Kancamagus Highway- A Classic Fall Foliage Driving and Photography trip
Join photographer and travel writer and guide April Bielefeldt as she shares one of her favorite Fall October drives, full of photography opportunities or just enjoying for good foliage colors. This road is featured in National Geographic’s Driving Guides to America New England edition- page 44 in most editions.
This is one of my favorite drives- it includes a covered bridge, waterfalls, lots of trees, overlooks and a possibility for reflections and scenics that grace my walls- maybe you will feel the same once you take a day and explore it!
How long- the Scenic Portion= 32 miles
How much time- can drive it probably with a couple of hours but to stop, take the waterfall walk and take some photos allow a good 6 hours.
Due to the trees- light sometimes does not get into this area right away so in the fall I would advise get a good breakfast and then start your drive. Stop at the Ranger station as you turn onto Route 112 for maps or any questions you may have. There are also flush toilets at this location. The rest of the drive to Lincoln there are limited facilities- some toilets are not flush- you may want to have toilet paper and hand sanitizer with you.
No food anywhere along the route- between Conway and Lincoln.
Water-drinks- and things like a roll of toilet paper
There is traffic – buses and big trucks – so be aware of these vehicles – pull off at one of the many gravel areas if you start to stack traffic behind you.
The route follows the Swift river:
Elevation – does hit a high point at 3000feet- sometimes in October you will get snow at this elevation. Wear layers or keep that coat handy.
Best to wear a hiking boot to walk some of the uneven paths – trails to Sabbaday falls.
Lens suggestions- wide angle, zoom for close-ups of leaves, close ups of forest scenics such as mushrooms, bark, or other details. Filters such as a graduated ND to create milky waterfalls. Polarizer to intensify the reds- blue skies- define the clouds.
Working from Conway to Lincoln – highlights listed below:
Covered bridge – parking pass
Tripod – for long exposures= a must for getting a good waterfall photo
Polarizer– define the clouds- intensify the colors like a pair of sunglasses for your lens
Lee Filters- http://leefilters.com/index.php/camera/bigstopper
Big Stopper– 10 stops –slow exposure time to create images that have a timeless quality- slow moving water-waterfalls-passing clouds- even crowds of people
Rain gear– either a plastic bag with a hole for your lens or op-tech makes these or movo – go to Amazon: