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Franconia Notch State Park Scavenger Hunt, June 25

Located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest, Franconia Notch is a spectacular mountain pass traversed by a unique interstate parkway, Franconia Notch Parkway, extending from the Flume Gorge at the south end to Echo Lake Beach at the north.  Spanning 6,500 acres, Franconia Notch State Park is home to many natural wonders that attract around 2 million visitors each year.

Teams took part in an exciting scavenger hunt, gathering clues and completing challenges while exploring the natural wonders of Franconia Notch.  Here’s a printable Franconia Notch Map & Attraction guide, as well as some information that helped teams along their journey.  GPP Franconia Notch Scavenger Hunt 

The Flume

The Flume Gorge is a natural formation created thousands of years ago when magma filled a crack in the side of Mt. Liberty, and flowing water continued to erode the lava canal. According to local folklore, 93-year-old “Aunt Jess” Guernsey discovered the Flume in 1808 while she was out trout fishing.  

The Flume’s highest point is Avalanche Falls, where the Flume Brook enters the gorge. Along the Wildwood Path you’ll find 300-ton stones, known as glacial boulders. Another point of interest is the Sentinel Pine Bridge, which covers the Pool.  The bridge is named for the 175-foot Sentinel Pine tree that forms its base, which was one of the largest trees in New England before being uprooted by a hurricane.

A trip into the Flume begins and ends at the Gilman Visitor Center, which houses the state park system’s historic Concord Coach, the most famous style of stagecoach in America.

The Basin

This large, granite pothole is believed to have been eroded 25,000 years ago while the North American ice sheet was melting. The Basin has been smoothed by small stones and sand, whirled around by the Pemigewasset River–which means “rapid current” in Abenaki Indian language. Great American naturalist Henry David Thoreau described the Basin as “the most remarkable curiosity of its kind in New England.” The Appalachian Trail crosses the parkway just above the Basin, and below is a water-eroded rock formation called the Old Man’s Foot.

Boise Rock

Thomas Boise, a teamster from Woodstock, NH, sought shelter under this large boulder when a blizzard in the early 1800s blocked passage for him and his horse on the Notch road. Killing his horse, Boise skinned it and wrapped himself in its hide. Searchers found him under the rock the next day and had to cut away the frozen hide which had saved his life.

Profile Lake

This small, clear body of water is the headwaters of the Pemigewasset River. Located directly below where the Old Man of the Mountain once sat, it is often called the “Old Man’s Washbowl.”

Old Man of the Mountain Historic Site (1805 - 2003)

The famous Old Man of the Mountain was known as the “Great Stone Face” in the tales of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Daniel Webster. The Profile was a natural rock formation caused by a series of geologic happenings that began an estimated 200 million years ago, however it wasn’t discovered until 1805. From 1965 until its collapse on May 3, 2003, the Old Man of the Mountain was cared for by the Nielsen family. The outpouring of public opinion was strong for not trying to rebuild the profile. The state geologist also determined that the mountainside was too unstable. A Governor-appointed Task Force decided that the Old Man would not be rebuilt.

Look north a short distance from where the Profile was to see a natural rock formation silhouetted against the skyline resembling the barrel of a cannon poking out from the parapet of a fortress. The shape of this rock formation gives Cannon Mountain its name.

Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway & Ski Area

The Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway began operating as the first passenger aerial tramway in North America in 1938. Each tram car has a capacity of 80 persons and ascends 2,022 feet vertically. Walking trails to a summit observation tower leave from the tram station. In the winter, Cannon Mountain is a favorite among skiers, with 55 trails and slopes for all abilities.

Echo Lake

Beautiful Echo Lake, at an elevation of 1,931 feet, offers views of Mt. Lafayette and Cannon Mountain. Visitors can also enjoy swimming, fishing, and boating.

Governor Gallen Memorial

This is an excellent location for scenic photo opportunities. Sunset Bridge is a short walk from the parking area. Visitors will be treated to spectacular views of Sugar Hill and Mt. Lafayette.