It was a cold, crisp November morning in Franconia Notch State Park in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. I parked at the Flume Gorge parking lot and started down the 3.3 mile round trip trail. The trail goes through three tunnels under the access road and I-93 before heading west towards the summit of Mt. Pemigewasset.
It had rained heavily the previous few days, so the trail was very muddy in spots and had a several small streams that were much more prominent than usual. The first mile goes through mostly hardwood forest with a lot of the granite rocks commonly found in the White Mountains.
After a pretty easy beginning the trail starts to seriously ascend with about 1500 feet in elevation gain. Soon you start to come into more fir trees. About half a mile from the summit I started to see little ice curls in the trail which really fascinated me. I wondered how they were formed.
Soon, I crested the summit as I walked out onto a granite bald facing southwest. It was solemn and I enjoyed the quiet solitude. There are expansive views of the forest below surrounded by other mountains. Off to the south you can see I-93 weaving through the notch.
After soaking up the beauty at the top of Mt Pemigewasset, I started to descend and passed several groups who were working their way up to the top. I really enjoyed this hike and I’d like to do it again in the summer. rk