After finishing a marvelous breakfast at The Woodstock Inn Station, I walked out into the gorgeous spring day, hopped in my rental car and began my scenic drive on the Kancamagus Highway. I grew up in New Hampshire; spent the first 20 years of my life there, but never even began to fathom how special of a place it us until a few years after I moved to California. I bought my condo in Thornton NH in 2004, and since owning it, have really come to appreciate the Live Free or Die state even more. I’ve been doing the Kancamagus drive since I was a little girl riding in the back of my parent’s station wagon. Now, here I am 30++ years later, still doing the same drive, but feeling like I’m seeing it for the first time, again and again. It never gets old.
This scenic 34 mile road was completed in 1937 and connects the towns of Lincoln & Conway New Hampshire by cutting through the 800,000 acre White Mountain National Forest between them. It is named after Chief Kancamagus, “The Fearless One.” Kancamagus was the last leader of the Penacook Confederacy, a union of more than seventeen central New England Indian tribes, first forged by Kancamagus’ grandfather, Passaconaway, in 1627. Kancamagus tried to maintain peace between his people and encroaching English settlers, but war and bloodshed forced the tribes to scatter, with most retreating to northern New Hampshire and Canada. Read more about the history here.
This is a gorgeous drive that you can do in a couple hours, or an entire day. There are many viewpoints and paths & hiking trails along the way and some historical sites to visit. Go to this link, kancamagushighway.com for more information about hiking, campgrounds, fall foliage, cross country skiing, tours, events, waterfalls.