© 2002 and 2010 by Linda Chestney
Maps © by R. P. Hale

ewington, New Hampshire is probably best known for its malls, Pease International Tradeport, and low taxes. But lesser known facts include that in 1710, the oldest town forest in the United States was established in Newington; that the Newington church bell (a gift from Newington, England) cracked in 1804 and had to be loaded on an oxen-drawn wagon and hauled to Boston where Paul Revere recast the bell; and that it’s home to a national treasure—the Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge.
Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge attracts loon, osprey, terns, harriers (marsh hawks), peregrine falcons, and is a winter roosting spot for bald eagles. Common song birds and wild turkeys abound. Coyote, red and gray fox, white-tailed deer, fish, and other mammals are also frequently sighted. This 1,054-acre refuge bordering Pease International Tradeport has a number of hiking/wildlife sighting trails open to the public. To visit, just follow the Great Bay Refuge signs to the visitor center.
And one more lesser-known fact, that we hope remains a secret no longer, is that the new Rockingham Bicycle-Pedestrian Bridge that spans the Spaulding Turnpike connecting Pease International Tradeport to Portsmouth is open! Much work has been done by SABR (Seacoast Area Bicycle Routes), the City of Portsmouth, and the Pease Development Authority to make this a reality. The bridge is finally completed—and this ride takes you there.
Also consider a side trip to Red Hook Ale Brewery, a microbrewery located on Pease. Known for its quirky ales and porters, Red Hook is partially owned by Anheuser-Busch. Red Hook offers tours where you can watch the bottling and brewing process, and of course, sample the results. Admission for the hour-long guided tour is $1.
The brewery restaurant is worth a stop also. Food is reasonably priced and quite tasty. They make one mean, tasty burger! Definitely worth the stop!
On this loop ride you will soon forget you’re near a major population center as you cruise past apple orchards, cows and horses grazing lazily in nearby fields, lichen-covered stone walls, and ponds teeming with wildlife. Best thing to do is sit back and enjoy the ride.


RIDE INFORMATION

Highlights:
Rockingham Bicycle–Pedestrian bridge. Great Bay Wildlife Refuge a short side trip. Pleasant scenery. Most of the ride has little auto traffic. Redhook Ale Brewery for lunch or tour.
Start:
Bus terminal, and Park & Ride in Portsmouth on Route 33 just west of I-95 access ramps.

RIDE DIRECTIONS

0.0 Right out of the entrance to the park and ride on Route 33. Start your odometer here.
0.4 Right on Portsmouth Avenue (unmarked). Across from Sonoco station.
1.1
Right on Newington Road.
This road offers blooming apple orchards, horses and cows munching in the field, stone walls, corn fields. A relaxing, quiet road.
4.7 At stop sign, left on Little Bay Road.
At 5.7 miles don’t miss the delightful pine grove and the stately birch interspersed in this forested area.
5.9 Right on Fox Point Road.
At 6.0 miles is a quiet pond perfect for a picnic or a photo of ducks and other wildlife.
6.8 At stop sign cross over Nimble Hill Road to continue on Fox Point Rd.
7.3 Straight on Fox Point Road extension. It’s a short bikepedestrian pathway.
7.5 Left on Arboretum Drive (unmarked), which becomes New Hampshire Drive, and then curves gent-ly to the left and becomes Corporate Drive.
You’ve entered Pease International Tradeport, home to numerous public and private sector organizations, and a focal point in the recovery of the Seacoast’s regional economy. Military cutbacks forced Pease Air Force Base to close in 1991, but its transformation to an international tradeport continues to attract industry.
Take a side trip down Corporate Drive to Red Hook Ale Brewery for a tour—or lunch.
10.7 Right over bridge—hang on—the “real” bridge is yet to come!
11.1 Right on paved pathway with wood railings. The bikepedestrian bridge appears momentarily.
11.4 End of pathway. Take a short right to stop sign.
11.5 At stop sign, go right on Woodbury Avenue (unmarked).
You will immediately go under a concrete overpass.
11.9 Right on Cottage Street to stop light. At stop light, go left one block, then right on Borthwick Avenue.
Caution! Railroad tracks at 13.3 miles.
13.5 At stop sign, left to Route 33, then right on Route 33.
14.0 Right into entrance of the bus terminal/Park & Ride.