Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
July 23, 2005
We started the journey in Conway and stopped off at the rangers’ station at the beginning of the highway to collect a map of the route and some brochures, etc. These info stations are located at each end of the route. It is worth asking the attendant where the best places to stop off are so you don’t miss anything.
Our first stop off was the Covered Bridge Campground. There is a large car park and a short walk to the covered bridge. This is a lovely spot, with the river running under the bridge, which as the name suggests is covered. Whilst we were there, there were very few people about and we wandered across the bridge and down the boulders to the river bank. We spent quite a while here, just basking in the sun and taking in the lovely scenery. If you travel this highway, do not miss this spot--it is beautiful.
Just a little further along the highway is the Lower Falls. Here there are some small waterfalls, and when we visited, there were quite a few people paddling in the water and sunbathing on the rocks.
There are quite a few campgrounds along the route if camping is your thing. Most of the other stop-off places are scenic views. We detoured off the main route and went up Bear Notch Road, as we had heard there were some good views here. There are three stop-off places, and they offer views of the surrounding tree-covered hills. Although we were there in June, I can imagine that this area is truly stunning during the fall foliage season.
We did not encounter very much in the way of traffic or people, but in the height of summer, or especially fall, it can be bumper-to-bumper traffic, so be warned. It is however, worth the trouble.
From journal New England in a Week!
Orchard Park, New York
June 6, 2005
Kancamagus Highway is definitely at least a full day trip. Anything less will not give you enough time to enjoy many of the sights. We made it a 1-day trip from Weirs Beach and really got only a taste of the highway, missing many of attractively named trails and sites.
Kancamagus Highway is an official scenic byway. As it climbs over the slope of Mt. Kancamagus, it reaches an elevation of almost 3,000 feet. Its full route, Conway to Lincoln, was completed in 1959.
The visitor center is located on the highway's east side, so you may want to drive it from Conway to Lincoln rather than the opposite. We had a detailed map of the highway with the overlooks and trailheads from our resort, but I am sure the visitor center would provide one, too.
For some parking areas, you will need to purchase the White Mountain Pass, currently priced at $3 for 1 day. Longer-term passes are available. Check the USDA Forrest Service Site for more details.
We had time only for a few stops.
(1) The covered bridge at the highway's beginning was number one. The sign reads Covered Bridge Campground. That is where you need to turn. We like covered bridges, so this was an automatic stop.
(2) Lower Falls was our number-two stop, shortly after the covered bridge. You will clearly see it from the road on your right. These are nice, small, easily accessible falls.
(3) Rocky Gorge Scenic Area was our number-three stop. It's a rocky riverbed with marked areas of permitted swimming. It was too cold to enjoy that, but I can see how great it must be in mid-summer. Only in the pool under the waterfall swimming is prohibited. There's also a nice wooden bridge over the gorge. Again, this is only a very short distance from the parking area and extremely easily accessible.
(4) Sabbaday Falls was our fourth and final stop along the highway, and it was well worth it. With this one, you actually have to walk a little bit to get there, but I think you won't be sorry you did it. There's a nice cascading waterfall where the bottom portion is at 90 degrees to the upper portion, making it special. If you like taking pictures of waterfalls, this is a great site. There are wooden walkways and stairs around the falls.
As an added bonus - there was a black bear at the final descend to Lincoln eating dinner just by the roadside. Again, my camera was firing. Being in New Hampshire, what else could we ask for? Yeah, I know, a moose! We got that one the very next day, but that is a whole different story.
From journal Week on Lake Winnipesaukee