Map of southeastern New Hampshire with NH 125 highlighted in red
|Maintained by NHDOT|
|Length||51.994 mi (83.676 km)|
|South end||Route 125 in Haverhill, MA|
|North end||NH 16 / NH 153 in Wakefield|
|Counties||Rockingham, Strafford, Carroll|
New Hampshire Route 125 is a 51.994-mile-long (83.676 km) north–south state highway in Rockingham, Strafford and Carroll counties in southeastern New Hampshire. The southern terminus is in Plaistow at the Massachusetts state line, where the road continues south into Haverhill as Massachusetts Route 125. The northern terminus is in Wakefield at New Hampshire Route 16 and New Hampshire Route 153.
Although NH 125 is mostly an undivided two-lane highway, it regularly carries heavy truck and tourist traffic, especially in the summer months, when it is used as a toll-free alternative to Interstate 95 and the Spaulding Turnpike.
The Epping-Lee-Barrington section is known as the Calef Highway, named after state senator Austin L. Calef and family who owned the locally famous Calef's Country Store in Barrington. The Milton section is the southernmost part of the White Mountain Highway.
The section of NH 125 between Epping and East Barrington (the intersection with NH 9) was built on the grade of the Boston and Maine Railroad's Worcester, Nashua and Portland Division, opened by the Nashua and Rochester Railroad in 1876.
Calef's County Store, a locally famous family-owned shop which first opened in 1869, is located near the intersection of NH 9 and NH 125 in Barrington.
The northern section of NH 125 between downtown Rochester and Wakefield occupies part of the original alignment of NH 16 (first designated as New England Interstate Route 16). The historic northern terminus of NH 125 was at the intersection of Columbus Avenue and South Main Street in downtown Rochester. When NH 16 was moved onto the Spaulding Turnpike in the early 1990s, the northern part of its old alignment in Rochester, as well as its entire alignment through Milton and into Wakefield, was redesignated as NH 125, extending NH 125 by over 16 miles (26 km).
Plaistow, Kingston, Brentwood
The NH 125 designation begins on Plaistow Road where Massachusetts Route 125 crosses the state line from Haverhill, Massachusetts, into Plaistow, New Hampshire. NH 121A also begins here and splits off as Main Street towards downtown Plaistow. NH 125 stays to the west of town and is initially a four-lane divided highway serving as the local shopping strip. After bypassing the downtown area, NH 125 crosses over NH 121A, then turns northeast and transitions into an undivided two-lane rural highway before crossing into the town of Kingston. In Kingston, NH 125 is first joined by NH 111 which approaches from the west, then 1.6 miles (2.6 km) later by NH 107 which approaches from the east. Bypassing east of downtown Kingston, the three routes are overlapped for just over 1 mile (1.6 km) before NH 111 turns east towards Exeter. NH 107 and NH 125 continue northwest for another 1⁄2 mile (0.80 km), then NH 107 turns off towards Fremont while NH 125 continues north and crosses into the town of Brentwood. The highway has one major junction in Brentwood with NH 111A (the main road in town) and continues north towards Epping.
Epping, Lee, Barrington (Calef Highway)
Upon crossing into Epping, NH 125 becomes known as the Calef Highway and expands to four lanes before interchanging with the NH 101 freeway at exit 7. The highway turns northeast to bypass downtown and crosses NH 27 and the Lamprey River, narrowing back to two lanes thereafter. NH 125 meets the western terminus of NH 87 and the southern terminus of NH 155 before turning due north and entering Lee. NH 125 crosses NH 152 and turns slightly east, bypassing downtown Lee (which is directly served by NH 155) to the west. Continuing north, NH 125 then intersects with U.S. Route 4 at the Lee Traffic Circle, a major two-lane roundabout. NH 125 enters Barrington and stays along the town's east side, crossing the Bellamy River and then NH 9 further north. The highway continues north and enters the Rochester city limits.
The Calef Highway moniker ends as NH 125 enters Rochester, and the road becomes known as Gonic Road (after the neighborhood of Gonic which NH 125 passes through). The highway crosses the Isinglass River and passes alongside the Rochester County Club as it continues north towards downtown Rochester. After passing through Gonic, NH 125 has a major interchange with the Spaulding Turnpike (NH 16) at exit 12, and the road becomes Columbus Avenue as it transitions into an urban route. The highway crosses the Cocheco River and crosses South Main Street (which carries NH 108 and NH 202A, both of which terminate here) just south of downtown. While NH 202A heads straight into the heart of town, NH 125 follows Columbus Avenue in a partial loop around the east side of downtown. On the north side of downtown, Columbus Avenue ends and NH 125 turns north onto Wakefield Street, which becomes Milton Road. NH 125 has an interchange with US 202 and NH 11, which provide access to the nearby Spaulding Turnpike at exit 16, as well as to points east in Maine. As NH 125 continues north, it begins to parallel the Salmon Falls River (which forms the border between New Hampshire and Maine) to the west, and the Spaulding Turnpike to the east. The highway transitions back into a rural route as it enters the town of Milton.
Upon crossing into Milton, NH 125 becomes known as the White Mountain Highway, in recognition of its former status as the major route north to the White Mountains Region (it carries the original alignment of NH 16 before the Spaulding Turnpike was built). The highway meets the eastern terminus of NH 75, which connects to the nearby turnpike at exit 17, before passing through downtown Milton, continuing to run along the western side of the Salmon Falls River. After leaving the downtown area, NH 125 turns slightly westward away from the river and continues winding north, running nearly adjacent to the turnpike. As it approaches the Branch River, a tributary of the Salmon Falls, NH 125 turns west and interchanges with the Spaulding Turnpike again at exit 18. This interchange marks the northern terminus of the Spaulding Turnpike, and the White Mountain Highway designation continues northward on NH 16. NH 125 crosses into Wakefield and passes through the village of Union as Main Street, then intersects with NH 153. NH 125 is overlapped with NH 153 on Main Street for 0.29 miles (0.47 km) (although this is only signed in the southbound direction) as the road bends around to the east to meet NH 16, where the NH 125 designation officially ends. The roadway continues north as NH 153 (Wakefield Road).
|Rockingham||Plaistow||0.000||0.000||Route 125 south (Plaistow Road)||Continuation from Massachusetts|
|0.035||0.056||NH 121A (Main Street)||Southern terminus of NH 121A|
|2.324||3.740||NH 121A (Main Street) – Plaistow, East Hampstead|
|Kingston||7.406||11.919||NH 111 west (Danville Road) – Salem, Nashua||Southern end of concurrency with NH 111|
|9.127||14.688||NH 107 south (Depot Road) to NH 107A – East Kingston||Southern end of concurrency with NH 107|
|10.170||16.367||NH 111 east (Exeter Road) – Exeter||Northern end of concurrency with NH 111|
|10.701||17.222||NH 107 north (Marshall Road) – Fremont, Raymond||Northern end of concurrency with NH 107|
|Brentwood||12.960||20.857||NH 111A (Middle Road) – Fremont, Exeter|
|NH 101 – Exeter, Hampton, Raymond, Manchester||Exit 7 on NH 101|
|17.188||27.661||NH 27 (Water Street / Exeter Road) – Epping|
|18.899||30.415||NH 87 (Hedding Road) – Hedding, Newfields||Western terminus of NH 87|
|20.724||33.352||NH 155 (Lee Hill Road) – Lee, Durham||Southern terminus of NH 155|
|Strafford||Lee||22.001||35.407||NH 152 (Harvey Mill Road / Wadleigh Falls Road) – Nottingham, Newmarket|
|26.086||41.981||US 4 (Concord Road) – Durham, Dover, Portsmouth, Northwood, Concord||Lee traffic circle|
|Barrington||30.571||49.199||NH 9 (Franklin Pierce Highway / Littleworth Road) – Concord, Dover|
|Spaulding Turnpike / NH 16 – Dover, Portsmouth, Boston, Alton, Ossipee, Sanford ME||Exit 12 on Spaulding Turnpike|
|36.971||59.499||NH 108 / NH 202A (South Main Street)||Northern terminus of NH 108; eastern terminus of NH 202A|
|US 202 / NH 11 (Highland Street) to Spaulding Turnpike / NH 16 – Concord, Alton, East Rochester, Sanford ME, Conway, Portsmouth||Interchange|
|Milton||43.785||70.465||NH 75 (Farmington Road) to Spaulding Turnpike / NH 16 – Farmington, Portsmouth, Conway||Eastern terminus of NH 75|
|Spaulding Turnpike / NH 16 – Rochester, Portsmouth, Ossipee, Conway||Exit 18 on Spaulding Turnpike; northern terminus of Spaulding Turnpike|
|Carroll||Wakefield||51.708||83.216||NH 153 south (Middleton Hill Road) – Middleton, Farmington||Southern end of concurrency with NH 153|
|51.994||83.676|| NH 16 (White Mountain Highway) – Ossipee, Rochester|
NH 153 north (Wakefield Road) – Sanbornville
|1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi|
- Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (February 20, 2015). "NH Public Roads". Concord, New Hampshire: New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
- "Gov Murphy's Pen Presented Calef". The Boston Globe. April 8, 1937. p. 11. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Milbouer, Stacy (July 6, 1997). "Signs of the Times". The Boston Globe. p. 1–NH. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Milbouer, Stacy (July 6, 1997). "Signs of (past) times on state's roads". The Boston Globe. p. 14–NH. Retrieved February 7, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
- Bureau of Planning & Community Assistance (April 3, 2015). "Nodal Reference 2015, State of New Hampshire". New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved April 7, 2015.
- Town of Plaistow, Rockingham County
- Town of Kingston, Rockingham County
- Town of Brentwood, Rockingham County
- Town of Epping, Rockingham County
- Town of Lee, Strafford County
- Town of Barrington, Strafford County
- City of Rochester, Strafford County
- Town of Milton, Strafford County
- Town of Wakefield, Carroll County