lights and all that, and the fact that you can't drive as fast. I have never actually measured the difference in time. Not that there aren't a lot of lights between 93 and the Laconia bypass, but the rest of the trip is usually event-free.

Has anyone ever compared the routes?

Regards,

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Old 09-29-2009, 09:07 AM   #35
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I'm going to have to give the Route 28 path another try. The boat is docked at West Alton Marina, and so far, I've been coming, eventually, to Route 93 to exit 20 - to the bypass, Lake Shore Drive, etc.... to West Alton Marina.

The times I've taken 393 to 28, it *seemed* longer... probably due to traffic lights and all that, and the fact that you can't drive as fast. I have never actually measured the difference in time. Not that there aren't a lot of lights between 93 and the Laconia bypass, but the rest of the trip is usually event-free.

Has anyone ever compared the routes?

Regards,

IslandRadio
I am not sure what you mean by traffic lights. From 93 anywhere south its highway, 393 is also highway, Route 4 has one light at the intersection with Horse Corner Rd and Main st in Chichester, then you have the traffic circle in Epsom, North on 28 you have one light at the intersection with 107, from there its straight to the Alton Circle. That is two traffic lights in the 30.1 miles from the 393/93 junction to the Alton traffic circle. 393, Rt4, Rt28 are all posted 50-55 MPH with some 35 thrown in for good measure. Total driving time 37 mins to Alton Bay.

You have more lights getting off exit 20 and down route 3. Rt3 is almost completely 35 MPH, the cutoff and Rt are 50-55 zones with the 35's mixed in.
42.6 miles total driving time 50 min.

Directions below are from Fort Eddy road to alton bay, going both ways.

Time Mile Instruction For Toward
Summary: 46.2 miles (50 minutes)
9:00 AM 0.0 Depart Fort Eddy Rd, Concord, NH 03301 on Ramp (West) 0.3 mi I-93
9:00 AM 0.3 Merge onto I-93 18.3 mi
9:18 AM 18.5 At 20, turn RIGHT onto Ramp 0.4 mi US-3 / RT-11 / RT-140 / Tilton / Laconia
9:18 AM 18.9 Turn LEFT (North-East) onto US-3 [SR-11] 12.1 mi
9:32 AM 31.0 Keep STRAIGHT onto Ramp 0.2 mi
9:32 AM 31.2 Keep LEFT to stay on Ramp 76 yds RT-11 / Alton
9:32 AM 31.2 Turn LEFT (East) onto SR-11 [Lake Shore Rd] 8.0 mi
9:42 AM 39.3 Road name changes to Mt Major [SR-11] 1.5 mi
9:43 AM 40.8 Road name changes to SR-11 5.4 mi
9:49 AM 46.2 Turn LEFT (North-West) onto SR-28A [Lake Shore Rd] 43 yds
9:50 AM 46.2 Arrive Alton Bay

SUMMARY
Driving distance: 46.2 miles
Trip duration: 50 minutes
Driving time: 50 minutes
Cost: $3.42


Time Mile Instruction For Toward
Summary: 30.1 miles (37 minutes)
9:00 AM 0.0 Depart Fort Eddy Rd, Concord, NH 03301 on Ramp (West) 0.3 mi I-93
9:00 AM 0.3 Merge onto I-93 142 yds
9:00 AM 0.3 At exit 15E, take Ramp (RIGHT) onto I-393 [US-202] 4.9 mi I-393 / US-4 / US-202 / Loudon / Portsmouth
9:05 AM 5.2 Keep STRAIGHT onto US-202 [US-4] 2.5 mi
9:08 AM 7.7 Turn LEFT (North) onto Main St 0.4 mi
9:10 AM 8.2 Turn RIGHT to stay on Main St 2.0 mi
9:14 AM 10.2 Turn LEFT (North) onto SR-28 [Suncook Valley Hwy] 17.8 mi
9:34 AM 28.0 Merge onto SR-11 [SR-28] 0.1 mi
9:35 AM 28.1 Turn LEFT (North-West) onto SR-11 0.2 mi
9:35 AM 28.3 Keep LEFT onto Local road(s) 54 yds
9:35 AM 28.4 Merge onto Local road(s) 54 yds
9:35 AM 28.4 Bear RIGHT (North-West) onto SR-11 [SR-28A] 1.7 mi
9:37 AM 30.1 Bear RIGHT (North-West) onto SR-28A [Lake Shore Rd] 43 yds
9:37 AM 30.1 Arrive Alton Bay

SUMMARY
Driving distance: 30.1 miles
Trip duration: 37 minutes
Driving time: 37 minutes
Cost: $2.23

All driving speeds are just above average of the posted speed on each road except streets and secondary roads. Hope this helps.
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Old 10-01-2009, 06:20 AM   #36
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Thanks for the info!

There's no doubt it is shorter taking route 28 from Concord to Alton Bay. Then, from Alton Bay, it takes approximately 10 minutes (a bit longer if there's traffic) to drive to West Alton Marina. According to Google maps, it is shorter in time to take the exit 20 route, going from Concord to the West Alton Marina.

But, I wonder which *actually* takes longer? The traffic between route 93 and the bypass (along with the numerous lights!) is a problem and can be unpredictable.

Hey, why wasn't that bypass built all the way to 93?

Regards,

Steve
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Old 10-13-2009, 03:53 PM   #37
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There is a short cut throught Chichester if you are not towing which cuts off Epsom Circle. This is the very fastest way. (I learned it from ghaltonbay).

IG
I was wondering who was responsible for all of those vehicles with outta state plates on that windey section of road.
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Old 10-14-2009, 02:03 PM   #38
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I was wondering who was responsible for all of those vehicles with outta state plates on that windey section of road.
And if they only knew that it is really not faster, because of the increase in traffic it slows a 35 mph road even further, while Rt4 and 28 are posted 50+ in both those sections that they are trying to bypass.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:25 PM   #39
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And if they only knew that it is really not faster, because of the increase in traffic it slows a 35 mph road even further, while Rt4 and 28 are posted 50+ in both those sections that they are trying to bypass.
Route 4.

I still can't make up my mind if those 55mph signs are a goodhearted joke ... or a malicious jab at everyone in a 50-car train of autos tailing the little old lady at the front of the line content with going 35mph.
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Old 10-15-2009, 02:36 PM   #40
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Route 4.

I still can't make up my mind if those 55mph signs are a goodhearted joke ... or a malicious jab at everyone in a 50-car train of autos tailing the little old lady at the front of the line content with going 35mph.
That's why I like taking the Main St. shortcut through Chichester. The speed limit is 35 mph and since I travel to and from the lake on weekdays, there are many times when I'm the only car on the road all the way from Rt. 4 to the Chichester General Store. An Alton Bay native took us that way on a trip to Concord one day.
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Old 10-16-2009, 09:45 AM   #41
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Route 4.

I still can't make up my mind if those 55mph signs are a goodhearted joke ... or a malicious jab at everyone in a 50-car train of autos tailing the little old lady at the front of the line content with going 35mph.
Thats to funny, in a way. It happens everywhere, but through there it is really bad. If it happens on 28 its probably my grandmother.
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