Your Guide to the Best of Franconia Notch State Park

The road through Franconia Notch State Park

There are so many fantastic things to do in the White Mountains – and that’s true no matter the season. From great hiking and biking to extraordinary skiing, it’s a true outdoor lover’s paradise. That is especially true when you take the time to visit Franconia Notch State Park, one of the most popular attractions in the White Mountains area. 

The White Mountains of New Hampshire are the perfect getaway for all types of travelers. Nature lovers, families, adventure-seekers, and those just seeking a beautiful place to unplug and escape the daily grind will find something to love about it here. Beyond the striking natural beauty, you’ll enjoy charming communities filled with all the history and quintessential New England charm you crave for your getaways. Though there is a nearly endless list of things to do here, there’s no doubt that one of the many jewels tucked into the White Mountains region of New Hampshire is Franconia Notch State Park. 

Franconia Notch State Park serves as a regional centerpiece, encapsulating everything there is to love about this part of the state in one fantastic destination. There’s something to do here for everyone, including hiking, biking, incredible scenery, waterfalls, interesting geology, history, and so much more. Tens of thousands of visitors make their way to Franconia Notch State Park and its many attractions each year. If you want to count yourself among them in 2024, now’s the time to book a stay at our highly sought-after New Hampshire Inn

Our New Hampshire Inn is the closest lodging property to Franconia Notch State Park and offers a quiet, peaceful oasis away from the busy crowds. Guests will enjoy a daily breakfast here and can also savor delicious evening meals at our onsite restaurant, relax with massages, or just enjoy a tranquil afternoon on our grounds. There’s no doubt it’s one of the best places to stay in the White Mountains. Book your stay at our charming New Hampshire Inn today! 

A long suspended bridge in the narrow Flume Gorge at Franconia Notch State Park

Your Guide to Franconia Notch State Park

Aside from offering some of the most striking beauty of the White Mountains, Franconia Notch State Park is also home to some of the top attractions in the area. It’s here you’ll find the Flume Gorge and the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway, for example. Moreover, Franconia Notch State Park is home to some of the best bikes in the area, fantastic hiking, swimming, boating, and so much more. 

Franconia Notch State Park is home to a wealth of natural beauty and things to do, making it a must-visit destination in the White Mountains. This exceptional park has a lot to see, so we’ve compiled a list of the top things to do at Franconia Notch State Park to make the most of your visit. 

Why Should You Visit Franconia Notch State Park This Year?

If you’re wondering why you should visit Franconia Notch State Park this year, the answer is pretty simple: It’s breathtaking! If you go for no other reason than to admire the scenery, it will have been time well spent. But the natural beauty – including rugged mountain peaks, pristine lakes, and cascading waterfalls – is just one of the many great reasons to visit this New Hampshire State Park. Others include: 

  • Seasonal Outdoor Adventure: Whether you’re an experienced hiker looking for a challenge or a family seeking easy nature walks, the park caters to all levels of outdoor enthusiasts with its well-maintained trails and outdoor activities. It’s also home to fantastic skiing and other snow sports during the winter. 
  • Historical & Cultural Landmarks: The park is home to several historical sites, including the famous Old Man of the Mountain site and a beautiful New Hampshire covered bridge. 
  • Fantastic New Hampshire Fall Foliage: Franconia Notch State Park is one of the best places to witness the annual fall foliage in New Hampshire, whether on the iconic aerial tramway or scenic hikes through the park. 

The Best Things to Do at the Park

  1. Hiking: There are several great hikes at Franconia Notch State Park, including what we think is one of the best hikes for New Hampshire Fall Foliage, the Artists Bluff Trail. Another great hike here is the Franconia Ridge Loop, which offers one of the most spectacular ridge walks in the eastern United States. 
  2. If you want a less strenuous hike but still want to experience some of the best scenery at Franconia Notch State Park, don’t miss the Flume Gorge. This part of the park is one of the most popular things to do in the White Mountains and offers you the chance to walk through a narrow gorge to see stunning waterfalls, covered bridges, and incredible rock formations. 
  3. For exceptional views of the White Mountains, especially in fall, ride to the summit on the Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway. You’ll see Vermont, New York, Canada, and Maine on a clear day. While there, visit the Old Man of the Mountain Museum, too. 
  4. During the winter, Franconia Notch State Park is also a great place to enjoy downhill skiing and snowboarding at the popular Cannon Mountain. There’s also excellent cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on many of the Franconia Notch State Park trails. 
  5. Speaking of skiing, don’t miss your chance to visit the New England Ski Museum. It’s located near the base of Cannon Mountain and is perfect for skiing enthusiasts interested in the history and evolution of the sport.
  6. Get out on the water and enjoy some boating on Echo Lake. There are kayaks, canoes, and paddle boards for rent, and the surrounding mountain scenery can’t be beaten. You can also swim at the Echo Lake Beach.
  7. Bike the Franconia Notch Recreational Trail, an easy, paved route through the park that is suitable for all skill levels. 
  8. Try your luck fishing the clear waters of Profile Lake, a quiet, less-crowded spot to enjoy the water at Franconia Notch State Park. 

If there’s only one thing you find the time to do in the White Mountains this year, we hope this is it! Whether you’re seeking solitude in nature or adrenaline-fueled adventures, Franconia Notch State Park delivers in every season.

The porch swing on one of the cottages at our New Hampshire Inn near Franconia Notch State Park

Unwind at Our NewHampshire Inn

With so many great things to do at Franconia Notch State Park, not to mention a host of other things to do in the White Mountains, you’ll want to plan to spend at least a few days here. There’s no better place to serve as your home base for all your adventures in the White Mountains than our charming New Hampshire Inn

Our New Hampshire Inn is the closest lodging to Franconia Notch State Park, but staying here is about far more than our great location. We offer a fantastic range of accommodations, including traditional guest rooms inside the main building and several private vacation cottages spread throughout our property. Whatever you choose, you’ll find thoughtful amenities like double whirlpool baths, fireplaces, private porches, high-end linens, toiletries, and other modern conveniences. 

In the morning, we’ll treat you to a delicious homemade breakfast. It’s the perfect fuel for your adventures in Franconia Notch State Park and beyond. Perhaps even better than that is coming home to our cozy New Hampshire Inn after a full day of adventure and knowing you don’t need to go back out again for dinner. We host one of the best restaurants in the White Mountains

We love having our own adventures in the White Mountains and are happy to recommend new trails and attractions you can see while you’re here. We’ll even help you arrange a private massage at our New Hampshire Inn to ensure your muscles are rested and ready for each new day of adventure. With so many fantastic perks to enjoy while exploring the White Mountains, it’s easy to see why guests continue to rave about the experience at our New Hampshire Inn. Book your room today! 

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