HWY 112 – The Kancamagus Highway, White Mountain National Forest

8/30/22 New Hampshire
HWY 112: The Kancamagus Highway, White Mountain National Forest
One of the most scenic drives in NH was along the Kancamagus (“Kanc” to the locals) Highway. This 34 mile scenic road stretches from Conway to Lincoln and there’s a visitor center near Conway where you can get information about the road and its history. There I picked up a map of the highway and a flyer with points of interest.
I met my friend, Cindy, at a parking lot down the road that lead to a trail and could park all day without any fees (a great spot for stealth camping?). Cindy has been on the highway several times and knew the scenic points well. She was kind enough to drive and we stopped at places that she knew I’d like. I checked off the places I wanted to see on my map.
The first stop at the forest entrance had a plaque posted that gave a brief history of the Kanc and the Penacook Indians and there was a stairwell that lead to the Swift River. Next, we drove to the Albany Covered Bridge that also had a trail where you could get a great view of Mt. Chococura. Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge had fantastic views of the Swift River and there were a couple of “flumes” for photo opps.
The highlight of our drive lead us to a short trail about 75 ft. up to an amazing waterfall and emerald pool. Called Sabbaday Falls, it was like being in a fairy tale. There were people walking along, but it was so peaceful that I hardly noticed. The light in the afternoon was perfect, and there was plenty of shade, which made this hike my favorite!
We also stopped at CL Graham Overlook for a beautiful of the northeast mountains, then onward to Kancamagus Pass (elevation 2855ft) that is the highest point on the highway. Finally, we drove to the Pemi Overlook with a stunning 180′ view, a cute gazebo and picnic tables. What a gorgeous drive! We had a beautiful day and headed into Lincoln for some food. The Woodstock Inn and Brewery had great outdoor seating and Cindy and I enjoyed our favorite food, burgers and beer!
As we were leaving, Cindy took me up to HWY 302 and showed me some other areas to visit when I had the time. She drove up to Bear Mountain and it was a short walk to the edge of the cliffs. There were climbers on the side of the mountain and a woman was traversing bare-footed! Now, that’s serious climbing! We also had a great view of one of the Echo Lakes (there are two) and just hung out there for a while before we drove back to the parking lot. Cindy was a great guide and I was thankful that she showed me around!

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