A QUICK TOUR OF FRANCONIA NOTCH: 3/23/12
After Carol got out of work on this gorgeous Friday, we decided to head up to Franconia Notch for a series of short late afternoon walks. First stop: the bridge by the Gallen Memorial at the end of a spur road off Exit 34C, with its fine view up the Lafayette Brook valley to Mt. Lafayette. This valley is protected as the Lafayette Brook Scenic Area.
The rounded North Peak is prominent on the L.
There's a long view west from the bridge; it was clear enough to see the Jay Peaks on the horizon.
Scarface Mountain rises above the bike path.
From the bike path we followed a nice trail that led about 0.2 mile up the north side of Lafayette Brook through sunny hardwoods.
The path ends beside the brook, at a point that was once used as a water supply. Historian Dave Govatski notes that it was used to supply a highway road camp. Incidentally, Dave just wrote an excellent article on the Scenic Areas of the WMNF.
Some old piping can be seen at one point along the stream. More piping is visible at a fine waterfall a half-mile upstream, accessible only by a rough bushwhack.
There are some old yellow birches in the lower Lafayette Brook valley.
Next we took a short walk at the south end of Echo Lake - already iced-out on March 22! We enjoyed a beautiful watery view to Artist's Bluff and Bald Mountain, scenery reminiscent of Acadia National Park.
View across to Eagle Cliff and part of Mt. Lafayette.
Then we got off at Exit 34B and walked down to the Old Man viewing area to see the "profilers" that were put in place last year.
If you stand at the right spot, there he is!
The famous Daniel Webster quote about the Old Man.
Profile Lake was still covered in rotten ice.
Next we drove down to Lafayette Place and headed north for 0.3 mile on the Pemi Trail.
A side path led to a gorgeous beaver-meadow vista of the Cannon Cliffs.
Eagle Cliff stared back at us from the north.
Mt. Lincoln and Little Haystack, seen from a bridge over the Pemigewasset River on the bike path.
Our last walk was the 0.3 mile loop around the Roaring River Memorial Nature Trail on the south side of the Flume Visitor Center parking lot.
A gazebo provides a nice view of Mts. Flume and Liberty.
Evening sun in the hardwoods. In two hours we'd managed to take in a lot of scenery in the Notch!