Bald Mountain, Route 18, Exit 34C off I-93
Franconia Notch State Park
Franconia, NH 03580
Artist's Bluff Description
A great short hike for families with youngsters: the kids get a leg up from stone steps much of the way and the wide-open view down the Notch makes them feel like big-time climbers after a relatively short effort. On top of the bluff, point out places you've been or might be heading to next, like the mountains Lafayette and Liberty, the Cannon Mountain Tram, and Echo Lake. To add a little more distance and grab another great view, hike up to the summit of Bald Mountain, too.
Babies: Strollers aren't feasible here. Carry baby up in a backpack carrier.
Toddlers & Pre-K: The going is steep for toddlers, but preschoolers get a kick out of this big mountain experience. Be mindful of the edge at the top of the bluff.
School-Age Kids: Kids hoping to really stretch their legs will find that it's too short, but will love the views and rocky outcroppings on top.
- Parking smarts. Park at Echo Lake across the street; tell the gatekeeper you're hiking and they won't charge you.
- Quick trip. With bigger kids, the trip up may only take 15 to 20 minutes, making this an easy stop to combine with other ones.
- Cool down. On a hot day, go for a post-hike swim at adjacent Echo Lake.
Just the Facts
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Recommended Time: 1 to 2 hours