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Fall in Franconia Notch

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Back in May, before I had moved to Franconia Notch State Park to be an Interpretive Ranger with Monica Casey (my fellow interpreter), the two of us rented a movie from the local library about the park. We were excited to learn more about where we would be spending the upcoming months. This video, similar to the ones that play in the Flume Visitor Center and occasionally in the Tram building, had a clear theme: Franconia Notch State Park is always changing. This message is illustrated mainly by the fall of the Old Man of the Mountain and other natural events that have changed this landscape over time. The point is to appreciate these amazing features of while they are still here, because this is a constantly changing environment. I have been in Franconia Notch for just over three months now and agree that this place is always changing. However, this does not apply solely to permanent and drastic changes in the landscape. Even just in the short period that I have been here, the park has undergone what seems like a complete makeover.

The first splashes of color around the Hiker Information Cabin

The first splashes of color around the Hiker Information Cabin

New England is know for it’s fall foliage, and I have been patiently awaiting this season since arriving in New Hampshire back in January. Over the past few weeks, the colors have been emerging, bringing splashes of yellows, oranges, and reds to our previously green leaves. These colors, along with the chilly weather and shorter days, signal that it is officially autumn here in the White Mountains.

Back when I arrived in the park in June, the park had it summer colors in full bloom; the vivid greens of the leaves, and the variety of hues from the summer wildflowers. Lupines and Orange Hawkweed, among many others, brought bright colors to the summer months. Those warm months seemed to fly by, and before I knew it, many of the wildflowers were on their way out. The passing of the wildflowers didn’t upset me too much, though, because the park quickly showed me that it had more to offer. Late summer brought us plenty of treats such as blueberries and blackberries, along with some late blooming flowers such as asters.

Hobblebush- one of the first plants to turn color

Hobblebush- one of the first plants to turn color

I cannot believe that the much anticipated autumn months, my favorite of the year, are already here.  Fall only just officially began on September 23rd, but I have been seeing the signs since late August. The hobblebush was the first thing that I noticed started to change from green to red, and the other trees are now following its lead. The ragweed is in bloom, adding a splash of yellow to the lower levels, and the asters can still be found as well. Driving up the Franconia Parkway is now a very different experience; Mount Pemigewasset, for one, can be seen showing off it’s autumn color. More and more trees seems to be changing everyday.

Fall colors emerging on Mt. Pemigewasset (Indian Head)

The wildlife of Franconia Notch has been undergoing its own changes during this time. Bears are consuming a great amount of calories to prepare themselves for their upcoming hibernation, certain birds are preparing to fly south for the winter, and moose are in the midst of the rut.

While, for the most part, children are back at school and not around as much during the week, the weekend still brings many families to the campground to enjoy the fall weather and colors.  I, for one, have been enjoying the cooler weather, which I think is ideal for hiking and bike rides. I also enjoyed the simple pleasure of wandering the park with my camera, looking for some of the best areas of foliage to photograph and share with you all in this blog.

Signs of Autumn along FNSP's bike trail!

Signs of Autumn along FNSP’s bike trail!

That video that I watched all those months ago was right, Franconia Notch is always changing. Everyone should appreciate this unique landscape every time you are here, because you never know when it may be different.  And also, appreciate the little things like the changes in the season. The park is a different place in each season of the year, with different types of beauty to offer. Everyone has a season that seems to be their favorite, however, that does not mean that the other seasons don’t have their own special personality to offer as well.

View from Mount Pemigewasset in July & September

View from Mount Pemigewasset in July & September

By: Becki Linhart, Interpretive Ranger in Franconia Notch State Park



I Took to the Woods

I Took to the Woods

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

As I sit and type this blog, I am nearing the end of my wonderful experience as an interpretive ranger for Umbagog Lake State Park. I can remember those days back at Bear Brook, almost 7 months ago, when all … Continue reading

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Ponding Adventures

Ponding Adventures

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Earlier this spring, all of your Discover the Power of Parks interpreters were introduced (or re-introduced) to an activity that would become the ‘bread-and-butter’ program of some of our summers. We were handed nets that smelled vaguely of pond water, … Continue reading

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Hike Safe This Autumn

Hike Safe This Autumn

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Autumn is upon us! As we head into my favorite season, it is important to remember that wherever you are headed, you should be thinking about your safety. Working at Monadnock State Park, we see hundreds of people set out … Continue reading

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Here's to another 20 Years!

Here’s to another 20 Years!

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Every year is a great year to be an AmeriCorps member. However in 2014 we all get to celebrate a special occassion together as a nation. This year marks the 20th anniversary of ongoing service through AmeriCorps. Through AmeriCorps, thousands … Continue reading

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Tucked Away in Pawtuckaway

Tucked Away in Pawtuckaway

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

While to the modern eye Pawtuckaway may be primarily a mecca of outdoor recreation, the land has seen many users, many eras, and many natural phenomena that have shaped it into such. The park has a long history, from prehuman … Continue reading

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Four Favorite NH Bike Rides

Four Favorite NH Bike Rides

Posted on by Tom Howe

There are lots of great places to go biking in New Hampshire, in and out of the State Parks. Here are just a few of my favorites! The Northern Rail Trail near Lebanon, NH is a 48 mile long trail … Continue reading

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Into the Night & Out of Sight

Into the Night & Out of Sight

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Today marks a triumph! Exactly 3 months ago, I arrived at White Lake State Park eager to explore the environment and meet visitors. Since then, I have familiarized myself with the trails around the lake, and shared my programming with … Continue reading

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Tent Camping Basics

Tent Camping Basics

Posted on by Tom Howe

Tent camping is a great way to spend time outside with friends and family. New Hampshire’s State Parks have a lot of awesome campgrounds, so camping is really one of the best ways to explore the parks as well. Tent … Continue reading

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Explorations in the Rain

Explorations in the Rain

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

I love to wake up on a beautiful, clear day in Franconia Notch State Park, see the mountains, and have the pleasure of feeling warm and dry throughout the day. However, I cannot help to feel some delight when the … Continue reading

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Primitive Fire

Primitive Fire

Posted on by Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Unfortunately, this time around, I do not have an epic story about my adventures in the Great North Woods. I know, I know. We all loved to hear about what crazy expedition I have gone on next. But today, I … Continue reading

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