Our recent trip to the east coast left me with a long list of attractions to visit in each state. The difficult part was narrowing down all of the amazing choices. My final picks for New Hampshire came down to two experiences – Flume Gorge, in Franconia Notch State Park, and a trip along the scenic Kancamagus Highway. Although we did end up with rain for most of our time in New Hampshire, I do not regret these choices. Rain or shine, they were great, and the sun did eventually make a short appearance. When it did, the sunshine hitting the autumn leaves was spectacular.
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Driving from Vermont into New Hampshire, the scenery was every bit as beautiful. Mile after mile of colorful trees in gorgeous hues of reds, oranges, and yellows surrounded us. We settled in for the night in the town of Lincoln, situated a few minutes from the Flume Gorge. Tickets were recommended to be pre-purchased for the Gorge, which we did. Because the pathway was somewhat narrow in spots, I felt the timed entrance really helped avoid large crowds.
The Flume Gorge Trail is a 2.2 mile loop, one-way trail that leads you up and through an 800 foot natural gorge. As you begin the trail, you will come across the Flume Covered Bridge, one of the oldest covered bridges in the states.
Next, Table Rock appears as a section of smoothed rocks that the water streams over to create a lovely scene. As you approach the Flume, you will be struck by the tall and narrow granite walls. A wooden boardwalk leads you up a series of steps alongside a gorgeous flowing stream.
As you near the top, you will hear the waterfall before you see it – the 45 foot Avalanche Falls. Then the trail meanders back down, through beautiful trees, passed streams, and over another beautiful covered bridge that overlooks the Sentinel Pool. The Wolf Den is a narrow path that you can squeeze through on your hands and knees, if you’re yearning for a little adventure. Finally, you will witness massive boulders left behind from the glacial period.
We were prepared with ponchos and raincoats, and the rain didn’t detract from the experience. (Keep in mind that the Flume Gorge is opened seasonally, so you will not be able to access the Gorge in the winter months.)
The next stop during our trip was Bar Harbor, Maine to visit Acadia National Park. From Lincoln, New Hampshire, we made our way to our next destination via the Kancamagus Byway. Also known as “The Kanc”, this 34 mile highway traverses through some of the most beautiful areas of New Hampshire. There are an abundance of overlooks, trails, and waterfalls along the way. We chose just a few on our way, including the Rocky Gorge Scenic Area. The sun made an appearance during this part of the trip. I printed a map of the highway stops ahead of time, which I found very helpful. You can find one HERE.
We had hoped to end our drive by eating at Cheese Louise, but unfortunately, it was closed when we arrived.
Nonetheless, we found one in Portland later at the week, and it was a fun little eatery that specialized in all types of grilled cheese sandwiches! I recommend it if you find yourself in New Hampshire or Maine. Yum!