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 clouds come out and it starts to rain. During the past couple of weeks, it has rained several times here in the park and, during this time, I have grown fond of the precipitation and moved beyond feeling disappointed when I see wet trails and cloudy mountains. After all, there is still so much to appreciate here in the mountains on a rainy day.
As long as you has the proper rain gear and layers, you should have just as much fun, if not more, on a rainy day than you would on a sunny one. It is true that some activities may not be as great in the rain. For example, the Falling Waters and Cascade Brook Trails can be difficult to pass at times after a downpour due to high water levels, and the view from the top of the Tram may be disappointing in the clouds, but there are somethings that you will find that will be even better after or during some rain.
The Pemigewasset River thrives with a good rainfall, and its always exciting to check on the water to see how high and powerful the river looks with the extra rainfall added to it. This makes going on a hike on the Pemi Trail, which goes along the river, quite exciting during or right after a good rainfall. Not to mention, splashing through the muddy trails brings a type of child-like satisfaction. Also, some sun-loving visitors often stay home during these occasions, leaving a peace and quiet you may not find on a dry day. The Flume is also beautiful with some precipitation. This already-moist environment is intensified with more water, making the gorge rush with water and Avalanche Falls seem more amazing than usual.
Whenever it rains during my scheduled program times, I try to run them anyways whenever possible. In fact, my most exciting Sensory Walk yet was held a couple weeks ago in the rain when a large bull moose was out enjoying the cool temperature and walking down the bike path not too far from myself and the group of people who had joined me on the program!
There are also some indoor activities that are a cozy way of spending time after your explorations in the rain. The New England Ski Museum is a fun way to spend some time indoors in the park. In addition, the Flume Visitor’s Center plays a film about the park that I recommend to any Franconia Notch State Park enthusiasts and the Hiker Information Center is often a haven for hikers looking for somewhere to spend a few moments drying off after a wet hike.
And when all is said and done, there is often a beautiful rainbow to admire at the end of a rainy day. Nothing beats the feeling of following up a day of exploring the in the rain with a rainbow to admire and a cup of hot chocolate. So, next time it rains, I encourage everyone to grab your raincoats and boots and come explore your nearby state park! Do not let a little water keep you stuck inside.