Kancamagus Highway Hits 50

1.50 avg. rating (49% score) - 2 votes

The Kancamagus Highway, the only route to connect motorists from Lincoln to Conway, NH, had a long, colorful history, even before its official summer 1959 opening and thousands of foliage-seekers found its breathtaking vistas.

With two days of events and programs, New Hampshire’s scenic Route 112, “The Kanc,” was honored for its 50-year anniversary August 14 and 15, 2009. Yankee‘s foliage blogger Jeff Folger writes about his day on the Kanc.

Read more about anniversary events:
Kancamagus Turns 50

These two Yankee Classics focus on the wild and woolly history of this New Hampshire Scenic Byway.

  • Karen N.

    I have alway enjoyed the Kancamagus Highway. No matter how many times you go there, it is always breathtaking! Thank you very much, for all the interesting information.

  • Susan W.

    I attended Waukeela Camp in Eaton Center, NH from 1957-1966 and we often visited Lower Falls and Diana’s Baths. We climbed mountains in the area, and always traveled the Kankamagus Highway and were awed even then at the beauty of the drive; and that was before the highway was paved. Thanks for the article on one of my favorite scenic highways. It brought many great memories.

  • Lisa W.

    I spent a week in May in Lincoln, NH and spent one beautiful afternoon lazying on a big rock by a magnificant stream along the Kancamagus Highway. Since it was “mudd season” I had the place all to myself strolling the water’s edge, watching the sun and clouds and enjoying the peace and quiet. It is now one of my most cherished memories.

  • paul g.

    The first time my new bride and I traveled over the Kancamagus Highway it was mostly still unpaved. That was in 1959 and we were on our honeymoon. We will be celebrating our 50th anniversary in October and we will be traveling over the Kanc. as a part of our golden anniversary celebration.

  • Peter C.

    As recently graduated teenagers in 1963, a friend visting from England and I camped in the White Mountains for a week, climbed Mount Washington, and, best of all, drove the Kancamagus Highway. We found an old logging road down to the river, nearly ruining the shocks on my parents’ Ford Falcon wagon as we explored. We finally got out and walked the rest of the way to the river and found a pool to swim in just beneath some rapids. It was so beautiful we decided to hike back to the car and get our tent and sleeping bags. We spent a magical night next to the river under the stars in the darkest sky I’ve ever seen, except far out at sea. As close to heaven as it’s possible to get on Earth…

  • Shawn D.

    From my early teens continuing on for about 45 years now, I have always loved the Kancamagus. Camped at Hancock, Passaconaway, Jigger Johnson and enjoyed hiking to Sabbaday Falls and swimming in the Swift River at Lower Falls. You sure do feel close to heaven there. Just a perfect place.

  • Dave W.

    Our first encounter with “The Kanc” was in 1997. My wife and I were touring New Hampshire for the first time. We had stayed in North Conway the night before, and wanted to go to Hanover, and didn’t know the best way to get there. The innkeeper said to us with a wry smile, “Take the Kanc.” Being from Washington state, we were used to traveling over passes to get from one part of our state to the other. Our passes may be substantially higher, but they don’t come close to the beauty possessed by “The Kanc.” We have gone back every year since to see the foliage in New England, and never missed the opportunity to go over Kancamagus Pass thanks to that innkeeper.

  • Dave V.

    About 10 years ago my wife and I took the kids down the Kancamagus.. we came up on a spot that trffic was slowing down and it was not at one of the “usual” scenic spots.. eventually we saw a lot of cars parked on the side of the road. There were two young moose feeding in a swampy area just off the road. It was the highlight of the trip.

  • Donna M.

    The Kanc has always been my favorite highway. A couple of years ago while on vacation I was lucky enough to be able to view the Perseid meteor showers along with a full moon from one of the scenic overlooks. There was only one other family there so I pretty much had the mountains and the stars to myself. It was unforgettable!

  • phyllis h.

    we have visited the Kancamagus many times and each trip is as if it were our first. always something new and unforgettable about the trip. one of our favortites with our children our grandchildren and our greatgrandchildren.

  • Tammy S.

    I moved from NH in 2007. The two things I miss the most? The Kanc & Rt 302 from Bartlett to Bretton Woods. I really miss the mountains & the waterfalls along those routes. Beautiful area!!!

  • Bonnie S.

    Please, please, please use this anniversary as a “teaching moment” to teach people how to pronounce it correctly. Thanks to your reporter Tim Clark for literally spelling it out. I spent every summer growing up in Chocorua, and I loved every second of driving up to and along the the Kancamagus Highway. Sorry, but I refuse to call it the “Kanc,” and I don’t want to spend time with anyone who pronounces it “Kanca-MANG-us.” Also, we need to treasure our Native American heritage.


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