|Swift River and Albany Covered Bridge|
Chillin in the Swift River
Our first stop of the day was to cool down in the Swift River. We drove to the Albany covered bridge about 6.5 miles down the Kancamagus Highway on the right. Once you cross the bridge, there's parking for the Boulder Loop Trail. On this day, we didn't take the trail. Instead, we parked and walked just upstream of the bridge. We sat in the cool water, drank a beverage, and enjoyed the scenic New England view of river, bridge, and mountains. There were a few other people picnicking in the area but plenty of space to find a quiet and secluded spot to ourselves. There are also a couple picnic tables and pit toilets available. You need a National Park parking pass to park there ($3 for a day at the lot).
About a mile further down the Kanc, we stopped at Lower Falls parking and picnic area on the right. This is an ideal stop for those people looking for a place to sun and play in the water. It's a popular spot so you should be prepared for crowds on a hot summer day. The area is a beautiful set of cascades, which in the summer months, provides a set of shutes and slides for the adventurous at heart. There are picnic tables and pit toilets available. There are also signs posted banning alcohol or glass bottles. You need a National Park parking pass to park there.
We continued down the Kanc about 10 more miles until we came to the Sabbaday Falls parking area on the left. This spot has a shaded picnic area near the parking lot and a short trail to some beautiful falls. It's a great spot for a quick view of falls and is handicapped accessible so it's also perfect for small children or the elderly. We sat near the falls for a while and enjoyed the shade and spray. Matt and Joe packed in a fly rod and caught a little brook trout in the large pool beneath the falls. The spot restricts swimming, but it's a beautiful set of waterfalls and a cool spot on a hot day. You need a National Park parking pass to park there.
Our Kancamagus cool down was a fantastic way to beat the heat and enjoy the White Mountain wilderness. There's nothing like sitting next to a river on a hot and humid day to let you know that summer has truly begun.