Details

  • DesignationNational Scenic Byway (1996)
  • Intrinsic QualitiesScenic
  • LocationNH
  • Length34.5 miles
Byway Visitor Information
White Mountains Visitor Center
Statewide Byway Partners
New Hampshire Department of Transportation
Visit New Hampshire
Located in the Pondicherry Wildlife Refuge in Whitefield
Roland Caron Photo

Overview

This 34.5-mile drive is a recognized National Scenic Byway, offering travelers rich history and natural beauty in addition to being considered one of the best fall foliage viewing areas in the world.

Local Byway Partners

Story of the Byway

There is no better way to travel through the White Mountains in New Hampshire than by taking the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. Designated as a National Scenic Byway in 199 6 for its natural wonders, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway is one of the most beautiful stretched of land in the entire country. There is so much to do and experience along this 35-mile-long route, from experiencing the scenic views, to taking in the rich history of the area as well. Recreational activities can also be found along this Byway year-round, with plenty of hiking available in the summer and ski resorts galore in the winter. The best part about this Byway is that all the hotels, resorts, towns, and shops are found at the two ends of the Byway and not in between. The road is dedicated to complete serenity with no interference from the modern-day world, it is simply just the road and nature.

The natural beauty of the area is second to none. The mountain ranges that this Byway runs through are so iconic and have so much history behind them. The trails that can be found along the way are all accessible for visitors to experience nature firsthand and get some of the best views in the area. The highest point along this Byway is just under 3,000 feet, and it provides some of the most scenic views in the area of the White Mountains and the White Mountain National Forest.Visitors also come from all over during the fall, as the changing leaves along the highway create such a wonderful sight. The Byway runs right through White Mountain National Forest, which is so vast and contains so much beauty. Located within the forest is the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls, and Rocky Gorge. All these places are easily accessible within the Forest through one of the many hiking and walking trails. Along the way, there are a total of 6 campgrounds that can be accessed by visitors. One of these campgrounds is a great place for families to set up camp and enjoy the natural wonders of the area. However, if camping is not necessarily the way you want to spend your time, there are plenty of accommodations that are available at either end of the 35-mile-long Byway.

Visitors will not be disappointed when they visit “The Kanc”, as it is abbreviated down to for easier pronunciation. The views are simply too amazing to pass up and the opportunity for fun and enjoyment is truly limitless. There is fun for the whole family along this Byway, as it is more than just the scenic views. There are chances year-round for anyone to have a great time, with plenty of attractions along the way. Travelling along this Byway will create memories that will last a lifetime, no matter what age you are.

Driving Directions

This Byway starts on Main St. in North Woodstock, NH and heads southeast for 34.5 miles until you hit White Mountain Highway.

Points of Interest

  • Sabbaday Falls

    One of the most popular falls in the entire state of New Hampshire, this natural waterfall is a must see along your trip.

  • Lincoln Woods Trail

    This trailhead is considered the gateway to the Pemigewasset Wilderness. Enjoy the interpretive panels, suspension bridge, and pedestrian bridge. Take the accessible self-guided loop or enjoy the many backcountry destinations. Restrooms and potable water available.

  • Albany Covered Bridge

    Built in 1858 in the Paddleford truss style with added arches, this one-lane bridge is 120 feet long and traffic is allowed.

  • Rocky Gorge Scenic Area

    Park in the lot and access the foot bridge over the gorge. View upstream as the Swift River cascades into the gorge. Bring your camera. Also a foot path leads to Falls Pond, great for fishing, and the path is an access to the Nanamocomuck Ski Trail in the winter.

  • Boulder Loop Trail

    A 2.8 moderately challenging route that is popular for camping, hiking, and rock climbing.

Itinerary

  • Travelling through Mount Kancamagus

    Starting from Conway and heading West along NH Route 112, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway passes through some of the most gorgeous scenery in the entire area. Nature lovers will be in paradise as this Scenic Byway passes through the heart of the White Mountains almost instantly. White Mountain National Forest can be accessed from many points along the Byway, including from the beginning of this journey. Rocky Gorge Scenic Area can be found after you have been travelling on the road for about 10 miles and provides beautiful views. Right after, the history of the area can be accessed at the Passaconaway Historical Site, which honors the Native American influence in the area. As you head west from there, even more scenic landscapes can be viewed to their fullest beauty. This includes Sabbaday Falls and Mount Kancamagus, which have plenty of hiking trails and guided tours for all visitors. Heading west from there, there are even more hiking trails and beautiful woods to explore, including Discovery Trail and the Lincoln Woods. Nearing the end of the journey, you can end up in Lincoln where there is plenty of opportunity to shop, eat, and even stay the night if you spent all day travelling this beautiful Byway!

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