Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Flume Gorge

The Flume Gorge in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire, is not something that I ever would have thought to go and see.  When I was planning a trip to New England during the fall time, however, a co-worker had just been on this same trip the year before.  The one thing she suggested to me was a trip to The Flume Gorge.  

It's actually difficult to find a lot of information on The Flume Gorge other than it is a big ravine with waterfalls.  I looked in three different guidebooks and all they gave the ol' Flume was a small paragraph.  It would easily be overlooked if you are planning a trip to New England.  But let me tell you, friends, do not miss The Flume Gorge!  It is nature at its finest.

Here's my first piece of advice.  The Flume Gorge is difficult to locate.  I had it mapped out, but essentially you are driving through a huge national forest and there are not that many signs saying turn here for The Flume.  Plus there is no navigational service.  We had two phone navigational services and a Garmin and none could get service.  Luckily we had a paper map, but even that didn't have a good location for The Flume.  So, follow the tour buses.  We drove past the entrance to The Flume, but noticed a few tour buses turning at this unmarked road.  We turned around and on the other side was a sign for the entrance.  We probably would have missed it had we not turned around!

Right off the bat The Flume had me falling in love with this cute sign.  I love a good pun.  
 In order to see The Flume in all of its glory, you do need to do some hiking.  It's not a difficult hike.  There is a pretty clear trail and much of it is boarded so you aren't just walking in the dirt.  You are walking a lot of the way through the glorious Franconia Notch park.  In the fall the sites are breathtaking.  Here's my favorite covered bridge.  It looks so picturesque with the leaves.

The Flume starts off with some slow rivers of water coming down large rocks.  One thing that really struck me about this hike was the sounds.  You know that beautiful sound of running brook water that you get on a sound machine.  Well, The Flume is that exact sound only live.  It's almost haunting listening to the water get louder and quicker as you get to the top of the Flume.

 I loved how the above picture turned out.  You can see the water rushing down the rocks.  When I look at this picture I can hear the sound and smell the clean air.  That was another beautiful thing, you could smell the fresh water in the air.  Is that weird?

What wasn't so great was the littering I found in the stream!  Listen peeps, when you visit a state or national park please don't litter.  Please.  It's so gross.  Let's allow these beautiful natural monuments live on forever by keeping them clean.  PSA over.
 Once you get to the ravine, you do have to climb some steps, but I promise you the hike was manageable.  You can stop at anytime to take pictures or just take a rest.  The views are mesmerizing.  You get to watch the water rush down this huge cliff.  You feel like you are part of the action.

 The above photo is the top of The Flume.  It's amazing how such a small beginning can turn into this huge waterfall and stream.  Nature truly is wonderful.

After you see The Flume, you hike back to the starting point.  There are a lot of different trails that you can go down with views of the mountains and fall colors.  My favorite were the tree roots.  It reminded me of the Ents in Lord of the Rings.  I'm not really a nature person, but seeing things like this puts this city girl in awe.
If you are ever planning a trip to New England, stop by The Flume Gorge in New Hampshire.  You will not be sorry!

No comments: