“One of NH's most scenic byways!”
Undoubtedly, one of the most spectacular sections of the White Mountains Trail is the Kancamagus Highway, which stretches 341/2 miles from Conway in the east to Lincoln in the west. “The Kanc,” as it is known, traverses the White Mountain National Forest, crossing the flank of Mt. Kancamagus and climbing to nearly 3,000 feet in the process. Along its length are numerous hiking trails, federally designated Scenic Areas, and overlooks that provide travelers with truly breathtaking views. The highway was named for Kancamagus, an early Indian Chief of the Penacook Confederacy, who tried to keep the peace between his people and the white settlers. Repeated harassment by the English eventually ended his efforts, and ultimately brought war and bloodshed to the region. In the early 1690’s, the tribes of the Confederacy scattered, and Kancamagus and his followers moved on, either to northern New Hampshire or—in some instances—to Canada. It was Passaconaway, Kancamagus’ grandfather, who, in 1627, originally united more than 17 central New England Indian tribes into the Penacook Confederacy. The rich flat land 12 miles from Conway is named for him. This community was first settled about 1790. The Russell-Colbath House is the only remaining 19th century homestead in the area, and serves as a US Forest Service Information Center. The Kancamagus Highway is a beautiful drive on a clear day. There are many scenic overlooks where one can stop to enjoy the view.
My wife and I drove this the week before Halloween. It was quite the snowstorm at the pass, though we only had some light flurries in North Conway when we started. The drive isn't too long, but very scenic with many turn offs and hiking trails. I imagine it would be great any time of the year. We didn't have time for a hike, but the scenic vistas were still great from the car.
Scenic mountain drive well worth it if in area, pleasant but not challenging on motorcycle.
Covering 34.5 miles of Northern New Hampshire’s woodlands, the Kancamagus HIghway is your introduction to the White Mountain National Forest. A designated Scenic Byway, the route is known for its autumn colors, and fall is one of the best times of year to make the drive.
We think a trip on this scenic byway is one of the absolute best things to do in New Hampshire!
It was more than I thought it was going to be. The first stop we got off on one of the trails and my wheel chair worked on the trail. Tomorrow we will go back and explore more. It was getting dark as we hit Lincoln.
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