The Flume Gorge is a part of Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. It is open from mid May until the end of October. Kids will love exploring the beautiful trails and waterfalls.
A trip through the Flume Gorge begins at the visitors center (see admission fees listed below). You will take a quick shuttle bus ride that will bring you up to the trail head. Follow the path that leads you along the river until you come to the gorge. I can’t imagine being the woman who stumbled upon it while fishing in 1808. She was 93 years old!
The flume is 12-20 feet wide and looms up to 90 feet over your head. The granite was once deeply buried molten rock nearly 200 million years ago during the Jurassic Period. As you walk along the wooden walkway, the river rages below you.
The walkway leads up up to Avalanche Falls, a really beautiful waterfall. Everything is covered in ferns and moss and looks like a scene from Ferngully. Wear good shoes, as it can be slippery in many areas.
There are two options for hiking trails: a long trail and a short trail. We usually go for the longer option called the Ridge Trail. It is two miles long and takes about an hour to loop back to the visitors center. There are some beautiful vistas where you can see George Washington sleeping on top of Liberty Mountain.
If you want a shorter hike, follow the 0.5 mile Rim Trail back down from the top of the waterfall.
The Ridge Trail allows you to cross a picturesque covered bridge, squeeze through a cave at the wolf den and gape at giant glacial boulders. There are three wooden rain shelters along the route that would make great picnic spots.
This is the entrance to the Wolf Den, a cave that the kids love to explore. It is not long, but it is narrow and slippery.
We needed our cell phone flashlight to find our way. If you’re claustrophobic, you won’t like it because you really have to suck it in to get through the very last bit. Of course the kids just breezed straight through.
Just nearing the end of the hike, you will pass some giant glacial boulders that are just amazing. The kids love climbing all over them and pretending that they are holding them up.
The Flume Gorge is a great place to explore with kids and I recommend printing off this park scavenger hunt to help them look out for certain plants and animals.
Trail map of the Flume Gorge
Flume Gorge Ticket Rates
Admission is $16 for adults (ages 13+); $14 for children (ages 6-12); children ages 5 and under are admitted free with paid adult.
Discovery Pass (Includes Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway & Flume Gorge): Adults: $31.00, children (ages 6-12): $25.00.
We did the Discovery Pass and loved going up the Aerial Tramway! For the latest ticket information, visit the NH State Park Website.
No pets are allowed.
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