Lincoln, New Hampshire
The Flume Gorge and Flume Gorge Trail in beautiful Franconia Notch State Park is a show stopping display of cascading waterfalls, tree lined trails, and covered bridges. When you are visiting the White Mountains, hiking the Flume Gorge Trail is a must for any outdoor enthusiast.
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The Visitor Center at the Flume Gorge is a bustling shop filled with great gifts, helpful information, and snacks for the hungry hiker. If you purchase your tickets online, you can skip the visitor center at the beginning of your adventure and head straight to the small shacks just past the visitor center entrance. At the shack, they will scan your ticket and you can quickly get on the trail.
The trail drops into the visiter center and gift shop at the end of your hike.
Hiking The Flume Gorge Trail
Hiking the 2.2 mile The Flume Gorge Trail loop is a moderately challenging endeavor. Elevation changes along a well maintained gravel path can be somewhat steep in spots. The trail takes about 1.5 hours to complete which will allow you time for snapping pics and enjoying the view.
I recommend sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes. If you are prone to balance issues, trekking poles would be a good idea — I always have mine in my backpack, you never know when a trail can get challenging.
Pro Tip: No dogs allowed on the Flume Gorge Trail.
Pemigewasset River Covered Bridge – Flume Covered Bridge
The Pemigewasset River Bridge, aka The Flume Covered Bridge, is a picturesque covered bridge right at the beginning of the Flume Gorge Trail. One of the oldest covered bridges in New Hampshire; often called “kissing bridges” because they offered lovers darkness and privacy.
The Flume Covered Bridge is a beautiful example of a New England covered bridge, and is stunning when surrounded by autumn leaves.
Table Rock is a landscape of Conway granite. It is 500 feet long and 75 feet wide. The water from Flume Brook has exposed the rock layers creating a unique waterscape.
The rocks and water may look inviting, but they are super slippery. Hikers should stay on the trail and not climb on the rocks.
Flume Gorge First Looks
Formed by molten rock, fissures in the granite, water, frost, and time, the Flume is a stunning example of the power of rushing water.
Ascending Avalanche Falls
There are a succession of stailways along the Flume Gorge hike. These wooden decks, walkways, and steps can be slippery when wet. They travers over rushing water adding a sense of trepidation to your assent. One section of the walk includes uphill walking over a wooden platform with treds — making it difficult to concentrate on the beautiful scenery and accurate footfalls.
When you reach the top of the Flume, you have a close up view of the 45-foot Avalanche Falls waterfall. It is the ultimate reward to all your uphill walking.
The falls are believed to have formed in 1883 when a massive, hanging boulder washed away during an epic storm. I have a vision of Indiana Jones and a giant rolling rock!
As you pass along the trail, on the Ridge Path, there is a turn off for Liberty Gorge. The short trail offers stunning views of the cascading river waterfall as it traverses through the narrow valley.
Another short turnoff is to view The Pool. It was gouged out about 25,000 years ago during the Ice Age. It is 40 feet deep and 150 feet across, surrounded by high, 80 foot granite cliffs.
Sentinel Pine Covered Bridge
The Sentinel Pine covered bridge is the second of two covered bridges along the trail. One of the largest covered bridges in New Hampshire, Sentinel Pine bridge is 175 high. A giant pine tree was uprooted during a 1938 hurricane and the trunk dropped across the river gorge. This trunk forms the base of the covered bridge.
The Sentinel Pine bridge is the perfect spot to get a photograph of The Pool.
The Wolf’s Den is a narrow, one-way path where you can have the pleasure of squeezing through the claustrophobic path while crawling on your hands and knees. Traversing through the rocks is only advisable for the intrepid spelunker.
Flume Gorge Scavenger Hunt
If you have a gang of kiddo’s joining in on the fun, print out the Flume Gorge Scavenger Hunt. It will get them engaged in the outdoor fun with nature focused finds. Be sure to bring you own pencils — they are not available at the Visitor Center.
Best Time To Visit Flume Gorge NH
Hours and Fees:
The Flume Gorge Trail is open May 12 – October 9, 9 am – 5 pm, October 9 – 22, 9 am – 4 pm — see note below.
Adults: Ages 13 and over: $18 online reservation & $21 at ticket window
Children: Ages 6-12: $16 online reservation & $19 at ticket window
Ages 5 & Under: $0
**Guests will save $3 per ticket if reservation is made in advance of arrival.
*Dates and times are weather dependent and subject to change without notice. For up to date hours, please call the park directly.
Note: According to the State Park Website, “This park is always open for recreation unless closed or restricted by posting. Off season use, after October 22nd: During off hours and the off-season the park is typically not staffed, comfort stations are not available and gates may be closed.” “Winter Use: The Flume Gorge Trail is accessible. The Gorge is closed to hikers and the boardwalks are removed.”
Visiting The Flume Gorge At Franconia Notch State Park
Spending a few hours out in the beautiful Franconia Notch State Park, is a wonderful way to get in a walking workout while enjoying the natural beauty of the White Mountains. You will love hiking the Flume Gorge Trail.
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