Franconia Notch State Park is located in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and straddles 8 miles (13 km) of Interstate 93 as it passes through Franconia Notch, a mountain pass between the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range. Attractions in the state park include the Flume Gorge and visitor center, the Old Man of the Mountain historical site, fishing in Echo Lake and Profile Lake, and miles of hiking, biking and ski trails. The northern part of the park, including Cannon Mountain and Echo and Profile lakes, is in the town of Franconia, and the southern part, including Lonesome Lake and the Flume, is in Lincoln.
Flume Gorge is one of the most frequently visited scenic attractions in the White Mountains, and for very good reason. Flume Brook has exploited a basalt dike and opened and eroded a 20′ wide, 80′ deep, 800′ long crack in the rock. There is a walkway bolted to the wall of the gorge and you can walk right up what is one of the most unique features you’ll encounter anywhere. There are several waterfall formations here, Table Rock, the unnamed falls halfway up, Avalanche Falls, and if you finish the loop trail, you can add Liberty Gorge Cascade and The Pool to the list.
The Flume was discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jess Guernsey when she accidently came upon it while fishing. She had trouble convincing her family of the marvelous discovery, but eventually persuaded others to come and see for themselves. At that time, a huge egg-shaped boulder hung suspended between the walls.
The rock was 10 feet (3m) high and 12 feet (3.6m) long. A heavy rainstorm in June of 1883 started a landslide that swept the boulder from its place. It has never been found. The same storm deepened the gorge and formed Avalanche Falls.