U.S. 3 enters New Hampshire from the Northwest Expressway extending outward from Interstate 95 (Yankee Division Highway) to Lowell, Massachusetts and the state line at Tyngsborough. The freeway encircles Long Hill into the city of Nashua, doubling as a free portion of the 1966-completed F.E. Everett Turnpike. The US route parts ways with the freeway at Exit 7 for a surface route east to its original alignment north along the Merrimack River while the Turnpike becomes a toll road north from Nashua to Merrimack and Manchester.
U.S. 3 parallels both the F.E. Everett Turnpike and Merrimack River north as a local route to Merrimack, Bedford and Downtown Manchester. The route combines with New Hampshire 28 northeast from the city to Hooksett to the east of the Merrimack to Suncook. Northwest from there, U.S. 3 again crosses the Merrimack into the capital city of Concord, where it overlaps with U.S. 202.
Beyond Concord, U.S. 3 hugs the east side of Rattlesnake Hill to West Concord. U.S. 4 briefly joins the route from Penacook north through Boscawen, before again accompanying the Merrimack River north to Franklin. An eastern loop ensues there with U.S. 3 following the course of the Winnipeaukee River to Tilton and Winnisquam Lake along side NH 11. A super-two expressway takes the pair around Laconia.
Beyond the Laconia expressway, U.S. 3 resumes as a rural two lane route through the Lake Winnipesaukee region, winding north to Meredith and Holderness before turning southwest to Ashland and the Interstate 93 corridor north to Plymouth, Woodstock, Lincoln and the White Mountains region. Through Franconia Notch, construction of Interstate 93 overtook the original alignment of U.S. 3 along the two and three lane Franconia Notch Parkway opened in 1988.
The remainder of U.S. 3 north from I-93 and Franconia travels through increasingly remote areas of the state. U.S. 3 crosses paths with U.S. 302 at Twin Mountain before turning back to the north to Whitefield, Lancaster and a parallel course to the Connecticut River to Groveton and Stewartstown. Leading east away from the river, the final 37 miles of U.S. 3 meanders through mountainous terrain to Lake Francis and the Connecticut Lakes region to the Quebec border at Montagnes Blanches.
U.S. 3 New Hampshire Guides
- U.S. 3 / F.E. Everett Turnpike North - Nashua
- North - Manchester, Concord
- North - Squam Lake to Franconia Notch
Page Updated 02-17-2015.