The Flume Gorge is an 800 foot natural gorge located in Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. I had not heard of this spot before doing research while planning our route for our New England Road Trip in the summer of 2021. After seeing pictures of it, I couldn’t wait to visit.
Our Route There
The Gorge is located in the north central part of New Hampshire. It’s near a few different skiing resorts including Loon Mountain Resort and Canon Mountain Ski Resort and towns that are not far include Woodstock and Lincoln.
We had spent the previous day at Mount Washington in New Hampshire which you can read about here. It’s about about 1 hour and 15 minutes from there if you take the most direct route (which we didn’t). We instead drove highway 112 from Conway to Lincoln, also known as the Kancamagus Highway, known for its beautiful scenery and waterfalls along the way. This route is closer to 2 hours without stops, and since we stopped at a few waterfalls along the way, it probably took us closer to 3-4 hours.
The Trail + Sights
The trail itself is a 2 mile loop that goes across two covered bridges, by Table Rock which has water coming down a huge portion of granite, the gorge, a few waterfalls, glacial boulders, and mountain views.
When we visited we really weren’t sure what to expect but the best way I can think of to describe the trail is that it’s a clearly marked trail, much like a walking trail, but more like a hiking trail in that it has a variety of hills and some steeper sections on it. There was always something new to see along the way.
You initially go down this steeper hill to a ravine which has a covered bridge. Then you start to work your way uphill for a while and then you come to Table Rock where you can see water coming over the granite. As you continue, you start to get a glimpse of the Flume Gorge and just how tall it is. As you get closer, you start to navigate through it on a boardwalk and at the end is a waterfall. Then there’s a few scenic view points as well as a a wolf den which is an optional boulder climb (great for kids) and then another covered bridge before heading back up toward the visitor center. The last .5 to 1 mile is the longest since you see the majority of the sights within the first mile. It was still well worth it.
Tips for Visiting
- As of early 2022, admission is free for children under 5, and then ranges from from $16-$18 per person depending upon age.
- There is a large parking lot nearby the visitor center that includes a gift shop and restrooms.
- Hours are currently 9am -4pm aside from late falls and winter when The Gorge closes and boardwalks are removed due to snow and ice.
- Dogs are not permitted in the Flume Gorge, only in the parking areas and the trails in the White Mountains.
- If you have additional time in the area, check out the events at Loon Mountain including a gondola, zip lining, and great views.