Flume Gorge, located in New Hampshire’s Franconia Notch State Park, is a natural attraction that features picturesque covered bridges, cascading waterfalls, and of course, the star attraction, the 800-foot-long gorge. You cannot visit the White Mountains region and not make a trip to one of the stars of the area. If you find yourself in the neighborhood, here are some Flume Gorge tips for one of the most beautiful views in New England.
How to get to Flume Gorge
Flume Gorge is located within Franconia Notch State Park at 852 Daniel Webster Highway in Lincoln, New Hampshire. If you want to make the drive, it is a little over 2 hours from Boston, MA.
Describing the Hike
Need some help visualizing the hike? Here are a recap and Flume Gorge tips to make sure you know what you are getting into. The Flume Trail is a 2-mile loop that starts at the check-in booths in front of the visitor center. Before Covid, there used to be a short trail, but unfortunately, the only option was to hike the entire mile loop. Throughout the hike, you will find lots of uphill walking, wood stairs, trees, ferns, and mosses. Hiking the trail should take 1.5-2 hours and finishes at the Visitor Center, which features a cafe, a shop, clean bathrooms, and helpful workers to show you to your next adventure.
Things you will see in your hike:
The Flume Covered Bridge
Built-in 1886, the Flume Covered Bridge is one of the oldest bridges in the state of New Hampshire. The bridge crosses the Pemigawasset River and is called part of the “kissing bridges” because of the privacy they provide. Scandalous, right?
Table Rock is a section of Conway granite that stands at 500 feet long and 75 feet wide. Honestly, this was the most challenging part of the hike, but it felt so surreal walking through here.
Avalance Falls is found at the top of Flume Gorge. The Great Storm of 1883 formed the 45-foot waterfall. It felt refreshing to feel the mist after hiking all the stairs.
I doubt there are bears in this cave, but I stayed away. The Bear Cave is an excellent place for photos and some exploring.
Throughout the hike, you will find signs leading to sections to examine the view. One will lead to the Liberty Gorge, a cascading mountain stream that leads through a valley.
Sentinel Pine Bridge and Pool
Formed at the end of the Ice Age, the Pool is surrounded by cliffs that are 130 feet high. A cascade rushes into it over fragments of granite that have fallen from the cliffs.
On the high cliff above the Pool, you will find the Sentinel Pine that has stood for centuries. It was one of the largest in the state. Due to a storm in September 1938, the pine was uprooted.
I did not go through the Wolf Den because small spaces make me anxious. But if you want to crawl through a narrow, one-way path, be my guest.
As you walk along the two miles, you will see many boulders. Some weigh over 300 pounds, but they are called glacial erratics due to the ice sheet covering the area that left the boulders behind.
Tips on Making the Most of Your Trip
Did you think I would leave you hanging without the main reason you are here? Here are some Flume Gorge tips:
- You need to make reservations ahead of time especially if you have a specific time you want to visit. Specific hour blocks or days could sell out. You can make reservations here.
- The Flume Gorge is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Try to visit early in the morning during the weekdays or any time on the weekends. Our reservations were at 10 a.m. on a Saturday, and by the time we were near the end, we saw a lot of people starting their hike.
- Prices for everyone over 13 years old: $18 online reservation and $21 at the ticket window. Children between 6 and 12 years old: $16 online reservation and $19 at the ticket window. Children under 5 are free to enter.
- Try to wear non-slippery shoes, and check the weather. It was cool at the start of the hike and eventually warmed up so it was easy to carry our jackets.
- Bring water especially if you are visiting in the summer. It can get humid.
- The hike can be tiring, but there are plenty of seats throughout the hike so you can rest.
- Behind check-in is the start of the trail.
- Unfortunately, your pets are not permitted at the Flume Gorge.
- The rocks are slippery at Table Rock. Please stay on the trail.
- No drones are permitted in New Hampshire state parks.
- There are tables, and seating areas around the hike in case you decide to take a break.
- Take everything you took in, out. Leave no trace.
- Have fun and take your time admiring the beauty.
You can find more information on visiting the Flume Gorge here.