“800 ft natural gorge!”
The Flume is a natural gorge extending 800 feet at the base of Mount Liberty. The walls of Conway granite rise to a height of 70 to 90 feet and are 12 to 20 feet apart. A trip into the Flume begins and ends at the Flume Visitor's Center. Guests can choose to walk through just the Gorge or do a two mile loop. The walk includes uphill walking and lots of stairs. The boardwalk allows you to look closely at the growth of flowers, ferns and mosses found here.
Nearly 200 million years ago in Jurassic times, the Conway granite that forms the walls of the Flume was deeply buried molten rock. As it cooled, the granite was broken by closely spaced vertical fractures which lay nearly parallel in a northeasterly direction.Sometime after the fractures were formed, small dikes of basalt were forced up along the fractures. The basalt came from deep within the earth as a fluid material, and because of pressure, was able to force the Conway granite aside. The basalt crystallized quickly against the relatively cold granite. Because of this quick cooling, the basalt is a fine- grained rock. Had this material ever reached the surface, it would have become lava flows.
Erosion gradually lowered the earth’s surface and exposed the dikes. As the overlying rock was worn away, pressure was relieved and horizontal cracks developed, allowing water to get into the rock layers. The basalt dikes eroded faster than the surrounding Conway granite, creating a deepening valley where the gorge is now.
The gorge was covered by glaciers during the Ice Age, but the ice sheet did not greatly change the surface. It partially filled the valley with glacial debris and removed soil and weathered rock from the vicinity. After the Ice Age, Flume Brook began to flow through the valley again.
Framed by a spectacular vista of Mount Liberty and Mount Flume, the Visitor Center houses the Flume ticket office, information center, cafeteria, gift shop, and the state park system's historic Concord Coach. A 20-minute movie showcasing beautiful Franconia Notch State Park is available for viewing.
The Flume was discovered in 1808 by 93-year-old “Aunt” Jess Guernsey when she accidently came upon it while fishing. She had trouble convincing her family of the marvelous discovery, but eventually persuaded others to come and see for themselves. At that time, a huge egg-shaped boulder hung suspended between the walls. The rock was 10 feet (3m) high and 12 feet (3.6m) long. A heavy rainstorm in June of 1883 started a landslide that swept the boulder from its place. It has never been found. The same storm deepened the gorge and formed Avalanche Falls.
The Flume Gorge opens for the season on May 3rd, 2013. Operating hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm daily. *Dates and times are weather permitting. For up to date hours, please call the park directly.
Admission is $15 for adults (ages 13+); $12 for children (ages 6-12); children ages 5 and under are admitted free with paid adult. Discovery Pass (Includes Cannon Mountain Aerial Tramway & Flume Gorge): Adults: $28.00, children (ages 6-12): $22.00. *All rates and dates are subject to change.
Great natural site! Accessible for most people. You can take a short hike to the trailhead or take a bus to the trailhead. if you take the bus, there is still a short uphill hike and stairs that need to be taken to get to the top of the flume. Last entry is at 5:30 PM, but once in, you can take as much time as you like. I went on a rainy afternoon at 5 PM and had the whole place to myself, despite its usually heavy traffic.
Beautiful site, my wife and I had done this couple years ago we loved it and want to go back! Definitely recommend doing this!
The site is not bad in the flume but the entire rest of this roundtrip through the forest is nothing special. Why have we paid for this? From my perspective it is a nice tripe along the river through the flume but not for this amount of money. 2nd concern: crowded!!!
This is a beautiful site. The hike's pretty accessible, even for us out-of-shape folks. The flume and river are gorgeous and worth it. I would've given five stars, but it slightly rankles that I'm paying someone to hike a trail. Other than that, no complaints.
I would be able to tell you all about it but due to the insane over pricing of the nature walk, we failed on buy tickets. We had come from Niagra where both attractions were half as much. If you also don't want to shell out that much, check out The Basin. It's about 5 minutes up the road from the Gorge and it is free. It is about the same thing and is also handicapped accessible.
We did get some food at the food court at the gorge and the fries were great. The prices weren't bad for that.
We decided to go out on the back deck to eat, which was very pretty. Except for the dead mouse that was laying on the ground next to our table. When we told the staff about it, they cleaned it up right away but it was still pretty gross.
Beautiful walk. Exquisitely kept trails marked flora and fauna. Don't miss the Cannon Mt Tram to the top. Worth the trip!
Closed for the winter!
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- Sun - Sat: 9:00 am - 5:30 pm
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Not Wheelchair Accessible