Catch Beautiful Fall Foliage Views On This East Coast Road Trip Route

Leaf peepers, rejoice. The Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire offers one of the best opportunities in the world to see fall foliage. Sitting inside the White Mountain National Forest, the 34.5-mile stretch of highway is recognized as a National Scenic Byway and attracts millions of tourists every year, all eager to view the forest awash in a sea of red, orange, and gold. The route runs east to west from Lincoln to Conway, with plenty of scenic overlooks and natural wonders along the way. To help you plan the timing of your trip, the government of New Hampshire even has a handy foliage tracker.

While you could easily do the drive in an hour, it's best to make a whole day of it and to fully enjoy the numerous scenic vistas, hiking trails, and waterfalls. One of the easiest waterfalls to get to is Sabbaday Falls. The half-mile trail off the main road is accessible and flat, leading straight to the cascading, 45-foot waterfall. Champney Falls offers another spectacular view, particularly after a good rainfall. There's also the Rocky Gorge waterfall, which boasts a 10-foot drop.

What to know before you go

There are plenty of accommodations, restaurants, and shops in the two towns on either side of the highway, but none right off the highway itself — just a pure, unspoiled view of nature. It's best to stock up on everything you need before you go. If you'd rather stay in the forest the whole time, there are six campgrounds for visitors to enjoy. Jigger Johnson campground is a popular choice, as it's the only one that offers showers. It's pet-friendly, accessible, and open to tents, trailers, and RVs. It operates on a first-come, first-served basis for $27 per day, says the US Forest Service, so plan to get there early.

Don't forget to stop at the White Mountains Visitor Center to learn all about the rich history of the area. The Kancamagus Highway — pronounced kank-ah-mah-gus — was named for the last chief of the Pennacooks, a Native American tribe that lived in New Hampshire during the 17th century, reports Yankee magazine. As if the leaves, trails, and history weren't enough on a cozy fall day, keep your eyes peeled for a glimpse of wildlife in the forest, like bears, eagles, skunks, and porcupines. You might even spot a moose or two. There's no doubt about it, the Kancamagus Highway is a surefire way to get your "fall fix."