There’s no shortage of amazing ways to get outside and experience the breathtaking natural beauty of New Hampshire’s Lakes Region, but one of our favorite day trips from the Inn is to head into the White Mountains a bit and visit the stunning Franconia Notch State Park. It takes less than an hour to get to Franconia Notch State Park from our Inn, and it’s more than worth the visit.
Franconia Notch State Park, affectionately called “the notch,” is a pass on I-93 between the Kinsman and Franconia Mountain Ranges. The park encompasses some of the most impressive natural wonders in New Hampshire, including the Flume Gorge. There are also plenty of scenic views to enjoy, including those found on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway and historic sites to visit within the park. It’s a fabulous place to do some hiking, biking, boating, and more.
As cool as it is, Franconia Notch State Park is just one of the many delightful places worth exploring near our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast. There’s also Gunstock Mountain Resort, Lake Winnepesaukee, and the charming towns of the Lakes Region itself. Our beautiful New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast is located on Lake Winnisquam and is, without a doubt, one of the best places to stay in New Hampshire. Summer is waiting! Book your stay with us today!
7 Amazing Hikes in Franconia Notch State Park
Like much of the White Mountain area, the views while hiking at Franconia Notch State Park are breathtaking. Whether you’re submitting mountains or exploring rivers and lakes, you’ll soon see why the White Mountains are one of the best hiking destinations in New Hampshire. Franconia Notch State Park is just one part of the White Mountains ecosystem, but it’s beautiful. There are some fantastic hiking trails within the park, too.
Franconia Notch State Park has 34 official hiking trails, ranging from small two-mile loops to longer and more involved 16-mile day hikes. There’s something for just about every skill level here, including some trails that are accessible. The views are plenty varied, too, with mountain views, interesting rock formations, and trails along babbling brooks and waterfalls. Here are some of the top hikes to consider in Franconia Notch State Park this summer:
- The Trail through the Flume Gorge is the most popular in Franconia Notch State Park. It’s a relatively easy 2.2-mile trip through the Flume Gorge, whose steep fern-covered granite walls rise to 70-90 feet. The walls are 12-20 feet wide, providing a narrow walkway through this natural wonder.
- The Artist Bluff Trail is one of the most popular Franconia Notch State Park hiking trails – and it’s easy to see why. As you reach the top of this hike, you’ll enjoy a breathtaking view of the bright blue waters of Echo Lake below. Take this hike in the fall, and it’s even more magnificent.
- The 3.1-mile Lonesome Lake Trail is another great hike. The hike will end at Lonesome Lake, where you’ll find a hut where you can stay overnight in during the summer.
- The Falling Waters Trail is one of our favorite Franconia Notch State Park hikes. The trail works its way past beautiful waterfalls, as the name suggests, before winding its way to the top of Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette. If you do the entire loop, including both peaks, it’s a challenging but rewarding 8.8-mile trek.
- You don’t have to ride the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway to reach the top of Cannon Mountain. You can also hike the Hi-Cannon Trail, and the 2,400-foot elevation gain over 5.6 miles is definitely challenging!
- The Mount Pemigewasset Trail is a moderate hike, at just under 4 miles round trip, but it offers the same exceptional views as some of the more extensive hikes in Franconia Notch State Park.
- The Basin Cascade Trail is one of the shortest in the park, but the scenery is worth it. The trail ends at a charming waterfall that cascades into a 20-foot granite pothole
4 More Things to do in Franconia Notch
Many people spend one day visiting Franconia Notch State Park, and these visits are often limited to the most popular areas of the park, including the Flume Gorge. Though visits to the Flume Gorge are sensational, there are many more things to do in Franconia Notch State Park. If you have more time to spend there, here are more things to consider.
- Take a ride up the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway to the breathtaking summit of Cannon Mountain. On a clear day at the top, you can see New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, New York, and Canada!
- Spend a quiet summer day at Echo Lake Beach, where you can rent canoes, kayaks, and pedal boats. The lake is located at the base of Cannon Mountain, so the setting is unbeatable. It also happens to be the perfect place to cool off on a hot summer’s day (or after taking one of the many great hikes in Franconia Notch State Park!).
- Profile Lake is a beautiful spot that is designated only for fly fishing. Located beneath the rock formation that collapsed in 2003, The Old man of the Mountain, this is a relaxing way to spend a day on a lake.
- There are some excellent mountain biking trails in Franconia Notch State Park too, including the relatively flat Franconia Notch Recreation Path.
The Best Place to Stay in New Hampshire
With so many great hikes and activities to choose from, it’s easy to see why a visit to Franconia Notch State Park is at the top of our list when staying at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast. When you’re done for the day and craving a quiet, relaxing place to put your feet up, you’ll be glad you booked a room at our lakefront Bed and Breakfast.
Gaze out over the tranquil waters of Lake Winnisquam, listen to the quiet sounds of nature, and watch the sun go down before retreating to your comfortable guest room. Our guest rooms are set up for your ultimate comfort in mind. Book your stay at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast today if you want the best place for an ideal escape to New Hampshire this summer!