Franconia Notch: Welcome to the Wild

One of the first things you notice as you drive into Franconia Notch State Park is the massive amount of wildflowers covering the highway and hillsides. Wild Lupines flood the median that splits North and South Interstate 93, which cuts through the heart of Franconia. Mountains line the highways and in every direction you look you’ll find a new peak. The hiker cabin we reside in, sits in-between the Franconia Ridge peaks and Cannon Mountain.

(Our hiker cabin sits in front of Cannon Cliffs where the Old Man of the Mountain once lived)

The front porch of our hiker cabin looks out onto on the Franconia Ridge Trail and a short walk from the hiker cabin will bring you to the Falling Waters and Old Bridle Path Trail head. This seven-hour loop will bring you to Little Haystack, Mount Lincoln, and Mount Lafayette along the Appalachian Trail, with amazing viewpoint all along the ridge. The first part of Falling Waters Trail is decorated in waterfalls and wildflowers. You may even see the occasional American Toad along the trail. Stop and take a water break and take a moment to look at all the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.

(Cloudland Falls located on Falling Waters Trail)

Along the trail Falling Waters and Old Bridle Path trails you’ll be able to find wildflowers such a Trilliums, Bunchberries, and Lady Slippers.

(Painted Trillium found on Falling Waters Trail)

Franconia is a place that’s beautiful rain or shine. On a warm day the park floods with eager hikers in awe by the surrounding mountains. On a rainy day the low clouds loom over the mountains creating a mystical feeling.  There is no shortage of things to do while you’re here at Franconia Notch State Park. Lonesome Lake Trail is a great hike for families with small children or for people who just want an easier hike. The Lonesome Lake Hut run by the AMC is a great place to spend the night on top of the Lonesome Lake Trail. If you reach Lonesome Lake but you’re still itching to hike a little longer, carry onto Cannon Mountain via Hi Cannon Trail.

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(A panorama of Lonesome Lake with Cannon Mountain in the background)

No matter what you’re looking for Franconia Notch State Park has something to offer. If you’re looking for a hike free day, spend some time relaxing at Echo Lake. On most days you’ll be able to see Black Bears grazing on the ski slopes of Cannon Mountain, from your spot on the beach. Rent a kayak and canoe and explore Echo Lake a little further.  If you’re into biking Franconia has a 5 mile bike path that takes you to all the main attractions the park has to offer.

Be sure to check out all the programs we offer here at Franconia Notch State Park!


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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