Local Natural Wonders - Day 42
Local Natural Wonders - Day 42 - Bald Mountain and Artists Bluff in Franconia, NH
This beautiful hike is in the heart of Fanconia Notch in New Hampshire. It is short, but steep at times, and opens to a spectacular view of Franconia Notch State Park, Cannon Mountain and Echo lake. This is the perfect hike to find incredible views of the park and some amazing foliage in autumn.
From The Outdoor Project:
There are a few options for hiking here, including an out-and-back hike to either Artists Bluff or to Bald Mountain, or a loop to do both.
Starting from the parking area for Echo Lake Beach, a sign across the road marks the start of the shortest, easiest route to Artists Bluff. This trail is a good option if you just want to do Artists Bluff and return the way you came. While a short hike, it still goes uphill and has some rocky terrain, so very young children may need a hand in spots.
The loop option involves parking a little further up on Route 18 across from the Peabody Base Lodge. From here, a quarter-mile hike brings you to a junction where you can bear left to do a very short side trip to Bald Mountain, which lives up to its name with its open, rocky summit. Bearing right at the junction brings you along a ridge and has a section of steep descent, and it eventually leads to the overlook at Artists Bluff. Kids will enjoy scrambling around on the rocks, and this is a scenic place to have lunch or a snack. While this viewpoint overlooks Interstate 93, it also looks out at the ski slopes on Cannon Mountain as well as Echo Lake down below. This is a very popular hike in the fall to see the changing foliage. As you head down along the loop you’ll reach a junction; the path to the right continues in and out of the woods, parallels the road, and brings you back to the trailhead.