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Kancamagus Scenic Byway

The Kancamagus Scenic Byway (Rt. 112) is a 28 mile road through the heart of the White Mountains National Forest that climbs to nearly 3000 ft. The highway stretches from RT 16 Conway, New Hampshire to I-93 North Woodstock, which passes through Franconia Notch State Park. It is designated a National Forest Scenic Byway, and is one of only two such roads in Northern New England. The Kancamagus Highway may be one of the most scenic routes in New Hampshire.

Kancamagus Scenic Byway Map
Copyright (C) June 2000, National Scenic Byways Online

Even though it is only 28 miles, you should allow for an hour ride. The highway winds and turns through the valley below the mountain ranges, making the going slow. There are also many wild animals like moose and deer as well as smaller mammals to see. Moose collisions are common and dangerous. Remember, brake for moose.

Kancamagus Scenic Byway foldout map (click for larger map)

There are hundreds of miles of trails accessible from the the highway. Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking and fishing are popular sports. Fishing is also popular in the Swift River and the many brooks and streams that flow out of the mountains.

There are no facilities along the Kancamagus Highway. You should make sure that you are have plenty of gas before leaving North Woodstock or Conway.

Camping is available along “the Kanc”, but there are no hookups. Some campsites take reservations, while others are first come, first serve. Winter campsites are limited to only a few camping areas.

Some trailheads and parking areas are very popular in the Summer and Fall. Parking may be limited or could even stretch along the road. Especially in the Fall when the “Leaf Peepers” come to the White Mountains to see the colorful Kancamagus Fall Foliage. Cars and buses will be lined up and down the Kancamagus near all the scenic vistas.

There is a recreation parking pass, or “Passport”, required for any unattended vehicle parked in designated areas. Most of the White Mountain parking areas require this. The pass can be obtained at Forest Service stations, located on both ends of the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. The cost is $5 per week or $20 for the season. Prices are subject to change and you should check with the Forest Service for more details.

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8 thoughts on “Kancamagus Scenic Byway

  1. I’m rather a ‘local’ to this area, living only an hour away. I’ve traveled this road 4 times, each time I discover yet another interesting view. If you are in NH during the late fall, allow several hours to traverse the full route – the scenery of fall foliage draws people from hundreds of miles distance.

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