The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire is quite possibly New England’s finest scenic drive. The fully-paved road twists its way through one of the foremost areas of the White Mountain National Forest. It goes on for about 35 miles, connecting I-93 in Lincoln to NH 16 in Conway. Along this route are numerous trailheads to backcountry ponds, 4,000-foot mountain summits, scenic vistas, and several excellent Kancamagus Highway waterfalls.
Today’s blog focuses on all of the swimming holes and Kancamagus Highway waterfalls. All distances included below are based on you driving east from I-93/Lincoln to NH 16/Conway.
Mile 5.3Franconia Falls: An easy but long 6.4-mile round-trip hike will take you to a series of swimming holes, natural waterslides and waterfalls. Parking is located at the Lincoln Woods trailhead. There is no swimming at times when water levels are running strong/high.
Mile 5.3Thirteen Falls: Reaching the five Kancamagus Highway waterfalls found at Thirteen Falls requires an 18.0-mile round-trip hike, so this typically done as a backpacking trip to the tensites that are located nearby. Itincludes some of the finest backcountry swimming holes anywhere in New England. Parking is located at the Lincoln Woods trailhead.
Mile 19.8Sabbaday Falls: This 0.6-mile relativelyeasy round-trip walk leads to a waterfall with three beautiful drops. The parking area is well-marked.
Mile 24.8 Champney Falls: This3.4-mile round-trip hike takes visitors to scenic Kancamagus Highway waterfalls on the slopes of Mt. Chocorua after heavy rains or during spring snowmelt. Trail beginnings are well-marked.
Mile 26.4Rocky Gorge: Thisscenic waterfall drops into a rugged canyon. It’s an easy 0.1-mile walk from the paved parking area. The trail begins at the well-marked Rocky Gorge trailhead.
Mile 30.2Lower Falls: This is one of the premier swimming holes of the Northeast. Located near the roadside, the paved parking area is well-marked. Keep in mind that it can be extremely crowded on hot summer weekends.
Are you ready to explore the Kancamagus Highway waterfalls? While you’re here, be sure to book a room at the Royalty Inn in Gorham NH. All rooms have a refrigerator, microwave, free Wi-Fi, restaurant, indoor/outdoor pools, Jacuzzi, sauna, health club, game room, and guest laundry. It’s New Hampshire’s best vacation home away from home!