Trail

Flume Gorge, Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire

Lincoln, NH
Length: 1.80 mi.
Type: Lollipop

About This Trail

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ACTIVITIES: Hiking, kayaking, swimming

LENGTH OF HIKE: 1.8 miles

OUT AND BACK OR LOOP: Lollipop

DIFFICULTY OF TERRAIN: Moderate

ELEVATION GAIN: 515 feet

PARKING FEE/PASS: Adults 13+: $16; ages 6–12: $13; under 5: free

TOILETS: Yes

CHANGING TABLE: No

NURSING BENCHES: No

DOGS ALLOWED: No

BIKES/HORSES/MOTORS ON TRAIL: No

CELL RECEPTION: Yes

DRINKING WATER AVAILABLE: Yes

POTENTIAL CHILD OR BABY HAZARDS: Wooden boardwalk has openings
young children could fall through

GEAR SUGGESTIONS: Backpack with snacks, camera

Located at the bottom of Liberty Mountain, Flume Gorge has a fun historical story. It was discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jess Guernsey while fishing. Apparently her family didn’t believe her discovery and took some convincing before they went to explore this mythical waterfall-filled fall canyon. These days it’s hardly a secret and actually has a cost associated with hiking it, but those who visit will tell you it’s totally worth the fee. The area is meticulously maintained with boardwalks throughout the hike, allowing visitors to get up close and personal with the waterfalls.

While the walkways make this an easy “hike,” there are stairs, which means you can expect there will be some carrying. You’ll love this hike because of the spectacular waterfalls along with gorgeous granite rock formations shooting up 70 to 90 feet that can be seen throughout the area.

As you head out, one of the things you will see right away is a giant glacial boulder that’s great for a photo op. Apparently this boulder was once suspended overhead in the gorge and wedged between rocks, but in a huge flood in 1883, it was swept away and came to rest in its current spot. Don’t worry; like most “don’t miss this” things in Flume Gorge, this is clearly marked.

Another fun thing kids will love to run through is the bright, barn red Flume Covered Bridge. From this point, the Flume Path also goes past Boulder Cabin and Table Rock, an area of granite that was worn smooth by the river.

We highly recommend this hike for new mothers because of the shorter distance and great benches for relaxing and nursing by the Visitor Center. Best time to visit is May through October, with peak times obviously being in the middle of the summer.

Note that you could end up in a long line to purchase tickets, too, so be ready to entertain your little one.

Also, this is a seasonal hike, so make sure you check online before visiting to see if it’s open during the tail ends of the season. You can turn this into an overnight by grabbing a campsite at nearby Franconia State Park.

INSIDER’S TIP
Make sure to catch the 20-minute film showcasing Franconia Notch State Park in the Visitor Center. Also, if you’re a photographer, plan on bringing a tripod to get some amazing long exposures of the waterfall.

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Trail Features

Seasons Fall, Spring, and Summer
Surface type Dirt
Elevation gain 515 ft.
Stroller friendly No
ADA accessible No
Water fountains Yes
Bathrooms Yes
Cell reception Excellent
Pet friendly No
Nearby convenience store No
Camping Nearby Yes
Emergency support
within 5 miles
No

Trail highlights

Boardwalk, Visitor Center, and Waterfall

Fee & Parking Details

Fee : $0.00

Adults 13+: $16; ages 6–12: $13; under 5: free

Trail Contributor

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Hike it Baby Trail Guide is managed by the Family Trail Guide team. If a trail has been “abandoned” by the initial owner, it gets adopted by the team. Also, if there are no trails in the area, the Family Trail Guide team researches trails that are family friendly in the area to insure that hikes cover all areas where Hike it Baby hikes.

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