My family’s plans for a picnic lunch and an afternoon of swimming at Echo Lake, in Franconia State Park, were cut short because tickets for the lake were sold out. Echo Lake is one of my family’s favorite spots in the White Mountains. The mountain views are beautiful and there is a large (artificial) sandy beach to sunbathe and play on.

We went to the nearby Profile Lake instead, and ate our lunch at the Old Man of the Mountain viewing area. Because the Old Man rock formation fell down in 2003, you can’t see it anymore. The park set up clever “steel profilers” that you can line up your vision with to create an optical illusion of what the old rock face looked like.