When it comes to beautiful destinations to visit in the fall, the White Mountains in New Hampshire really should be at the top of your list. This area is home to exceptional parks, like Franconia Notch State Park and the stunningly beautiful Artists Bluff Trail. We really are lucky to be surrounded by exceptional beauty – and it’s not limited to Franconia Notch State Park, either. Head up the Mt. Washington Auto Road, hike on some of the area’s best hiking trails, ride up to the top of local ski areas, or drive along the stunning Kancamangus Highway.
Whatever it is you do this fall, it’s bound to be beautiful. At the heart of your stay will be the luxury accommodations offered by the Sugar Hill Inn, the #1-rated Bed and Breakfast in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Book your room at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast today!
Hike the Artists Bluff Trail
The Artists Bluff Trail is one of our favorite hikes in the White Mountains area, and its a hike we frequently recommend to our guests. It’s a beautiful hike to take any time of year, but during the fall it takes on a magical quality that truly must be seen to be understood. The Artists Bluff Trail is relatively short, at just 1.5 miles, but it leads the way to an absolutely breathtaking view over Echo Lake. In the distance, you’ll see Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch, which, at this time of year, are simply alight with color.
The Artists Bluff Trail is best accessed from the Bald Mountain trailhead,. From there, you’ll head up a short but steep 1.5-mile trail, an end on a rocky overlook with views of Franconia Notch State Park. The view is absolutely incredible in the fall. This view is made even more amazing by visiting at sunset – and given that it’s such a short hike, it’s an easy one to do in the twilight hours of the day. It will take you around 15-20 minutes to go each direction.
If you want to do a little more hiking in this area, you can continue on to the open summit of Bald Mountain, too. It’s really just another spur off the main trail.
Other Things to do at Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia Notch State Park truly is a stunning place to visit and is certainly one of the top attractions in an area filled with plenty of things to see and do. It’s a place best described as filled with wonder, with plenty of stunning views and interesting geological features to enjoy along the way. Within the park, there are a number of hiking trails, biking trails, an aerial tramway that takes you to the top of Cannon Mountain, rock climbing, birding, fishing, and so much more. A few highlights of Franconia Notch State Park include:
- Besides hiking to Artists Bluff Trail, the Flume Gorge will be the highlight of your visit to Franconia Notch State Park. The gorge is open May – November. As you walk through the gorge, walls of granite rise from between 70-90 feet above you and are only separated by 12-20 feet of space. At the top of the gorge is Avalanche Falls, a 45-foot waterfall.
- Another popular feature in Franconia Notch State Park is the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. This was the first passenger aerial tramway in North America and has been in operation since 1938. It takes 8 minutes to get to the top of the 4,080-foot summit of Cannon Mountain, where you’ll enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains. The tramway is open from May – October.
- The Basin, a large pothole in the Pemigewasset River, was formed around 25,000 years ago by a glacier. It’s a beautiful granite bowl, and easily accessible just off the main highway through the Franconia Notch.
- Echo Lake is a beautiful and serene place to spend the day. It offers beautiful views of Lafayette and Cannon Mountain and is a great place for both fishing and boating.
- The Sentinel Pine Bridge is a beautiful example of covered bridges in New Hampshire and is located in Franconia Notch State Park.
Where to Stay Near Franconia Notch State Park
While visiting Franconia Notch State Park and hiking the Artists Bluff Trail is certainly a must while you’re visiting us, we recently wrote a blog about all of the other great things to do in the White Mountains this fall. As you can see from that extensive list, there’s no shortage of fun to be had near our Inn.
The Sugar Hill Inn not only offers a cozy mountain treat and exceptional hospitality, but it’s also home to the best restaurant in the White Mountains. Staying here truly is special, and we have no doubt it will lead to many future getaways to the White Mountains for you in the future. Give yourself the opportunity to relax, unwind, and enjoy the natural beauty of New Hampshire this fall. Book your room at our New Hampshire Bed and Breakfast today.