Livermore, New Hampshire 03812Kancamagus Highway website
The Kancamagus Highway, also known as “The Kanc,” is often misspelled and mispronounced Kangamangus Highway, Kangumangus Hiway or Kancamangus Highway. The correct way to pronounce Kancamagus is “Kank-ah-mah-gus.”
The Kancamagus Highway is a 34.5-mile scenic drive along NH’s Rt. 112 in Northern New Hampshire that is well known as one of the best Fall Foliage viewing areas in the country. The Kancamagus Highway is now designated an American Scenic Byway for its rich history, aesthetic beauty and culture.
The Kancamagus Scenic Byway takes you through a path cut through the White Mountain National Forest with breathtaking views of the White Mountains, the Swift River, Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls and Rocky Gorge. The Kanc takes you to an elevation of just under 3,000 feet at its highest point at Kancamagus Pass on the flank of Mt. Kancamagus near Lincoln, NH.
Every year, rain or shine leaf peepers show up in full force to drive the Kancamagus Highway just to get a glimpse of the brilliant colored NH Fall Foliage. Visitors are also greeted with the deep forest smells of the pines and changing leaves, especially on a warm Fall day. Even the rain can offer a unique experience on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
The drive along the Kancamagus Highway takes you back in time as you drive through a forest that offers no comforts of the modern day world; no gas stations, no restaurants, hotels or other businesses have pierced their way into the heart of the Kancamagus Highway. Those luxuries are left behind at both ends of the scenic byway but well within reach when needed.
The Kancamagus Highway also offers 6 Campgrounds for those who want to spend more time on the Kancamagus Scenic Byway. Bring your family on a camping trip they will not soon forget. Enjoy the wilderness and explore the forest on the numerous Hiking Trails through the White Mountain National Forest.
If camping isn’t your style, there is an abundance of other Accommodations Near The Kancamagus Highway.
If you are planning to visit the Kancamagus Highway, be sure to take in the rich History of the Kancamagus before you go, it will give you a much better appreciation of this historical Indian land, the people who settled here centuries ago and the hard work the loggers and railroad workers endured that brings us this now fascinating highway and undeveloped land.
The Kancamagus Highway is also often misspelled and mispronounced “Kangamagus Highway” and “Kangamangus Highway.” Also known as the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
See all hotspots at White Mountain National Forest
In the decades prior to 1911, the unregulated logging practices of private timber companies in the White Mountains had resulted in a damaged landscape susceptible to both fire and flood. Fires had burned thousands of acres, and flash floods affected the water power necessary to the mills of major industrial centers downstream, such as Manchester, New Hampshire, and Lowell, Massachusetts. Concerns over losses to industry, business, and tourism, and the growing conservation movement led to citizen action. The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and Society for Protection of New Hampshire Forests (SPNHF) spearheaded an effort to ensure the permanent protection of the White Mountains from further depredation. After years of lobbying and intense public pressure, Senator John Weeks of Massachusetts, a native of Lancaster, New Hampshire, introduced legislation that became known as the Weeks Act. The Weeks Act was passed by Congress in 1911, appropriating 9 million dollars to purchase 6 million acres of land in the Eastern U.S. In turn, this led to the creation of the White Mountain National Forest (WMNF) in 1918, and twenty-one other national forests throughout the north and southeast. Many of the groups who were instrumental in the passage of the Weeks Act, including the SPNHF and the AMC, are still active today, and the WMNF has grown from 7,000 acres to almost 800,000. Today, the reforested mountains and hillsides supply forest products and provide magnificent recreational opportunities while maintaining healthy watersheds and ecosystems.