Hiking – Artists Bluff

Artist’s Bluff – Bald Mountain Trail

White Mountain Hiking Trail with views of Mt. Lafayette, Cannon Mtn., Echo Lake and Franconia Notch

New Hampshire Apple Orchard GuideOne of my first small hikes this season was the Artist’s Bluff / Bald Mountain trail in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Heading south on Interstate 93 at the entrance to Franconia notch, the broad face of this ledge is visible to the right. Using the Echo Lake / Cannon Mountain exit will bring you to the trailhead and parking located directly across from the entrance to Cannon Mountain Ski Area. Ask about NH hiking or share trail comments. To feature your business in NHLiving, contact us.

Artist’s Bluff – Bald Mountain Trail NH Franconia Notch

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This is a very pleasant and fairly easy hike which affords excellent views of Echo Lake, Cannon Mountain and Franconia Notch. Typically, the entrance to the large parking area is roped off and hikers should park perpendicular to the road near the sign “Hiker’s Parking” and walk across the lot to the trailhead.

The trail starts with a moderate grade and has areas of rocky terrain so footwear with good tread is necessary. It then levels off briefly at the intersection of Bald Knob and Artist’s Bluff (this is a great loop trail, as well, but my destination on this day was the latter). Passing through picturesque woods, the trail continues moderately up with two scenic vistas to the right, sometimes mistaken for the actual bluff, not nearly as rewarding! Also deceiving is the fact that the trail then starts to descend, as the bluff is located halfway up the side of the mountain and not at the actual summit.Mt View NH

A short ways down and past an enormous boulder on the right, the trail forks again and continues down to the right but a left will bring you out onto the rocks that are Artist’s Bluff.

Atop this spectacular vantage point Cannon Mountain, Echo Lake, Mt Lafayette and the highway winding through the notch are visible directly in front of you. The area is large and level enough to pack up a picnic lunch and relax on the rocks with the sun shining down on your face and the incredible view of 4000 foot mountains in front of you – just don’t bring anything that will blow away!

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