Known for their natural splendor, blazing, brilliant fall colors, and glorious scenery, the White Mountains in New Hampshire are home to two National Scenic Byways: the 100-mile White Mountains Trail, connected to the nearly 35-mile Kancamagus Highway.
Together, they offer likely the most beautiful and most popular fall leaf-peeper route in the country. Meandering through 800,000 acres of the White Mountain National Forest, the area was a mainstay in the work of author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and landscape painter Thomas Cole.
The scenic vistas have not changed nor have the quaint historic towns that dot the route. Starting in Lincoln, “The Kanc” as it is affectionately called by locals, sports fall foliage that is simply spectacular. On the complete loop through the National Forest, vistas of the Swift River, Lower Falls, Sabbaday Falls, Rocky Gorge, Hancock Overlook, Sugar Hill, the Osceola Range, and the Permigewasset Wilderness fill your view.
Veer off to Loon Mountain and take the Conway Scenic Railroad, deeper into the forest. Watch for furry critters traversing the highway, moose, deer, raccoons, and porcupines and expect to see hawks, eagles, and falcons flying overhead.