Print Posted on 06/01/2017 in Road Tales

Kancamagus Highway - A Laconia Motorcycle Week Ride

Kancamagus Highway - A Laconia Motorcycle Week Ride

Riding is one of the main day attractions during any motorcycle rally, and Laconia is no different. One of the most popular rides is the Kancamagus Highway, which is often referred to as "The Kanc". The Kanc is a 34.5 mile stretch of Highway that runs through the White Mountain National Forest and has been designated as an National Scenic Byway by the Department of Transportation.

The Kanc, originally opened in 1959 with paving completed in 1964, climbs to an elevation of 2855 feet as you're crossing over the Kancamagus Pass. Near the summit there is a scenic overlook that is a great place to jump off your bike and take a look at the amazing views of the valleys below.  Both the Swift River and the Pemigewasset River start their decent to the Atlantic Ocean from the top of Mount Kamncamagus , the Swift River heading west, while the Pemigewasset River heads east.

The old Albany Covered Bridge is approximately 6 miles from the ranger station on the Conway side of the bypass. The wooden bridge makes for a great stop to look back into how early bridges were built. The Albany Covered Bridge was originally constructed in 1858 crossing over the swift river. It was restored in 1970 allowing pedestrians to cross over the Swift River again and enjoy the picnic grounds that await you on the other side of the river. Plenty of parking exists at this location for your motorcycle, making it an ideal place to stretch your legs and walk through some history.

Before heading up Kancamagus Highway you need to check your gas level, this stretch of highway has plenty of places you may want to get off your bike and look around such as Sabbaday Falls, Lower Falls, Champney Falls  or the Rocky Gorge, but you're not going to find any gas stations, hotels, or any other type business inside the park.

It's easy to start looking around and get distracted by all the jaw dropping scenery this trip offers, but it also important to stay focused on the pavement ahead of you. The road can be narrow at times leaving little room for mistakes to be had. If the narrow roads aren't enough to keep you focused, the wildlife should be. It is not unusual to see moose, deer, bears or other types of wildlife along or on the road, especially early in the morning or around dusk.

There are 6 campgrounds along the route if you plan on spending a night along the route. Just be warned, if you check-in with a loved one at night, as many of us do for their peace of mind, there is no cell phone coverage along most of this stretch of highway. So check in first and don't let them panic the night away.

At the end of the motorcycle ride you will have wound your way through some amazing scenery. Mountain and river views that are mixed with water falls. Spectacular views from the top of the mountains to seeing a walking bridge that is almost a hundred and fifty years old; this day will long be engrained in your memory. It's only 34.5 miles long, but take the time to really enjoy this ride.

Special Thanks to for providing the map.

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