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

Onion Valley Road; former California State Route 180 to Kearsarge Pass

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Onion Valley Road from Independence west to Onion Valley near Kearsarge Pass.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Onion Valley Road was once signed as California State Route 180 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway.


Onion Valley Road is located west of Independence of Inyo County and is 12.9 miles in length.  According to pjammcycling.com Onion Valley Road begins at an elevation of 3,946 feet above sea level in Independence and terminates at 9,219 feet above sea level at Onion Valley.  Pjammcycling rates Onion Valley Road with an average gradient of 7.8% and lists it as the 6th most difficult cycling climb in the United States.  Onion Valley Road also includes ten switchbacks which largely follow the course of Independence Creek.  Anyway you look at it the route of Onion Valley Road is no joke and is definitely a test of driving…

Horseshoe Meadows Road; former California State Route 190 and the legacy of the Lone Pine-Porterville HIgh Sierra Road

This summer I had an opportunity to drive one of the lesser known great roads of California; Horseshoe Meadows Road from Whitney Portal Road westward into Horseshoe Meadows of the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains.  Aside from being massive climb into the Eastern Sierra Nevada Mountains the path of Horseshoe Meadows Road was once part of California State Route 190 and was intended to be part of a Trans-Sierra Highway known as the Lone Pine-Porterville High Sierra Road.


Horseshoe Meadows Road is located west of Lone Pine of Inyo County and is 19.7 miles in length.  Horseshoe Meadows Road begins at an approximate elevation of 4,500 feet above sea level at Whitney Portal Road in the Alabama Hills and ends at an elevation of 10,072 feet above sea level in Horseshoe Meadows.  Horseshoe Meadows Road is the second highest paved road in California only behind Rock Creek Road near Tom's Place.  Pjammcycling rates Horseshoe Meadows Road with an average gradient of 6.2% and lists it as th…

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 …