|Approaching Summit - Mt. Flume
Last weekend, Matt and I decided to take advantage of the great weather and head for the Whites. When we lived in Maine, the closest areas to us were the hikes along the Kancamangus Highway and the North Conway area. As a result, we stuck to that area. Now, as residents of Southern New Hampshire, we are actually closer to the Franconia Notch side of the forest.
|Views on our Flume/Liberty hike
This adventure included scrambling over boulders, absorbing stunning 360º views, and feeling "the burn" in every muscle of your body.
Here is how to recreate this adventure...
Adventure: The Mt. Flume/Mt. Liberty Loop
Getting there: We drove up I-93 N to Franconia Notch State Park. We parked at "The Basin" exit and walked south about a mile down the bike trail until it met up at the junction with the Liberty Spring Trail/AT. *Many visitors also exit at the Flume Visitor Center and walk north up this bike trail a mile to the same junction. Either way, you'll get there!
|Matt uses a tree for support up the Flume Slide Trail
I do not recommend trying to go down the Flume Slide Trail as part of the loop. It would be very dangerous and even more difficult. In total, the Flume Slide Trail is 3.3 miles from the junction to the summit.
At the top of Mt. Flume, we had beautiful views of Franconia Ridge, Franconia Notch, and the Pemigewasset Wilderness east of our spot. We took a long break and then headed north along the Franconia Ridge Trail 1.2 miles to the summit of Mt. Liberty. This trail takes to down into the trees and then emerges onto another beautiful 360˚ peak.
After drinking in the view again, we headed 0.3 miles further until we reached the Liberty Spring Trail junction. We turned left, hiked 2.9 miles down a moderate trail to the bike path, and then the parking lot. This included hiking through the Liberty Spring Campsite - a popular AT stop for thru-hikers and weekend warriors.
|Summit of Mt. Liberty
Difficulty: As I mentioned above, the Flume Slide Trail is very challenging -steep, rocky, slabby, and damp. That - combined with the extensive mileage, makes this a challenging/difficult peak.
Distance: Our total loop including the bike paths from The Basin parking lot was 10 miles.
Gear: Bring at least 2 L of water per person, snacks, sturdy shoes, AMC Franconia Notch Map, First Aid Kit, Rain Gear, Warm Layer for cold summit, sun protection, and an adventurous spirit. I also traveled with trekking poles. This was vital for my descent, but actually got more in the way on the Flume Slide trail ascent because I needed my hands to grab handholds.
|Hiking up to the summit of Mt. Flume
The perfect way to end the adventure...
After our butt-burning hike, Matt and I rewarded ourselves with a tasty meal and refreshing beverage at the Woodstock Inn Station and Brewery. This respected watering hole is located off Exit 32 on I-93 in North Woodstock, NH. It was the perfect ending to the perfect hiking day.
Please leave comments and questions below...