Kancamagus Highway

Kancamagus Highway

New Hampshire’s Famous Scenic Route

New Hampshire Kancamagus HighwayThe Kancamagus Highway is one of the most scenic routes in America and is located in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The “Kanc” as the locals call it, is officially the section of Route 112 that is both an attraction and a destination. The names in this region of New England are mostly Native American – Kangamagus Mountain, Passaconaway (Child of the Bear), and Chocorua. Ask us about Kancamagus NH hotels or your share lodging comments. To feature your NH hotel, contact us.

NH Scenic Drives: The Kancamagus Highway

New Hampshire Kancamagus HighwayTHE HISTORY OF THE KANCAMAGUS

The road we know now as the Kancamagus Highway officially opened to through traffic in 1959. The original road to Passaconaway was completed in 1837 and one hundred years later the route extended from Passaconaway Village to Lincoln.


Early settlers survived in this isolated valley for over a century by farming, fishing, and hunting. Some would take in summer boarders, thus beginning an era of White Mountain Lodging and Recreation. The logging and mining industry in the White Mountains peaked in the late 1800’s.


Kancamagus Highway, White Mountain national forest drives, Scenic Highways, The Kancamagus travels through a US NATIONAL FOREST and that means the US Forest Service maintains the conveniences along the Kancamagus. The picnic sites are tastefully designed and offer tables, drinking water and restroom facilities. Campgrounds offer family units, parking, tenting spaces, open fireplaces, tables, drinking water and restrooms. Trailers are permitted; no hook-ups. Campsites area available on a first-come basis; limited reservations are accepted at some sites. Pets are permitted on a leash only. Most camping fees are posted at each area’s entrance.


There are also numerous day hikes easily accessible from the Kancamagus Highway. Rail ‘n’ River Trail at the Passaconaway Historic Site is an easy 30 minute walk.

Boulder Loop Trail at the Covered Bridge Campground is about 2.5 miles. Other trails starting at the highway offer scenic hikes – be prepared hike with a map. Detailed trail maps may be purchased at the Saco Ranger Station Visitor Center in Conway or the Information Center in Lincoln or by ordering them online. Visit our hiking section for more White Mountain hiking trails suggestions.


The Swift River has worn a narrow notch in solid rock, today the area is designated as the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area. A short walk from the gorge is scenic Falls Pond.

No overnight camping is allowed at Greeley Pond and only on platforms and in the shelter at Sawyer Pond.

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