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Littleton, New Hampshire


There’s no reason to stay inside when you’re in Franconia, New Hampshire. This charming town rests on the edge of Franconia Notch State Park, a veritable smorgasbord of rugged outdoor adventure.

Fine State Park

Franconia Notch State Park lies in the heart of White Mountain National Forest and is essentially a mountain pass crossed by I-93, which winds between the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges. The Notch is immortalized in literary history, thanks to Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster, who described the Great Stone Face belonging to the Old Man of the Mountain. Learn more about this legend at the Old Man of The Mountain Historic Site, where the famed geologic “profile” once gazed out over the landscape. Though the rock face itself collapsed several years ago, visitors can enjoy a recreated version of the Old Man at Profile Plaza, and tour the museum and gift shop. If you’re up for a vigorous walk that leads to stunning views, head to the Flume Gorge Visitor’s Center. Explore the rising granite walls that envelope cascading water and are home to abundant ferns, mosses and flowers.

A Hot Relic

Pop into the Besaw Iron Furnace Interpretive Center and learn about New Hampshire’s last standing blast furnace. The octagonal stone stack is the last portion of a 200-year-old iron smelter and was built of local granite. See the park from great heights on an aerial tramway ride at Cannon Mountain. As the site of the nation’s first aerial passenger tramway, the Cannon Mountain feature is an eight-minute trip through the sky to the 4,200-foot-high summit. From the tram station, take a walking trail to an observation tower and views of New Hampshire’s neighbors—New York, Vermont, Maine and Canada.

Franconia Winter Fun

Winter in Franconia means skiing, and the area boasts 55 trails and slopes for skiers of all skill levels. Between runs, pop over to the New England Ski Museum, which features exhibits that trace the history of skiing over thousands of years. Included are Olympian Bode Miller’s medals Wind down from a busy day or spend a leisurely afternoon at Echo Lake Beach. The 39-acre lake sits against the slopes of Cannon Mountain and is a great spot for boating as well as canoeing, kayaking and paddle boating. The lake’s spring-fed waters are stocked with trout, making for a great fly-fishing experience.

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Franconia Notch



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