Artist Bluff - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountain National Forest img
 Artist Bluff - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountain National Forest

Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

February 13,2022 - By: D. Chandler -

Franconia State Park is one of the gems within the White Mountains of New Hampshire. The state park is surrounded by the White Mountain National Forest in bracketed by the town of Lincoln and Franconia.

Within Franconia State Park, there are many attractions including Flume Gorge, The Basin, the Cannon Mountain Ariel Tramway, The Old Man of the Mountain Historic Site and glorious views of the magnificent mountains on either side of Franconia Notch.

Franconia Notch State Park lies within the western side of them at White Mountain National Forest. Every year thousands of visitors explore the many sites and dozens of hiking trails throughout the region including the Franconia Ridge Trail Loop and the Lonesome Lake Trail.

The Basin - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountains img
 The Basin - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountains

US 93 travels (north/south) through Franconia Notch and Franconia State Park. This portion of US 93 is known as the Franconia State Parkway.

Franconia State Park also hosts Echo Lake, Echo Lake Beach, and Artist Bluff hiking trail overlooking the northern section of Franconia State Park.

Artist Bluff trail is a short hiking trail with a giant payoff revealing magnificent views of the mountains and the lake below. This spot is popular with photographers especially during fall foliage season as you get unobstructed views of the scenic notch region.

Franconia Notch State Park is only a portion I’ve over 800,000 acres of this wilderness region of the White Mountain National Park. If you travel east from Franconian State Park you’ll find Crawford Notch State Park.  This is another popular destination for visitors of the White Mountains.

See What is There to do in Lincoln New Hampshire

The Flume Gorge - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountains img
 The Flume Gorge - Franconia Notch State Park - White Mountains

East Crawford Notch State Park

Crawford State Park is along US Route 302 spanning from North Conway to Twin Mountain.  In this region you’ll find Brettonwoods ski area, the largest in New Hampshire. Also, the Mount Washington Hotel is located here. Crawford Notch State Park also is a major trail head for hiking trails throughout the notch.

Popular trails in Crawford Notch State Park include The Mount Willard Trail and Mount Jackson Trail. After a short hike up the Mount Willard trail, hikers can see straight down through Crawford Notch as the mountains bracket either side of the valley. And the Mount Jackson summit offers high views of Crawford Notch State Park.

Railway tracks traverse Crawford Notch and host the Conway Scenic Railroad on a daily basis during the summer months.  The Conway Scenic Railroad makes the trek from North Conway up through Crawford Notch stopping at Crawford Notch State Park train station.  This area is quite busy during the summer and fall as visitors find many photo opportunities. Weather enjoying the scenic ride through Crawford Notch State Park or hiking the many trails in this area, this is a beautiful pristine region located in the center of the White Mountains.


South of Franconia Notch State Park

South of Franconia Notch State Park, you will find the Kancamagus Highway.  Take this historic scenic byway to Conway.  The road offers a 34.5-mile passage through the most pristine areas in the White Mountain National Forest.  There are many scenic overlooks and places to stop along the Swift River or Sabbaday Waterfalls.

Can You Swim at Franconia Notch State Park?

There are a few spots for swimming in Franconia Notch including Echo Lake Beach and Rock Glen Falls.  Below Rocky Glen Falls the water is very shallow so you can wade and cool off in the cool mountain stream.

Swimming is not allowed in Profile Lake or at The Basin.  You can take Exit 34C to Echo Lake Beach at Franconia Notch State Park.  Rocky Glen Falls is located behind The Basin.  Take the Basin-Cascades Trail for less than 1 mile to Rocky Glen Falls.

What town is Franconia Notch in?

Half of Franconia Notch is in Franconia New Hampshire which is the northern portion.  The southern part of the state park is in the town of Lincoln.

Is The Basin NH free in Franconia Notch State Park?

Yes, visiting The Basin is free to explore the trails there.  There are a number of well-groomed trails, railings and walkways to enjoy.

Can you swim in The Basin at Franconia Notch New Hampshire?

No, swimming is not allowed here.  If you find the Basin-Cascades Trail at The Basin, you can head up to the Rocky Glen Falls.  Along this trail and at the falls, you can find spots to wade and play in the Cascade Brook.

Are dogs allowed at the Basin NH?

Yes, dogs are allowed at The Basin.  They must be on a leash and you need to pick up after them.

Do you have to pay to go to Franconia Notch State Park?

Some attractions are free and others there is a fee.  There is a fee to use the Echo Lake Beach, Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway as well as the Flume Gorge.  Artist Bluff trail is free.  The Basin is free.  Admission to the Old Man of the Mountain Museum is free.  Boise Rock is also free.  Old Bridle Path Trailhead there is a required recreation pass ($4 for residents and $5 for non-residents).

Is Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park free?

There is an admission fee of $18 per/adult (13 or older), $16 for children 6-12 and children under 5 are free.  The Flume Gorge is open daily from 9AM-4PM and closes in late October.

Are pets allowed at the Franconia Notch State Park?

Leashed pets are allowed on hiking trails, designated dog walk areas, the Basin.  Pets are not allowed at Echo Lake Beach, Flume Gorge, Lafayette Campground or Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway.


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