Skip to main content

Franconia Notch Parkway

Possibly one of the most scenic stretch of Interstate highway along the East Coast, The Franconia Notch Parkway -- which carries Interstate 93 -- is one of the last stretches of two lane Interstate in the country. After over two decades of controversy, it was decided that the route would best remain a two lane parkway through Franconia Notch State Park. The highway itself is extremely scenic as it passes the former site of the 'Old Man in The Mountain', the unique granite formation that served as the symbol of New Hampshire for decades. 

Just north of Exit 33 the Parkway begins.

Looking northbound along the two lane highway at the visitor's center.

Franconia Notch is formed by two converging mountain ranges; the Kinsman Ridge to the west and the Franconia Ridge to the east. The Parkway serves as the Gateway to the North Country and includes endless scenic views made accessible from numerous marked pullouts. Most access to the various outdoor activities within the Park is via the Parkway so traffic can be very heavy, especially on weekends.

The site of the collapsed 'Old Man' from one of the vista points along the Parkway.

In October 2003, I rode through the Notch not long after the Old Man rock formation collapse.  In early May 2003, after a series of heavy rains, cold temperatures, and high winds, the 40 foot rock formation that poked out from Cannon Mountain collapsed and was no more.  

Vista from the visitor center parking area - Exit 34A.

The Franconia Notch Parkway is an amazing drive and really showcases the ruggedness and beauty of New Hampshire. 

Low clouds cover the peaks Cannon Mountain (elevation 4180')
 
All photos taken by post author - October 2003.

Further Reading:



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

US Route 199

I was planning on driving US Route 199 for the third time this weekend.  However "external factors" have pushed my visit to US Route 199 back for the time being.  While I can't do a driving log for US Route 199 at the moment I can still write about it's history.


This blog will be slightly different from the usual flair for Gribblenation.  Generally I have a stockpile of my own road photos from which to draw from.  In the case of US Route 199 I was far more focused on hiking photos during my first two visits in 2014 and 2016 than the actual highway.  At some point I will add a series of modern driving log photos but for the time being I will draw from numerous other sources to illustrate US Route 199.


Part 1; the History of US Route 199

Present US Route 199 is a 80.05 mile highway which connects US Route 101 in Crescent City of Del Norte, California northeast to Interstate 5 in Grants Pass of Josephine County, Oregon.  US Route 199 is one of the original US Routes and …

Trans-Sierra Highways; California State Route 108 over Sonora Pass

In the fall of 2016 and late summer of 2020 I took a series of drives over mountain passes in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Both traps culminated by way of crossing over the Sierra Nevada Mountains westbound by way of the 9,624 foot Sonora Pass on California State Route 108.  
California State Route 108 ("CA 108") is a 99 mile east/west State Highway which originates at US Route 395 in the eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  CA 108 crosses the crest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains by way of the 9,624 foot Sonora Pass and terminates at CA 99 co-signed with CA 132 in downtown Modesto.  CA 108 has a 21 mile unconstructed segment which would extend it to Interstate 5 near Crow's Landing if completed.  
Part 1; the history of Sonora Pass and California State Route 108Much of the early history of Sonora Pass is described by way of two informational plaques at the actual Pass.  The first documented crossing of Sonora Pass was in October of 1841 by way of a course slightly due nor…

The Tioga Pass Road

Last Summer the Tioga Pass Road over the Sierra Nevada Mountains in Yosemite National Park opened late due to the heavy snow pack from the previous winter.  Approaching the start of July the Park Service finally had cleared the road to Tioga Pass.  That being the case I headed up shortly after the 4th of July holiday during a lull in the tourist season.


The Tioga Pass Road runs from the Big Oak Flat Road at Crane Flat east to US Route 395 ("US 395").  The Tioga Pass Road is largely within the boundary of Yosemite National Park but is maintained by Caltrans as California State Route 120 ("CA 120") east of the Tioga Pass entry station to US 395.  The National Park Service maintained portion of the Tioga Pass Road serve as a implied connection between the two segments of CA 120.  The Tioga Pass Road is the highway mountain pass in California reaching Tioga Pass at 9,945 feet above sea level.



Part 1; the history of the Tioga Pass Road

Tioga Pass first obtained notewort…