The Mountains Are Calling

Only weak rays of sun peaked through as we entered Franconia Notch State Park. I gazed up; clouds swirled around creating a turbulent ceiling over I-93 North. This is the kind of day most people tend to stay inside and curl up by the fire. I’ve never been that type though; instead I make my way outside to connect with the great outdoors. In just a moment I’ll share a few great reasons to head outside and start to see nature from another view.


Photo By Colleen Ann
Coming Into the Notch


Unique ways to experience Nature

After clipping our tickets to red zip ties we stepped into our skis. Within moments we were on the Peabody Express, flying up the mountain. At Cannon, you get a bird’s eye view of everything. Large patches of blue sky emerged through thin clouds, and the sun peaked through. From the Tram, Franconia Notch and its peaks were laid out below us. Echo Lake sat with a thick blanket of snow over its frozen surface. Rising up over the Notch, I felt thankful that I was able to enjoy this unique place. Whether riding up one of the high speed quads or taking a Tram Car, being at Cannon is a memorable experience.


Looking down off the Tram
Looking down off the Tram


Quality time with Family

In our increasingly connected world, State Parks give you the perfect place to unplug. It was a memorable day with my Dad. Together we watched Franconia Notch pan out below us. We spent time at the top, enjoying the warmth of the lodge. Our skis made wide easy turns in the packed powder as we gazed at the snow covered peaks. As you look back over your life, these will be the days you remember.


Looking Down from the Summit


An Appreciation for Nature

As the day wore on, we made our way over towards the Peabody Slopes. We stopped briefly near edge of Paulies Folly. Looking south I couldn’t help but appreciate the immensity of Franconia Notch. Lafayette was white capped and thin clouds stood guard over the valley. Behind lay Lincoln and Liberty, their ridge lines sharp in the clear air. My worries and fears always seem small against this landscape. It’s strange how we separate ourselves from nature, viewing it as something to be conquered. Sitting there with the wind hitting me, I couldn’t help thinking of how untrue that is. To spend time in these mountains, you have to have a certain level of respect for them. We are only part of the story here.


Looking over towards Lafayette
Looking over towards Lafayette


The Small Details

Franconia is a park that is known for its large sweeping views. Yet Cannon would not be the same without small things that add to the parks character. Weak rays of sun hit the snow, and thousands of ice crystals reflect like Diamonds. Tiny alpine conifers bend under the lumps of pure white snow. Ice had formed on rocks and the trees. Clusters of thin icicles form in different colors and shapes. Cannon is home to sweeping vistas. It also has intricate eye catching details that get the attention of your imagination.




In New Hampshire, our winters have a unique beauty. Our summers have soft glow that surround them. Winters are the opposite; they are harsh and clear and demand our full attention. It has always seemed to me that the ridges are sharper and the stars are brighter. It’s not easy to be out there, but there’s nothing that compares. It may take some coaxing, but once you get out there you’ll be glad you did. For a few moments of trouble, you’re rewarded by memories that last a lifetime.


Franconia Notch from the slopes.
Franconia Notch from the slopes.




Colleen O'Connell

My name is Colleen. I am a writer, and a life-long resident of New Hampshire. Growing up in the Southwestern part of the state, I spent most of my free time outside. As I have grown and matured, my love for New Hampshire and its natural beauty has grown as well. I spend most of my free time hiking, skiing, and exploring the natural beauty of our state. I enjoy the natural wonders of our state, and sharing these experiences and places with others through my writing.

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