Discover Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

In New Hampshire’s White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. This scenic park stretches through a narrow mountain pass and offers breathtaking landscapes, diverse wildlife, and a variety of recreational activities.

Key attractions include the awe-inspiring Flume Gorge, the towering Cannon Mountain with its aerial tramway, and the historic Old Man of the Mountain site. Visitors can enjoy hiking trails for all levels, from the challenging Franconia Ridge Loop to the leisurely paths around Echo Lake, perfect for swimming and picnicking.

In winter, the park transforms into a snowy wonderland, ideal for skiing and snowshoeing. Its diverse ecosystem, from dense forests to alpine meadows, makes it a prime spot for birdwatching and photography.

Whether planning a day trip or a longer stay, Franconia Notch State Park promises an unforgettable outdoor adventure.

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Top 3 Facts about Franconia Notch State Park

01

Flume Gorge

Franconia Notch State Park is home to the Flume Gorge, an 800-foot-long natural chasm at the base of Mount Liberty. This spectacular gorge features walls of Conway granite that rise 70 to 90 feet high and are only 12 to 20 feet apart in places.

02

Cannon Mountain

The park includes Cannon Mountain, known for its aerial tramway, the first passenger tramway in North America. The tramway takes visitors to the 4,080-foot summit, offering stunning views of the surrounding White Mountains.

03

Old Man of the Mountain

Franconia Notch was once famous for the Old Man of the Mountain, a series of granite cliff ledges that resembled the profile of a face. Although the rock formation collapsed in 2003, the site remains a significant historical landmark, with a memorial plaza for visitors to view the location where it once stood.

Where to Sleep

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Mason Street Getaway

555 Mason St, Saugatuck, MI 49453, USA
Number of Guests 5
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 2
Sq Footage 1,165
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$475.00 / day
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JP Rest House

V262+C5P, Manikganj, Bangladesh
Number of Guests 4
Bathrooms 2
Bedrooms 4
Sq Footage 2,400
Carbon monoxide detectors, Fire extinguisher, First aid kit, Generator, Smoke detectors
$300.00 / day
sparkles New

Juniper Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$198.00 / day

Hemlock Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$194.14 / day

Greenash Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Dogwood Cabin

3601 Monck Road,Kawartha Lakes,ON,CA,K0M 2L0
Bathrooms 1
Bedrooms 2
$182.42 / day

Camping and transportation in Franconia Notch State Park

info_iconBackcountry camping permits required for wilderness camping opportunities.

How to Get to Franconia Notch State Park

Franconia Notch State Park is easily accessible by car and offers a variety of routes depending on your starting point. Here’s a guide to help you get there:

  • From the South (Boston): Take I-93 N toward Concord, NH. Continue on I-93 N into Franconia Notch State Park.
  • From the North (Vermont or Canada): Merge onto I-93 S and follow it into the park.
  • From the East (Maine): Take Route 302 W to I-93 S and enter the park area.

Places to Stay Near Franconia Notch State Park

Whether you’re looking for a rustic camping experience, a cozy bed and breakfast, or a comfortable hotel, plenty of accommodation options exist in and around Franconia Notch State Park.

In the Park

  • Lafayette Place Campground: Located within the park, this campground offers 97 wooded tent sites and seven group sites. It provides basic amenities such as restrooms, showers, and a camp store.

    Nearby Lodging

    • The Franconia Inn: This charming inn offers comfortable rooms, an on-site restaurant, and a range of recreational activities, including horseback riding and cross-country skiing.
    • Indian Head Resort: A family-friendly resort with various accommodations, including cabins and motel rooms. Amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, a restaurant, and lake activities.
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      Best Time to Go to Franconia Notch State Park

      Summer

      Summer

      Summer is the peak season for visiting Franconia Notch State Park, attracting outdoor enthusiasts seeking to take full advantage of the warm weather and extended daylight hours. The park’s amenities, including swimming at Echo Lake and hiking the Franconia Ridge Loop, are fully accessible. The trails are generally dry, making for comfortable hiking conditions, although popular spots like Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain may be crowded. Summer also offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and enjoying scenic drives along Franconia Notch Parkway.

      Winter

      Winter

      Winter transforms Franconia Notch State Park into a wonderland, offering skiing, snowshoeing, and snowboarding opportunities. Cannon Mountain Ski Area provides downhill skiing with stunning views of the surrounding peaks. The park’s trails become quiet and serene under a blanket of snow, perfect for peaceful winter walks or cross-country skiing. The park’s natural attractions, such as frozen waterfalls and ice formations, add to the unique beauty of the winter landscape. However, visitors should be prepared for cold temperatures and variable trail conditions, and some attractions may have limited accessibility during the winter months.

      Spring

      Spring

      Spring is a delightful time to visit Franconia Notch State Park as the landscape awakens with vibrant greenery and blooming wildflowers. The weather begins to warm up, making it ideal for hiking and exploring the park’s numerous trails. Waterfalls, such as those along the Basin-Cascades Trail, are at their fullest due to melting snow, offering spectacular views. Wildlife becomes more active, making it an excellent season for birdwatching and spotting native animals. However, trails may still have patches of snow at higher elevations early in the season.

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      Fall

      Must-See Attractions

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      Flume Gorge

      A natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty, featuring towering granite walls and boardwalk trails that lead through waterfalls, pools, and lush forests.

      Echo Lake

      A picturesque lake surrounded by mountains, offering swimming, boating, picnicking, and stunning views. It’s accessible via a short walk from the parking area.

      Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway

      Ride to the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain via a scenic aerial tramway for breathtaking views of the White Mountains and beyond.

      Helpful Tips: Making the Most of Your Adventure to Franconia Notch State Park

      Plan Ahead

      Plan Ahead

      Check the weather forecast and park conditions before your visit, especially if you plan to hike or engage in outdoor activities. Trails can be steep and rocky, so proper footwear and clothing are essential.

      Pack Appropriately

      Pack Appropriately

      Carry plenty of water and snacks, especially if you plan to hike or spend extended periods outdoors. The park has limited food options, so packing a picnic can enhance your experience.

      Respect Wildlife

      Respect Wildlife

      Franconia Notch is home to diverse wildlife and fragile ecosystems. Keep a safe distance from animals, pack out all trash, and stay on designated trails to minimize your environmental impact.

      Stay Informed

      Arrive Early

      Parking can fill up quickly, especially during peak seasons and weekends. Arriving early in the day ensures you can secure a parking spot and avoid crowds at popular attractions like Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain.

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      Frequently Asked Questions about Franconia Notch State Park

      Franconia Notch State Park is known for attractions like the Flume Gorge, Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, Echo Lake, and scenic hiking trails like the Franconia Ridge Loop.

      Entrance to Franconia Notch State Park itself is free. However, there may be fees for specific attractions within the park, such as the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway or parking at certain lots.

      Yes, Echo Lake is open for swimming during the summer months. It has a designated swimming area with a beach and facilities for picnicking and enjoying the water.

      Popular hiking trails include the Franconia Ridge Loop (including Mount Lafayette and Mount Lincoln), Lonesome Lake Trail, Bald Mountain and Artist’s Bluff Trail, and the Basin-Cascades Trail.

      Franconia Notch’s peak fall foliage season is typically from late September to mid-October. The park’s diverse forests and mountain vistas offer spectacular views of autumn colors.

      Camping is available at Lafayette Campground within the park, offering tent sites and basic facilities. Reservations are recommended, especially during peak seasons.

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