New England is all about nature and simple pleasures. The Kancamagus Highway (known to locals as ‘The Kanc’) is a gorgeous scenic drive along Rt 112 in New Hampshire and people flock to this road, especially in summer and fall. The 35-mile drive will take you from Conway to Lincoln through beautiful spots that will draw you out of your car to take pictures. The word “highway” is misleading since it is more of a 2-lane road that winds back and forth next to a river bed, with mountains surrounding it and trees creating a canopy above you.
Here are some highlights of the drive:
If it is a warm day, this part of the falls will get crowded since many people like to swim in this area. If the water is flowing very fast, please do not swim here because it is unsafe…especially for kids. The area is beautiful and has great swimming holes, but because it gets so crowded we don’t ever go there.
This is my favorite spot on the Kanc. An easy hike will take you to an amazing waterfall that has wooden steps that can take you to the top of the falls. My hiking buddy for the day was my 13-week old puppy who loved his first hike as much as I did! You follow a weaving river on your way up. And when you get there the waterfall will be hiding behind a rock ledge.
Perfect photo opp!
To get to the top of the falls you can either climb some rock steps or head up on a different trail.
The falls are just gorgeous!
Rocky Gorge is another swimming area (although technically I’m not sure if swimming is actually allowed there even though I see people swimming there all the time.) There is a beautiful wooden bridge that allows you to see the gorge from above. Look how pretty it is!
There is also a lovely river view from another area.
There are so many scenic places to stop and look at the view, so take your time, pull over, and enjoy the beauty of the Kanc.
-Be smart and respectful when pulling over to stop or take pictures. Find a spot that is safe for yourself as well as other drivers. There are tons of places to pull over safely.
-There are no gas stations on the Kanc so be sure to fill up before your trip.
-Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy it near the river. There are many picnic tables along the route.
-Preserve the beauty of the Kanc… Bring out what you bring in!
-There are bathrooms located at most of the parking area of the major stops.
-There is no swimming at Sabbaday Falls.
-There are lots of campgrounds off the Kanc, if you like to camp.
-There are lots of trails off the Kanc as well. Do NOT do a trail without researching it first. There are many skill levels and if you research first you can pick the trail that best suits you.
-If you go during foliage season, expect to crawl at a snail’s pace. Leaf peepers are there to enjoy the views, not to go fast. Look at hor breathtaking the views are in autumn.