Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park, located in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains, is a little more than a two hour drive north of Boston, making it a very manageable day trip. It is also the former home of the Old Man in the Mountain (may he rest in peace). Last Fall, we decided to rent bikes and cruise around the Franconia Notch area and check out Flume Gorge while we were at it. We picked up the bikes by the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway and rode along Franconia Notch bike path for about eight miles between Echo Lake and the Flume. The trail runs parallel to the Franconia Notch Parkway, weaving in and out of the woods, and providing plenty of views of the surrounding 4,000-footers as the trail emerges from the tree-covered areas.
The line for Flume Gorge was longer than we would have liked but it ended up being worth the wait. We walked the two-mile loop that took us through the gorge, over a covered bridge, and eventually back to the visitor center. The gorge itself is located at the base of Mt. Liberty and is about 800 feet long with 90 foot granite walls towering above on both sides.
A fun fact about the gorge is that they credit its discovery to a 93 year old woman named “Aunt Jess”. What on earth was a 93 year old doing hiking around in the White Mountains?? Here we are in our mid-twenties and we’re exhausted after a day riding around the mountains while Aunt Jess was busy discovering gorges at the ripe old age of 93. To be fair I’m sure the gorge was old news to the native Americans in the area, but regardless..you have to tip your hat to Aunt Jess on this one.