The Kancamagus Highway, also called “The Kanc,” is a 34.5 mile scenic stretch of road positioned along New Hampshire’s Route 112 in the northern part of the state. This American Scenic Byway is known for its rich history and beautiful scenery, and is considered one of the optimal viewing areas for the area’s famous fall foliage during the autumn months. Our team at Thayers Inn has rounded up some FAQs about the famous Kancamagus Highway, and we hope you’ll take a nice drive along this gorgeous, winding path through the White Mountains National Forest when next time you visit Jackson.
Q: Where does the Kancamagus Highway begin and end?
A: Also known as Route 112, the Kancamagus Highway begins at the intersection of Route 16 in Conway NH, and ends in Lincoln, NH where it crosses Interstate 93 and connects to Route 3.
Q: How do you pronounce Kancamagus Highway?
A: The correct way to pronounce Kancamagus is “Kank-ah-mah-gus.” Also known as the Kancamagus Scenic Byway.
Q: How did the Kancamagus Highway get its name?
A: The Kancamagus Highway, sometimes simply referred to as “The Kanc,” was named after the last chief of the Pennacooks, who dominated a confederation of Native American tribes living in New Hampshire in the 17th century.
Q: What is the Kanc?
A: The centerpiece of this itinerary is the Kancamagus Scenic Byway (Route 112) which is affectionately known as “the Kanc.” People who drive, hike, or even bike the Kanc are amazed by the incredible beauty of this mountain road.
Q: How long does it take to cross the Kancamagus Highway?
A: The trip across the Kancamagus Highway can take as little as 45 minutes, or you could spend a whole day exploring its hidden treasures. The trailheads situated along the highway offer access to hundreds of miles of trails for hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing that lead to various overlooks and waterfalls.
Q: Is the Kancamagus Highway open year round?
A: Winter storms can occasionally cause problems and closure, but for all intents and purposes the Kancamagus is open year round. You’ll just need to see what the weather is like while you’re there.
Q: What towns are near Kancamagus Highway?
A: There are six different campgrounds along the Kancamagus, as well as the popular towns of North Conway, Lincoln, and Jackson, NH.
Q: What river runs along the Kancamagus Highway?
A: The Swift River runs along the side of the Kancamagus Highway in several places.
Q: How long does it take to drive the Kancamagus Highway?
A: Generally speaking, you should plan 2-3 hours for driving time including periodic stops. The Kancamagus Scenic Byway portion of the stretch is 34.5 miles long, and there are no businesses, including gas stations, on this stretch of road so be sure to plan your trip accordingly.
Q: How many miles long is the Kancamagus Highway?
A: While New Hampshire’s Route 112 is 56.39 miles long, the Kancamagus Highway portion between Conway, NH and Lincoln, NH is 34.5 miles long.
Q: When was the Kancamagus Highway built?
A: The Kancamagus Highway, officially named the “Kancamagus Scenic Byway,” was constructed in August 1959. It connected the towns of Conway, NH and Lincoln, NH. Both towns had other roads then, but the Kancamagus Highway linked the towns together. But the Kanc wasn’t as it is today by any means.
Q: Are there restaurants, hotels, or gas stations along the Kancamagus Highway?
A: No, there are not. Those conveniences are left behind at both ends of the scenic byway but well within reach when needed.
Q: What is the highest elevation the Kancamagus Highway takes you to?
A: 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.