North Woodstock-Franconia Notch (Mile 1-10) : Interpretative Sites: White Mountains Visitor Ctr - Rt 112, No. Woodstock, Flume Visitor Ctr - Rt 3, Lincoln. Natural & Historic Points of Interest: Lost River Gorge, Mt Pemigewasset/Indian Head Profile, Boise Rock, Old Man of the Mountain Museum, Franconia Notch State Park, Flume Gorge, Echo Lake, Profile lake, New England Ski Museum, Mt Lafayette Scenic Vista.
The Trail begins at the White Mountains Visitor Center in North Woodstock. Turn left at the traffic light onto Route 112 (0.1 miles), to North Woodstock. North Woodstock offers a good selection of tax-free shopping at dozens of unique shops, a large selection of lodging, superb dining and full calendar of special events. West of North Woodstock on Route 112 is Lost River Gorge, a natural wonder that has drawn visitors since the turn of the century. Lost River is a favorite with children and adults who love active exploration.
At the traffic light (0.8), turn left onto Route 3N. On this route you'll pass several of the White Mountains' most popular family attractions, including Clark's Trading Post (2.0) with its trained bears, antique Americana and steam trains; and Whale's Tale Water Park (3.8) the only complete water park in the region.
Farther north, you encounter the first of the natural stone profiles: the Indian Head Profile (4.7) on Mt. Pemigewasset is seen on the western side of Route 3. Route 3 soon joins I-93/Franconia Notch State Park a stretch that takes you through the 6440 acres between towering Franconia and Kinsman mountain ranges. Franconia Notch State Park includes many natural wonders, the Flume Gorge (5.5), a natural 800 foot chasm with waterfalls, covered bridges, a scenic pool and glacial boulders.
Up the road from the Fume Gorge is the Basin (7.1) a deep glacial pothole at the foot of a waterfall; Boise Rock (9.5), ideal for viewing Cannon Cliff; and the Old Man of the Mountain natural stone profile, best viewed from Profile Lake (10.5).
You can stop and hike a bit of the Appalachian Trail (5.8), or camp at Lafayette Place Campground (8.8). Hiking trails can be found all along the White Mountains Trail, from short, easy walks suitable for family groups to wilderness adventures. Trails to twenty 4000 foot summits are also accessed from various places along the route. Information about hiking is available at National Forest Ranger Stations and the White Mountains Visitor Center.
Old Man of the Mountain/Franconia Notch (Mile 10-12) :
Turn off at Exit 34B for a ride on Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway (10.8), or a stunning view of the Old Man of the Mountain. Cannon's aerial tram serves skiers in winter and sightseers in spring, summer and fall. The New England Ski Museum, at Cannon Mountain's base, offers a look at our skiing heritage; while the Old Man of the Mountain Museum examines the famous natural stone profile. For a refreshing dip, turn off at Exit 34C (11.5) to Echo Lake beach. A half-mile walk takes you to Hugh J. Gallen scenic overlook bridge.