Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park

A hiker on the summit of Bald Mountain in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Franconia Notch is in the background.
Franconia Notch from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Bald Mountain, Franconia Notch State Park – Located a short distance from Echo Lake, which I wrote about last week, in Franconia, New Hampshire is another great location where photographers will have no problem creating images. Even though some hiking has to be done to reach the summit of Bald Mountain the views of Franconia Notch are worth the short hike.

Back in the 1800’s a carriage road lead to just below the summit of Bald Mountain. The 1859 second edition, of “The White Mountain Guide Book” (Eastman's White Mountain Guide) references that a carriage road had been built the “present season” from the highway, north of the Profile House, to the summit of Bald Mountain. The same description also states that the mountain had been little visited up until that point.

Low impact water bar along the Veterans Trail in Franconia, New Hampshire USA. This trail was previously known as the Bald Mtn - Artist's Bluff Path.
Veterans Trail (Bald Mtn – Artist's Bluff Path) – Bald Mountain, Franconia
 

Sometime before 1876 the carriage road fell into disrepair and became a path. The 1876 guidebook “The White Mountains: A Handbook for Travellers” by Moses Foster Sweetser references that the carriage road had fallen into neglect, and the path follows it. Sweetser’s description also mentions a short steep line of rocks along the path, near the summit, where a stone stairway once was.

Cannon Mountain from Bald Mountain in the White Mountains, New Hampshire during the autumn months.
Cannon Mountain from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Parking for Bald Mountain is in a small roadside lot, in front of the large dirt parking lot, directly across from the entrance of Cannon Mountain on Route 18. The trail to Bald Mountain starts in the back of the large dirt parking lot. The official name of the trail is the Veterans Trail, but many use the old name Bald Mtn – Artist's Bluff Path. As for parking in the large dirt lot, sometimes the cable gate is open, sometimes it is not.

Franconia Notch State Park from Bald Mountain in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Echo Lake from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Bald Mountain is also another great location to watch the weather patterns. Watching and photographing the clouds and fog blow through Franconia Notch early in the morning during the summer months is a real treat. Echo Lake (above) can also be seen from the summit.

Sunset from Bald Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park of the New Hampshire White Mountains.
Sunset from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

Because of its easy access, Bald Mountain is often visited by photographers and visitors to the region. If you are looking for solitude, you may not find it on this mountain but if you do find yourself alone on the summit late in the afternoon when the sun is setting, enjoy the serenity of the setting sun while you can.

Franconia Notch State Park from Bald Mountain in the White Mountains, New Hampshire.
Franconia Ridge from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

The view of Mount Lafayette (above) and Cannon Mountain from Bald Mountain is excellent any time of year, but I prefer the winter months when the mountains are snow covered. The snowcapped mountains make for a picture perfect scene. Word of caution, if you plan to visit Bald Mountain during the winter months, the trail to the summit can be very icy.

Panoramic of cloudy sky over Franconia Notch State Park from Bald Mountain in the White Mountains, New Hampshire USA during the summer months. This is five images stitched together.
Panoramic of Franconia Notch from Bald Mountain – Franconia, New Hampshire
 

I will end with a panoramic (above) of Franconia Notch State Park from Bald Mountain. The state park system is what makes New Hampshire special, and the unique beauty of Franconia Notch State Park is irreplaceable. Unfortunately, privatizing Cannon Mountain is once again being talked about. Privatizing Cannon will forever change Franconia Notch State Park. We have to ensure nothing ever happens to this one of a kind state park.

To license any of the above images for usage in publications, click on the image. And you can view more images from Bald Mountain in Franconia Notch State Park here.

Happy image making..


 

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Erin Paul is a professional photographer who specializes in environmental conservation and historic preservation photography in the New Hampshire White Mountains. His work is published worldwide, and credits include; Backpacker Magazine, Appalachian Trail Conservancy, the Appalachian Mountain Club, and The Wilderness Society.

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