The Kancamagus Highway In the White Mountain National Forest
Scenic Drives In New England
View the White Mountains from the First National Scenic Byway in the Northeast. Yes, you can! Plan a visit to the Kancamagus Highway in the White Mountain National Forest.
Travel on the Kancamagus Highway was never as smooth and easy as it is now. This is one of the most famous scenic Highways in the United States of America. The Kancamagus was established in 1959. Today this scenic New England road stretches for 34.5 miles across the White Mountains of New Hampshire from Lincoln to Conway.
This scenic New England highway is a destination – particularly during the summer and autumn.
The Kancamagus Hiway was the first of the National Scenic Byways in the northeast US. The road is now open year round.
Kancamagus is a Native American word (Fearless One) and this region is rich in Native American connections and legends. The scenic mountain and valley views are breathtaking and the opportunities to pull off the highway to enjoy it are plentiful. There are picnic tables at some viewing areas. Others afford an opportunity to take a short hike to visit a nearby waterfall.
The wooded trails were followed by a town road which was completed in 1837. Much of the early work on the is road was completed by the Civilian Conservation Corp. (CCC). The CCC worked with the NH State Highway Department and opened to thru traffic in 1959.
KANCMMAGUS HIKES & SCENIC AREAS
There are several scenic areas to visit that are just a short walk from the main road (Rt. 112). Fall Pond is the easiest of the pond walks. Sawyer Ponds and Greely Ponds are about 1/2 day hies from the road. Lower Falls is a good place to cool off during summer and a nice area for a picnic or photo.
Hiking families and serious deep woods hikers will enjoy the trails available from the Kancamagus Highway. The Rain “N River Trail is the most hiked. This hike offers an easy half-hour hike for intermedia hikers. The Walk to Sabbaday Falls is another easy White Mountain hike along the Sabbaday Brook Trail. Pick up a hiking map at the Saco Ranger Station Visitor Center at the east end, or the White Mountains Information Center at the west end of the Kancamagus Highway.
WHITE MOUNTAIN NATIONAL FOREST PARKING PASS REQUIREMENTS
The White Mountain National Forest Recreation pass is required for all parked vehicles. The Recreation Pass must be displayed. There are three pass options ranging from $5 dollars (USD) daily to an annual pass for households ($40 USD). Passes are available at USFS Information Centers and the White Mountains Visitors Center.
WHERE TO STAY
Consider spending several nights or more during your White Mountain vacation. For accommodations consider lodging in the nearby towns of North Conway, Jackson, and North Woodstock, NH. The NH White Mountain Region offers a wide variety of attractions, including hiking, fishing and golf courses. NH Living shares additional information about the Kancamagus Highway.
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