Kancamagus Highway

Trip Start Jan 06, 2011
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Flag of United States  , New Hampshire
Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Wednesday, September 14th

We had already planned on not waking up to an alarm today and to sleep in, and we did just that. After eventually getting up and baking some cinnamon rolls, we packed up and headed out.  It was after noon till we got out of the campground, but it was nice to have a slow morning.  We didn't have exact plans for today, except to drive the Kancamagus Highway (NH 112).  It is a really scenic drive through the White Mountain National forest.  There are a bunch of pullovers for picnic areas, trails, overlooks, waterfalls, etc. 

We first stopped at the ranger station in Conway to see if they had any more information on the area that we didn’t have.  They really didn’t, except there were a couple of maps we didn’t have that showed the trails and gave distances. So we picked up a couple of them for the next couple of days. 

Then we got on our way.  Our first stop was the Albany Covered Bridge.  The 120’ long truss bridge with an added arch was rebuilt in 1858 after the original blew down the year before.  Apparently there are a bunch of covered bridges in this area, we will probably see a few more while we are here.

We then headed down the road to the Lower Falls scenic area.  It was really nice out today, so there were people sunbathing and swimming in these gentle falls.  It was also nice enough for Jen to showcase one of her new sundresses. 

We continued down the highway and stopped next at Falls Pond.  We started out to the trail that looped around Falls Pond.   The trail first followed the river, then crossed over at a pretty cool rapid section, then wound up in through the woods to the pond, then looped around the pond.  We started the walk and got to the pond.  We decided to walk the loop.  After only walking a little ways around, we had to go up a couple hills so that’s when we decided to not walk the whole way around, as we are still recuperating from yesterday.  So we went back to the RV and continued on. 

We drove down the road to the next area called Sabbaday Falls.  There was a picnic area next to the river (the water we have been paralleling/visiting is the Swift river) so we made some lunch and sat outside to enjoy the nice weather.  Nash has been able to enjoy everything with us as well today, which is great because he was cooped up all day yesterday.  After we ate, we planned on taking the .3 mile trail to the Falls, but it was closed due to damage caused by the hurricane/tropical storms lately.  We had really hoped to see more/grander falls, so it was a bummer it was closed. 

From there we drove to the Kancamangus Overlook, which is on the east side of the Kancamangus Pass.  We had a nice view over the valley and got some nice pictures then continued on.

Our final stop was at the Lincoln Woods Visitor Center.  The other day the park ranger talked about the Lincoln Woods trail to Franconia Falls, so we decided to do it.  She (the ranger) said you could bike it, so that was really our plan.  However when we got there, we saw that it was really for pedestrians only.  It was an old logging road that had a railway system on it.  Many of the railroad ties were still in the ground, so it would not have been an easy or comfortable ride.  So instead we decided to walk it.  The trail was described as easy and about 3.2 miles out to the falls.  Even though we were both sore, we figured we might as well take Nash for a really nice long walk and stretch out those muscles.  The trail was fairly easy, except there were caution signs at the beginning saying the trail was in poor condition and hasn’t been fully assessed to all the damage.  There were down trees and portions of the trail washed away.  The trail itself was actually a bit boring, as it was long, straight and a bit monotonous.  It looked the same for quite a distance forward and back.  We felt like it was like an Alice in Wonderland or Willy Wonka type feeling.  But we got out to the Franconia Falls trail and headed up hill to the falls.  They were pretty cool falls.  The water carved out deep gouges in the rocks to make it almost look like waterslides.  And the rock formations were smooth but not rounded like a river rock.  They had rifts and points to them.  It was a very pretty setting.  We hung out here and got some pictures and let nash stand/drink in the river water then headed back.  We were a bit concerned that we might be hiking back in the dark since we didn’t start the hike until after 4.  But not to worry, we were back at the RV around 6:30 just a little before sunset.   So we were again pretty tired, but headed down the road the rest of the way, hoping we would see a moose crossing a road, especially since everyone says sunset is a good time to see them.  But again, no moose were sighted. 
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Comments

Jenny on

Sounds like you need someone with hawk eyes (me) to help you spot the moose:)

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