FRANCONIA NOTCH PARK on map
Road atlas of East US and Canada
Maps of United states and Canada
FRANCONIA NOTCH STATE PARK
LOCATION - The park is located 8 miles north of North Woodstock via U.S. 3, and 8 miles north of Lincoln via U.S. 3.
FEATURES - The Flume gorge features an 800-foot chasm with sheer walls rising above it as high as 70 feet. It was carved by the Pemigewasset River, a name which means "swift or rapid current" in Abnacki Indian language. The Old Man of the Mountain, a natural rock formation towering 1,200 feet above Profile Lake on the east side of Cannon Mountain, consists of five separate ledges.
The Basin is a glacial granite pothole over 20 feet in diameter and is located at the base of a beautiful waterfall along the river. Boise Rock is an erratic, meaning it is one of the boulders scattered about the park which was left behind by the receding glacier.
ACTIVITIES - The park is open mid-May through mid-October. Take a shuttle from the visitor center to the base of the gorge, beginning in late June. Watch the movie at the information center and pick up something to eat in the cafeteria.
Walk along boardwalks through the gorge to see rare mountain flowers and mosses growing from the moist walls. Hike trails to two historic covered bridges, the pool, and several waterfalls. Hike 1,5 miles to Artist's Bluff for a good gorge overlook. Basin-Cascades Trail begins at the Basin and ascends along beautiful Cascade Brook, ending at Cascade Brook Trail in 2 miles. The 3,25-mile-long Lonesome Lake Trail follows an old bridle path.
Falling Waters Trail begins opposite Lafayette Campground and leads past waterfalls—Stairs, Swiftwater, and Cloudland—as well as to the top of three peaks Mount Lafayette, Lincoln, and Little Haystack.
Cannon Mountain Tramway, located 0,5 mile north of the Profile at Parkway Exits 2 and 3 on I-93, takes passengers up 2,022 feet to an observation platform at 4,200 feet for a spectacular view of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Hike additional trails from here and enjoy a summit barbecue in July and August. For information, call 603-823-5563.
Tour the New England Ski Museum beside Cannon Mountain Aerial Tram. It's open daily from noon-5:00, but closed Wednesday. For information, call 603-823-7177.
Go swimming, fishing, wind surfing, and boating in Echo Lake, the park's largest body of water. Visit the interpretive cabin at Lafayette Place.
Camp in the 97-site Lafayette Campground with a camp store open mid-May through mid-October. The campground provides easy access to the Appalachian Trail and to a 9-mile paved bike path that goes from Skoocum-chuck Brook, 3 miles north of the tramway, through the notch, and to the Flume. Bicycle rentals are available at Franconia Sport Shop. Attend summer interpretive programs. A campground by Echo Lake has 10 sites with full hookups, swimming beach, and bathhouse.
Visit Robert Frost's place on Ridge Road in Franconia where he lived from 1901-09. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it's open spring weekends from 1:00-5:00 and summer through fall daily from 1:00-5:00, except it's closed Tuesday. The structure is typical of housing in New England in the 1880s and has period furnishings and a nature-poetry interpretive trail. For information, call 603-432-3091.
Golfers can play at Profile Club in Franconia. For a tee-off time, call 603-823-9568. Horseback riding is available at Franconia Inn.
Visit nearby Lost River Gorge, located 6 miles west of North Woodstock. The river winds through a series of glacial caverns and giant potholes. Walk along the boardwalk through the steep-walled gorge. Squeeze through Lemon Squeezer and descend into the glacial caverns to see the Hall of Ships. The area is open from mid-May through mid-October. For information, call 603-745-8031.
Attend Broadway musicals performed in the Eastern Slope Playhouse in North Conway from July 1 through Labor Day. For information, call 603-356-5776.
Loon Mountain Bike Center on the Kancamagus Highway in Lincoln will shuttle you and your bicycle to the top of Franconia Notch State Park to explore the area and fall foliage as you cycle down the paved bike path to Loon Mountain. There you can do more challenging mountain bike riding along Loon's 35 kilometers of ski trails.
From May-October, take Loon Mountain Gondola Skyride to the summit of Loon Mountain. Enjoy the Summit Cave Walk and the view from the four-story observation tower. Hike the self-guided mountain trail. At the mountain's base, take aim at the revolutionary laser trap or traditional archery range.
Go boating or canoeing down the Saco River as well as 7 other nearby rivers. Contact Saco Bound/Downeast River Trips at 603-447-2177.
During the winter, enjoy downhill skiing on Cannon Mountain with 28 trails. For ski conditions, call 603-823-7771. You can also downhill or crosscountry ski at Bretton Woods or on Loon Mountain. For conditions, call 603-745-8111.
Nordic skiers will find over 50 kilometers of trails at the Franconia Touring Center. Winter visitors can also go for a sleigh ride, snowshoe, and ice skate in Franconia.
In Sugar Hill, tour Sugar Hill Historic Museum to see a replica of a nineteenth-century tavern kitchen, carriage barn with rare vehicles, and a blacksmith shop. It's open July 1 - October. For information, call 603-823-8142.
Sugar Hill also offers summer performances by the North Country Chamber Players at the Sugar Hill Meetinghouse. Additional performances are offered at Loon Mountain.
Incoming pilots can land at Twin Mountain Airport which features scenic airplane rides daily, weather permitting. Rental cars are available. You can also land at Franconia Airport 2 miles south of town. No rental cars are available here.
Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia, New Hampshire 03580 603-745-8391
603-825-5563 (Lafayette Campground)