New Hampshire's state motto is Live Free or Die, and that could not be more synonymous with the motorcycle lifestyle ethos. With motorcycle culture running deep in the state of New Hampshire, native riders are proud to call Laconia Motorcycle Week their home turf. While more recognizable bike fests have only been around for 6-7 decades, Laconia recently celebrated their 90th year. So, where is the best riding in New Hampshire? While that particular question can yield any number of answers, many natives to the area will tell you Kancamagus Scenic Byway is the best in the state.
Born along State Route 112, a 56-mile highway system that traverses the scenic White Mountain National Forest, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway takes up 34 miles of this state road. Kancamagus Pass is the highest point of elevation throughout the ride, and its elevation is just under 3,000 feet. While it's certainly no epic, mountainous ride like the Western Rockies, the Kanc – as it's often called – is certainly a splendid ride through natural scenery. The White Mountain National Forest has remained a natural wonder, leaving behind restaurants, gas stations and other man-made structures. You won't find luxurious lodging options along the Kancamagus Scenic Byway, but there are plenty of campgrounds available to those who wish to spend a bit more time getting to know the area. Of course, if you simply must stay in a man-made building, there are hotel and condo options at the beginning and end of the Byway.
State Route 112 connects the New Hampshire towns of Bath and Conway. Surrounding highway systems and roads may be closed during the winter due to snowfall, but the Kancamaus Scenic Byway stays open for all of its visitors. Make sure you plan accordingly if you choose to travel in the winter months, as navigating around these small mountain towns can be tricky if some are closed. Of course, riding the Kancamagus Scenic Byway in the winter offers a unique experience for riders, as the snow-covered mountain tops create a picturesque scene that simply cannot be duplicated anywhere else in the state.
While the Kancamagus Scenic Byway is open year round and certainly provides a scenic ride during all seasons, the region is best known for its Fall foliage viewings. If you plan on visiting the area during the Fall, be prepared for lots of traffic. Likewise, you should also be prepared with the right attire, such as the River Road Mesa Leather jacket for cooler temperatures. If you're daring and wish to ride through the high 40s and mid 50s in a t-shirt, at least throw theHarrier Vest over your neck in order to stay a bit warmer and protected. Sport riders may wish to choose from a nice Dainese or Alpinestars track jacket and matching pants, as the roads tend to get a bit slippery as the leaves fall. No matter what attire you choose to wear, the Kancamagus Scenic Byway exists as a gateway into New Hampshire's historical native past. Make sure you read up on the area before traveling, as you'll get the most out of your journey while there.
About the author:
Dewayne Jasper has been riding for over 6 years and currently rides a Kawasaki Ninja ZX6R; this story is about how Dewayne describes Kancamagus Scenic Byway as one of the most beautiful roads for motorcycle ride.