Posted by: Jack Spratt | May 1, 2009

Flume Gorge – Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Flume Gorge in the White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire is one of those spots in New England I never tire of visiting. It is an easy hike and colorful in summer and fall.

Located at the base of Mount Liberty and in Franconia Notch State Park allow a few hours to explore not only the gorge but other rock formations, waterfalls, and scenic views from along the trail beyond the gorge which winds back to the visitor’s center. The trail passes by one of New Hampshire’s most photographed covered bridges as it traverses over the Pemigewaset River and built in 1886.

Formed over 200 million years ago and worn down by the Flume Brook, the gorge has a walkway through it so you can experience this impressive geological formation.

The gorge was formed when the original soft basalt rock was worn down by the brook still passing through the gorge, leaving the harder granite exposed, and forming the 70-90-feet walls of the gorge. As you wander through the gorge you’ll see trees and moss clinging to the steep walls.

The visitor center has a short introductory film about the gorge and Franconia State Park. The gorge is open early May to late October.

The Flume Gorge is one of New Hampshire’s most popular natural wonders and can be reached by taking exit 34A on Route 93.

Franconia Notch State Park also includes the famous Old Man of the Mountain face which crumbled a number of years ago, Echo Lake where you can stop for a swim, and Cannon Mountain that runs its aerial tramway through summer and fall offering views of the surrounding mountains. Cannon is also home to the New England ski museum.

The park also offers a number of walking and bike trails.

Jack Sprat

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