Find your new Franconia Faves at the Hiker Cabin!

By Yasmine Baiod

Collection of artwork done by kids

Anyone who has ever taken I-93, through Franconia Notch has probably seen the Hiker Cabin in the field of Lafayette Place Campground. You have probably peered through the windows, trying to check in or looking for the bathroom, only to find it empty. Well, great news! While there is still no bathroom (go to the camp store nearby), after being closed for four years, we are reopening the Hiker Cabin on July 5th! Whether you are staying at the campground or hiking at Franconia, please be sure to stop by the Hiker Cabin to get recommendations, trail info, and info about our Discover the Power of Parks programming, happening all over the park through October.

To help me give guests recommendations, I have been relying on YOU, the visitors, to teach me what you love about Franconia, with my “Franconia Faves” program. Visitors of all ages have been drawing their Franconia Faves, and here is what they love along with their marvelous artwork:

1) The Wolf’s Den

Kid's drawing of the Wolf's Den with black scribbles and a wolf hiding underneath.

Medium: Marker

Located near the end of the Flume Gorge Loop, crawl through these dark rock crevices for some tactile fun. This is a quick yet optional part of the Flume Gorge, so if dark, tight spaces are not your thing, there is so much more to explore so keep on walking. For the Flume Gorge, tickets are required and sell out quickly, so be sure to reserve your timeslot here to get a discount.

2) Glacial Erratics

Kid's drawing of boulders

Medium: Marker

These are the giant boulders you find throughout the park. They’ve been moved here by the very same glaciers that formed the Notch itself!

3) Waterfalls

Kid's drawing of the Flume Gorge

Medium: Waterfall

Franconia has a whole bunch of waterfalls to enjoy. Some great ways to see them are along the Flume Gorge Loop, off of exit 34 A, and the Basin-Cascades trail! The Basin is a great choice for people of all abilities and has a handicap viewing area that is easily accessible.

4) Ketchup and Mustard

"kids" drawing of Ketchup and Mustard, the beloved tram cars.

Medium: Markers

The beloved tram cars! Be sure to take exit 34 C to ride them up Cannon Mountain for some gorgeous views. Book your tickets in advance here for a discount.

5) Echo Lake Beach

Kid's Drawing of Echo Lake Beach at Sunset.
Medium: Marker

The only swimming spot here at Franconia, this is a must-visit, especially on those hot summer days.

5) Volcanos?

Kid's colorful drawing of  volcanos
Medium: Marker

I am not sure we actually have these here at the Notch, so I’m going to call this a “Franconia? Fave”. Many of the rocks you find here at Franconia, like basalt and Conway granite, were made from cooled magma. None of that magma ever made it to the summit of one of our many mountains, so no volcanos unfortunately :(.

Then again, I am new, so I could be wrong! If you want to fact check, me check out some of our gorgeous hiking trails and see for yourself!

If you want to learn more about Franconia, or happen to see a volcano, stop by the Hiker Cabin and chat with our interpretive rangers! Starting July 5th, we will be open every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8-4. We hope to see you there!

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Discover Power of Parks SCA Interpreters

Discover the Power of Parks is presented by New Hampshire State Parks in collaboration with the Student Conservation Association and AmeriCorps and made possible by generous financial support from Eversource. The program offers a look into the natural world through hands-on programming. Interpretive programs focus on connecting participants with nature and building appreciation for New Hampshire's unmatched natural heritage. Programs include guided hikes, interpretive tours, and imaginative environmental workshops for children and families. Programs are offered free to guests with paid park admission fee. No pre-registration is required.

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