Bring everything but your drone to this beautiful and mountainous New Hampshire state park. While use of whirring drones is restricted at Franconia Notch State Park, visitors will have plenty of activities and sites to keep them occupied during their stay.
Franconia Notch is an enormous mountain pass that can be accessed by a parkway extending from the Flume Gorge at the South end, up to Echo Lake at the North end of the park. This recreation area features an array of year-round activities and accommodations for nature enthusiasts, sports lovers, or anyone looking to get out of the house for the day or weekend. Franconia Notch State Park is a top-rated destination for residents of The Granite State as well as for people coming from surrounding states like Vermont, Maine, New York, and Massachusetts.
What to Do at Franconia Notch State Park
Outdoor enthusiasts should look no further than Franconia Notch State Park. This NH state park is an easy, scenic trip for individuals, small groups, or for families. Simply sightseeing through the White Mountains would be enough to make the trip worthwhile. Not to mention that the park is a great destination for hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, skiing, and more.
There are miles of hiking trails and nature trails for park guests to experience the beautiful scenery that makes up Franconia Notch State Park. Walking trails allow hikers to access the Northern leg of the famous Appalachian Trail as it runs through New Hampshire. Park goers must also make it a point to study the beautiful geology of Flume Gorge and Cannon Mountain.
Biking trails also exist for park guests as cycling and mountain biking are popular activities in this region. Individuals and groups can ride bikes on the Recreation Path or on the Franconia Notch Bike Path. For travelers without their own bicycles—rentals are available at Sport Thoma in Lincoln, NH.
Furthermore, Cannon Cliffs is the spot to go rock climbing at Franconia Notch. This stretch of mountains provides a perfect arena for rock climbers to practice their holds.
And of course, when it gets cold in New Hampshire, skiing is the locals' sport of choice. Franconia Notch State Park offers areas for cross country skiing and downhill skiing. Also, snowmobiling and snowshoeing are popular pastimes for park goers. Interested in the area's snow sport history? Visitors can check out the New England Ski Museum located within the park for an education and look into the history of these sports in this region.
Visitors of Franconia Notch will notice an exorbitant amount of local wildlife in the park. Often people will tell accounts of falcons and hawks perched in trees or scouring the landscape for prey. People also travel to this park to enjoy bodies of water like Profile Lake and Echo Lake. Fishermen aim for Profile Lake and the plentiful trout population where they set up for fly fishing. Otherwise, individuals looking to sunbathe, and swim will head to Echo Lake beach which sits 1,931 feet above sea level and offers views of Mt. Lafayette and Cannon Mountain. At Echo Lake, visitors can plan a day of boating, canoeing, and kayaking by bringing their own boat or tapping into the boat rentals offered at this site.
For those who'd like more than just day use at the park, campsites for tents and RVs are available for reservation through the park's website, over the phone, or upon entry at the park. Lafayette Place Campground and Cannon Mountain RV Park offer campsites, dump stations, restrooms, showers, electric hookups, open fireplaces, and car parking. All camping information, registration, and supplies can be accessed at the campground's main cabin and lodge located at the campground's entrance.
How to Get to Franconia Notch
The Park is located on 260 Tramway Drive in Franconia, NH. The Park sits in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Get on Interstate 93 as the highway winds for eight miles between the peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia Mountain ranges. Visitors must try their best to make park reservations before arrival. Once at the park, travelers will need to pay an entrance fee at the park gate in order to access parking lots, camping areas, sports facilities, and the surrounding nature preserve.
Travelers should also check out nearby attractions like Cannon Mountain Ski Area & Resort. The towns of Lincoln and Franconia provide opportunities for shopping, educational landmarks, restaurants, and entertainment.
Planning Your Trip
Franconia Notch is the home of the Old Man of the Mountain or "Great Stone Face" which was memorialized by Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster. This park is also home to the oldest aerial tramway in North America. Since 1938, the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway has been bringing people to the 4,000-foot summit for panoramic views as far as Canada and New York. Today, visitors can book online, call ahead, or simply drive into the park after checking daily hours of operation.
Visitors can rest assured that Franconia Notch State Park is their best bet for a fun-filled day of beautiful views in New Hampshire's premier recreation area. Travelers come and return time and time again for a pet-friendly state park with great accommodations like beaches, boat ramps, visitor center, historic sites, learning environments, and more.
Have you ever visited Franconia Notch State Park? Share your adventure at our Wide Open Roads Facebook!
Enjoy the outdoors?
Sign up for daily stories delivered straight to your inbox.