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Kancamagus Highway Fall Foliage in New Hampshire

Drive along one of the most scenic highways in New England

Kancamagus Highway Fall Foliage
Kancamagus Highway Fall Foliage
Kancamagus Highway Fall Foliage

The Kancamagus Highway or, as the locals call it, "the Kanc," is New Hampshire's most picturesque drive during any season. But in fall, when leaves start turning gold, the route gets a completely different, fairytale vibe. Like other fall-foliage places in New Hampshire, this 34-mile highway, crowded with dark-red and bring-yellow trees, is a perfect destination for your leaf-peeping adventure. But when should you go on this trip to get the best experience? What are the must-stop spots? Let's see.

When to go

You can drive along the Kanc at any time and you'll always witness amazing views. However, going there at the end of September and (especially) at the beginning of October will let you enjoy the real golden foliage. It is during this time that leaves change their colors to red, yellow, and orange. Plus, it is still far from the rainy season, beginning in mid-October. This way, you can get the full fall-foliage experience.

What places to visit

The Kancamagus Highway certainly has many stunning spots to stop by during your trip. Here is our pick of the top three.

Otter Rocks

Otter Rocks is a perfect picnic place. Located in close proximity to ​​the Pemigewasset River, it offers terrific views of the water, surrounded by golden forests. There are many picnic tables, overlooking a small pool and many cascades. In addition, you can access unique swimming holes from a nearby parking lot.

Hancock Overlook (Hairpin Turn)

The Hairpin Turn is an iconic move-like part of the Kanc route. The turn is located near the Hancock Overlook parking lot, so you may stop there to take some pictures. While many people are scared to drive along the turn, it is actually super safe if you stick to the speed limit or drive at an even lower speed.

Sabbaday Falls

Located in Camptown, Sabbaday Falls is one of the most popular destinations along the Kancamagus Highway. Sabbaday Falls is a set of multiple spectacular small waterfalls and cascades, surrounded by golden fall foliage. Although you can't swim there, nobody can stop you from taking pictures at the marvelous location.

Practical info

What is the ideal time of the year to experience autumn foliage along the Kancamagus Highway?

The best time to catch the golden fall foliage experience is from September until early October, while the trees change their colors to orange, yellow, and red. Tourists are recommended to visit before the rainy season of mid-October to witness the spectacular view of the Kancamagus Highway. Show more

What are the most scenic tourist spots to explore during a Kancamagus Highway drive?

The Kancamagus Highway boasts several picturesque spots to visit, but the top 3 recommended by tourists are the Sabbaday Falls, Hancock Overlook, and Otter Rocks. Otter Rocks is wrapped by forests and offers panoramic views of the Pemigewasset River, giving visitors an aesthetic pleasure. On the other hand, Sabbaday Falls provides many cascading waterfalls along with the surrounding golden fall foliage, a perfect spot to take photos. Lastly, the Hancock Overlook, popular for its Hairpin Turn, is a safe, must-visit place for Kodak moments in the Kancamagus Highway. Show more

Where can Otter Rocks be located along the Kancamagus Highway?

Otter Rocks is situated on the Kancamagus Highway in the vicinity of the Pemigewasset River. Travelers can enjoy the picnic area, relish the beautiful view of a small pool and cascades, and marvel at the alluring fall foliage. It is considered one of the serene locations on the route, and an accessible parking lot is provided nearby to access unique swimming holes. Show more

What is the Hancock Overlook, and how does it attract visitors to stop by?

The Hancock Overlook on the Kanc route is a well-known tourist spot for its iconic Hairpin turn that attracts many visitors for its splendid view. Tourists can park their vehicles at the Hancock Overlook parking lot to take photos of the breathtaking scenery. Although some hesitate to drive along the turn, it is entirely safe to drive as long as they follow the speed limits and extra caution. Show more

Is it allowed to take a swim at Sabbaday Falls, or is it prohibited?

Taking a swim at Sabbaday falls is not allowed, but visitors can take photos of the place, making it a famous destination. Several small waterfalls and cascades are present at Sabbaday Falls, accentuated by the golden foliage during autumn, making it an opt spot for taking pictures. With not much to do, snapping memorable photos is the way to recall the breath-taking scenery of the location, and it's no wonder that it has become one of the most sought-after attractions in the Kancamagus Highway. Show more

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Last updated: by Nataliia Chaika