Kancamagus Scenic Byway
The Kancamagus Scenic Byway follows a beautiful path through New Hampshire's White Mountains. Visitors know it as one of the world's most spectacular fall-foliage trips, but a stunning spectrum of color underscores the region's natural beauty year round. The road meanders through vast forests, old logging roads, and Indian hunting paths. An abundance of history and recreation lies here, so take the time to pull off the road and explore all that the Byway offers.
New Hampshire's rich history unfolds at many places in this region. One of the White Mountains' most outstanding attractions, Clark's Trading Post, lies just west of the Byway. The Clark Family has run this exciting place for 70 years. Some features include a fire station, a steam locomotive, trained North American black bears, and a museum. Drive to the eastern end of the Byway and take a train ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad. Vintage coaches, either open or enclosed, allow an experience resembling that of the old days. Train rides vary in duration: the 'Valley Train' goes through Conway and Bartlett, while the 'Notch Trail' goes to Crawford Notch and the Fabyan Station.
In addition to learning the cultural and economic history of this area, embark on a recreational adventure and let the landscape reveal the area's natural history to you. Lost River Gorge is a popular destination for many visitors. Lost River weaves and falls through the Lost River Gorge, past tumbled granite, crevasses, and caverns. These distinctive formations reveal the natural history, ecology, and flora of this region. From Lost River, travel north and spend a whole day in Franconia Notch State Park, high in the White Mountain National Forest. The park boasts many distinctive things to see, such as the Flume Gorge and the Old Man of the Mountain (whose famous visage recently succumbed to erosion.) The Flume Gorge runs 800 feet long and 90 feet tall. Follow its accompanying two-mile trail across bridges and past waterfalls, scenic pools, and glacial boulders. To complete your visit, ride the aerial tramway at Cannon Mountain, watch for hawks and falcons, swim at Echo Lake, rock climb, or hike on the Appalachian Trail.
Continuing eastward, you will find even more opportunities for recreation. Attitash Bear Peak, New Hampshire's largest ski resort, features two mountains with fantastic snow skiing. Even off-season, activities thrive. Take a guided horseback ride or go golfing to relax. For the last leg of your recreational adventure, drive the Mt. Washington Auto Road. The eight-mile road that leads to Mt. Washington acquired the nickname 'the top of New England.' This route offers beautiful, mile-high views of the Presidential Range and the White Mountain National Forest. There are a number of ways to explore this road; both hiking and driving lead you up to the highest peak in the Northeast.
A drive along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway promises to unveil some of nature's most spectacular sights. Weaving through the White Mountain National Forest, brilliant colors fill the flora at every bend. Don't just look at the beauty of this route; get out and enjoy the hiking trails, waterfalls, and scenic overlooks that it offers.
There are no gas stations along the Byway, and the road is very curvy. Moose cross the Highway often, so use extreme caution, especially at dusk. A 'passport' is required for any vehicle that is left unattended in the National Forest.
Also, the Byway is heavily traveled, especially during the fall foliage season. Visitors should expect delays and crowded parking areas.
The Byway's variety of hiking trails vary in difficulty and length. Detailed trail maps may be purchased at the Saco Ranger Station Visitor Center, Conway, or at the Information Center in Lincoln.
Best Time to Drive
The Kancamagus is a breathtaking drive no matter what time of year.
The Byway is heavily traveled, especially during the fall foliage season. Visitors should expect delays and crowded parking areas.
Summer and Fall
Information was obtained by permission from www.byways.org.
This is a motorcycle ride in the state of New Hampshire. This motorcycle route has 8 scenery characteristics and other road conditions to help you plan your road trip. This motorcycle map was created by OpenRoadRider in March. Click here to see other Motorcycle Roads by OpenRoadRider