In the heart of Franconia Notch State Park, Lafayette Place Campground is the camping and hiking hub for the park. It provides a great base from which to enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, swimming, and many attractions in the White Mountains. Information about hiking trails, safety, and the natural and cultural history of the park is available at the cabin near the campground entrance. A lodge houses a registration desk and offers a selection of camping supplies. Each campsite is wooded and has a picnic table, car parking, and an open fireplace. There are coin-operated showers and a camp store. Lafayette Campground provides 97 wooded tent sites - 88 are by reservation only, 1 is for youth group reservations, and 7 are for first-come/first-served campers. Self-service/self-pay camping with limited staffing and facilities is available during the off-season.
As far as the individual sites go, they are fairly standard. Roomy enough with a picnic table and fire ring and most are reasonably spaced far enough apart with trees to provide privacy. However, the noise from Highway 93 is intolerable! 18-wheelers blowing by at all hours of the day and night, making it very difficult to enjoy a restful sleep. I had reserved site 46 because it was across the street from the Pemigewaset River but I could not hear the river over the highway noise. You can hear the highway noise from all the sites, but I think 33, 34, and 35 are the quietest. The Lonesome Lake Trail runs right through the campground which is good news/bad news. Easy access to the trail but there are a number of sites that directly border the trail, which could impede privacy. No cell service. There is a store, and two restrooms with pay showers; one of these also has a dishwashing sink, and washer and dryer, a nice perk. Franconia Notch State Park has a lot to offer and this campground is centrally located. If it wasn’t for the horrible highway noise, I would give this campground 4 stars; however, it is the ONLY campground in the park, so I guess that’s that!
Right in the middle of Franconia notch; you can get to many trails from here; and there's a bike path that's paved, so is good for kids as well
This campground is the perfect location for those wanting to explore the Franconia Notch State Park in New Hampshire. The bathrooms and showers were clean and the staff very helpful and friendly. I would like to point out that one of the park’s trails (Lonesome Lake Trail) cuts through this campground, so when making reservations to camp here you will want to avoid campsites near this trail. In some cases, the trail was within 3 feet of certain campsites and it is a somewhat active trail. We loved our stay and hiked both the Flume and the Basin trails.
The campground was very clean. It had full bathrooms with showers and even a washer. The sites were kept clean. A store is located at the front. The trail head is right next to the campsite for easy access.
The best reason to stay here is if you are planning to hike in the Franconia Notch area, esp. if you want to hike Franconia Ridge, doing the loop up Falling Waters and down Bridle Path. You won't have to fight for a parking spot and it will be easy to get an early start, which is particularly important if you plan to do this hike on a pleasant weekend day! On the same side of the park are trails to Lonesome Lake and on up to Cannon and the Kinsman range. The Pemi River and Trail run through the campground as does the paved multi-purpose trail, so if biking's more your thing, it's a nice way to explore attractions through the Notch.
It's sandwiched between the mountains and the highway, so sites are close together and you WILL hear traffic, but it offers bathrooms with flush toilets and hot showers ($) and dishwashing sinks. The majority of the sites are reservation only and summer weekends you'll want to plan ahead. There's a camp store with a few camp essentials, dry firewood, souvenirs, and a table to sit and explore hiking plans, etc. They post weather information out front and there is a hiker information center out front as well.
Some of the sites along the river are better suited to tents than trailers, with the tent/table/fire on a pad closer to the river. Most sites are wooded, though there are a few (15 & 16) in an open grassy area in a separate loop that is up the hill behind the camp store.
I did a loop hike in this park and stayed at several of the backcountry sites with friends a few years ago. There are so many amazing peaks an the views are incredible it is well worth the challenge of the hike. The important thing is to make sure to plan in advance since the terrain is challenging and some of the trails can be confusing. It is worth your time to purchase a good map and plan out water fill ups as well as campsites long in advance. Also check out if you need permits and such since that is important. This area can get very cold in the winter, when we did it, so be prepared for surprise snow if you do in certain times of year.
This is one of the most beautiful hiking and camping areas and well worth checking out. I did the ridge hike while in college and stayed here with friends. It was wet and foggy so good thing we had a map but still some of the most incredible views.
Campsites are a bit close together. Quiet hours strictly enforced. Nice amenities
A huge campground with showers, camp store, RV sites, and tent sites. During the summer months there are regular nature programs through Discover the Power of the Parks. Bike trail that runs the length of the park can be accessed here, as well as trails to Lonesome Lake, Kinsmen Mountain, Canon Mountain, and the Franconia Ridge Loop which includes Mt. Lafayette.
We had site 57, near the small creek. Should have been great sleeping with the babble of the brook, but it was drowned out by the drone of trucks on the freeway. The bathrooms are heavily used and not very clean. There are some nice things to see in the park, but you do have to pay $16 to hike on the Gorge trail.