Understandably some local residents even feel they should have favor over out-of-staters. Some hikers believe parking regulations should be enforced on the highway. Like I mentioned earlier, I chose to go counter-clockwise up Falling Waters. After 1/4 mile, a short, steep path diverges left for 1/10 mile to the open summit of Bald Mountain. The obvious problem here being enforcement of the system. Heading north on Interstate 93, the trail head is on the right hand side of the road, marked as the “Old Bridle Path” parking lot. It’s a challenging hike but it is worth every winded, tricky step. Franconia Notch State Park: Hiked Franconia Ridge Loop! We hiked here the day after it rained, so the descent was very muddy and full of water puddles. Franconia Ridge loop is by far my favorite day hike I’ve ever done. Oh well…. Careers 3, North of Flume): 50 spots. The main trail continues and bears right, up and across the low ridge. © 2018 ThemeSphere. While I still have a few hikes in Maine and Vermont on my list, Franconia Ridge will forever be one of my most beloved hikes on the East Coast. This is a loop hike starting and ending at the Lafayette Place parking area. We'll be hiking Franconia Ridge, which contains three peaks: Little Haystack, Lincoln, and Lafayette which are all 4,000 footers. A good windbreaker or rain jacket would definitely come in handy! This primary hiker parking lot provides access to Lonesome Lake Hut and surrounding trails including Lonesome Lake Trail, Pemi Trail, and Hi Cannon Trail to Kinsman Ridge Trail. You'll get really nice view of Mt. We ate a snack and took a break here as we admired the beautiful peaks and silhouettes of the White Mountains, as well as the ridgeline of the Franconia Range toward Mount Lincoln. There is limited hiker parking within Franconia Notch. As we summited Mount Lincoln, the peak of Mount Lafayette came into view. 17 Essential Snowboarding Tips for Beginners to Get You Going ASAP, Best Women’s Snowboarding Pants & Bibs for Every Budget (2020), Best Women’s Ski Pants & Bibs for Every Budget (2020), 30 Totally Genius Gifts for Skiers & Snowboarders (2020 Edition), Best Ski & Snowboard Helmets for Safety and Comfort (2020), 17 Stunning Hikes in New Hampshire for All Levels, 35 Clever Gifts for Hikers That They’ll Actually Use, 55 Trekking & Hiking Quotes to Inspire Your Next Adventure. Fax During peak season, get there early as the parking lots fill up quickly. The main trail continues down to Route 18 near Echo Lake. As often as her schedule allows you will find her enjoying one of her greatest passions in life; hiking in the White Mountains. Contact Us. Having done this hike before, I knew the views were spectacular. Families could definitely do Falling Waters Trail up until the largest waterfall and head back to the parking lot. Falling water trail also has a beautiful waterfall about half way up making for some awesome pictures. It’s an understatement to say this is a popular hike. Select Page. I do plan to hike it again but wouldn’t be upset to see the numbers limited for all good reasons. Leave the car at the Lafayette Place Campground, (about 1700' elevation), then head up 1.4mi to Lonesome Lake. It summits Little Haystack Mountain, Mount Lincoln and Mount Lafayette, all of which rise well over 4,000 feet (over 5,000 for Lincoln and Lafayette) and offer staggering views. Kay Rodriguez is the founder of Urban Outdoors. It doesn’t appear that cars have been ticketed yet for parking on the highway. Work With Us Ascending the rest of the trail is steep, but the trees eventually start to break and the terrain will become rockier, and at this point you’ll know you’re close to the ridge. We created this guide to help you feel fully prepared and excited to embark on the Franconia Ridge Loop and experience its magic for yourself. Yes, that mountain you can see from Little Haystack is Mount Lincoln, which blocked our view of the third and final summit, Mount Lafayette. Watch out for wind up here – when we hiked, it wasn’t too bad but I could imagine it being much windier at times. The night before, I spent the night in my campervan in Littleton, a nearby city, and woke up around 6 AM to drive to the trailhead. It’s possible that this is the direction the State is leaning and hopes to have in place by Memorial Day after sending out a request for information. How much of the forest needs to be destroyed to make room for enough cars that line the highway for miles? About Even famed writer and naturalist Henry David Thoreau spent time here. An option that is also often discussed is instating a permitting system much like Baxter State Park. Hiking in early September in New Hampshire will always be my favorite. It’s just off of I-93, which cuts through the western White Mountains in a north-south direction. Take the Old Bridle Path from the Greenleaf Hut down the remaining 2.9 miles to the parking lot. The last part of the Franconia Ridge Loop trail descends down Old Bridle Path back to the parking lot. Franconia Notch State Park is located in the heart of the White Mountain National Forest. Es gibt verschiedene Aktivitätsmöglichkeiten. Some think that expanding the parking lot is a good option. With hundreds of cars parked along the highway and assuming most cars carried more than one person to the trail, the conga line on the trail is a big problem environmentally. If you’re an experienced hiker and are willing to take on a challenge, I would 100% recommend the Franconia Ridge Loop as a must-do hike in the White Mountains. In short, limiting parking at this trailhead will limit the environmental impact. We took a short break before the final haul through the saddle and up Mount Lafayette. Download the Franconia Notch Hiking Map for your planned hike. When I hiked this beauty as I was emerging out of tree cover and headed towards Little Haystack there were hikers sitting in the middle of the trail forcing the flow of people to go off trail to hike past them. Along the ridge, you’ll continue to see epic panoramas of the surrounding mountains throughout your hike. Er führt entlang eines Flusses, durch schönen Wald und es gibt einen Wasserfall und schöne Wildblumen. It gets very busy on the weekends. 93. You’ll also pass a handful of scenic waterfalls, several steep, rocky areas, and the Greenleaf Hut, a basic refuge for overnight hikers. I carried Stella over these sections and somehow managed not to end up completely soaked. All in all, the entire ridge section of the trail was just under 2 miles in length and is absolutely stunning throughout. Others wonder if it is a problem at all. Since I got there so early on a weekday, the parking had hardly anyone in it. There are 8 switchbacks here to take before a steep but gradual slog to the first summit. The 1.6-mile segment between Little Haystack and Lafayette is atop an open ridge. I got a spot right next to the trailhead entrance, packed my bag, and began hiking. This is one of the most hiked mountain in NH. Conversely, if you choose to hike this trail during the Summer or Fall especially on a weekend not only will you not have the trail to yourself, you will find yourself in a conga line heel to heel with other hikers. Walking off-trail is another issue with the ‘heel to heel’ hiking. 93 in Franconia Notch. Cars Parked Along Rt. Drawbacks to this option are the possible expenses to the hiker and the hours it would need to run. The Franconia Ridge Loop hike in Franconia Notch is a gorgeous 8.5 mile loop that takes you over four mountains including two AMC 4000 footers. The Dept. Looking for the perfect gift for your favorite hiker? Instead, take a left toward the rock piles and make sure you’re headed toward Greenleaf Hut. Hiking these mountains has changed Janice’s life and she intends to share this passion with everyone that will listen. Immediately after taking the Falling Waters trail, you’ll find the waterfalls, which run basically parallel to the trail for several miles during the ascent. A fellow hiker asks ‘what’s to stop someone from parking in your spot?’. Parking: In the summer you may need to park at the overfill lot, a few exits north of the trailhead parking, and take the hiker shuttle down. Stella loved it, but after I slipped a handful of times, I can’t say I felt the same way. Lafayette. The descent is grueling in its own right, but there are numerous scenic viewpoints along the way to take a break … Visit our Complete Day Hiking Packing List for our full list and our top gear recommendations. The Franconia Ridge Traverse is one of the most popular higher summit loops in the White Mountains. The main option explored is likelihood of hikers using an offsite parking lot and shuttling to and from the trailhead. Most hike Franconia Ridge as a loop, beginning and ending at the Falling Waters and Old Bridle Path trailhead and parking lot on Interstate 93N (44.142048, -71.681206) in Franconia Notch State Park. Start with Old Bridle Path and Greenleaf Trail, from the Franconia Notch Parkway (wich is an AMC Shuttle stop). Here, the blazes change from blue to white, so be sure to look out for the white blazes as you continue toward the ridge on your left. Get to the trailhead early or don’t hike the Franconia Ridge Loop. Stella and I at first made the mistake of continuing straight in the same direction as the ridge trail to descend Mount Lafayette. Franconia Ridge Loop Hike – Parking and Environmental Issues, National Geographic’s list of 10 best hikes in the world. No one wants to arrive back at the trailhead later than expected to find all shuttles have stopped running. For all the effort it takes to get through this strenuous hike, the views are absolutely worth it. Make sure to bring extra layers for this hour (or so) duration of the climb. The entire 9-mile hike took me 6.5 hours, including ~45 minutes of breaks throughout the course of the day. No parking along I-93 is now strictly enforced. Urban Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Descending Down Old Bridle Path. Liberty Springs (Rte. During our road trip from Florida to Maine, we loved exploring the mountains of Vermont and New Hampshire and had an incredible hike on the Franconia Ridge Loop Trail. They may not have the proper training or information to understand the rules of LNT. We would love to hear from you . I didn’t bring trekking poles on this hike, but during the descent, I sorely wish I did. Most of this route is officially Class 1 and very well defined. You can get to the trailhead from both directions on the interstate. Parking will be banned along the highway in Franconia Notch State Park this summer as tourists and hikers will be forced to take a shuttle bus once parking lots are full. How big does the lot need to be? This was our second time making the sleepless drive up to New Hampshire to start in the dark in the hopes to summit for sunrise! Not only is it a perfect temperature at the trailhead, but its not even cold at the summit. This hike offers a little of everything; grand waterfalls, an exhilarating ridge walk above treeline, a snack stop in an AMC hut, 4000 footers, endless views and a great sense of accomplishment. Since you are exposed on the alpine ridge line for approximately a mile and a half, the weather can be extreme and change rapidly, so, check the Mount Washington Observatory website before you head out. Hiking down Old Bridle Path was mostly gradual, but there were several spots that had steep, rocky sections. First stop, though, is Greenleaf Hut, a backpacker’s lodge located about 1 mile from the summit. Franconia Notch State Park If you’re hardcore about your camping, check out Cannon Mountain RV Park, a four-season campground in the beautiful White Mountains. Aufgrund der Steigung und Distanz ist die Strecke nur für erfahrene Abenteurer geeignet. After 2.9 miles you'll arrive at Greenleaf hut. My left knee was throbbing at the end of the hike and I think it would have felt a lot better had I brought extra support for the hike down. The views up here were absolutely phenomenal. Beautiful waterfalls on Falling Waters Trail. Don’t be fooled – you’ll have to work hard for these sweeping vistas on this 9-mile trail that climbs and descends nearly 4,000 feet of elevation gain. You can actually see it from the ridge, so it doesn’t feel too far away. Due to it’s popularity, location and beauty the hike appeals to serious hikers, inexperienced new hikers, and completely unprepared non-hikers. An option that is also often discussed is instating a permitting system much like Baxter State Park. Take in amazing views of Franconia Notch State Park on this ~9-mile loop. We took a very brief stop at Greenleaf Hut (there’s free drinking water available here but it was otherwise closed) and then continued the last ~3 miles down to the parking lot. (440) 567-6888 . Instead of finding an off trail rock to sit on to take a break they forced a constant flow of people to step onto the fragile alpine environment to hike past them. Hikers driving north on I-93 will find the parking lot just after the exit for The Basin trailhead. When I hiked this trail on a sunny October morning, I couldn’t put my camera down because there were jaw-dropping views seemingly around every corner. - See 641 traveler reviews, 594 candid photos, and great deals for Franconia, NH, at Tripadvisor. If you enjoy winter hiking this is a good one to save for February when you just might find the trail to yourself. During the initial ascent is where you’ll find the ~5 or so stream crossings required to stay on the trail – you can absolutely do these without getting your feet wet if you’re creative with your footing over the rocks and have good waterproof boots. If you park on the southbound side, there is a path that will take you underneath the interstate to the trailhead. Get your cameras ready, because so many of these waterfalls are photo-worthy! The fact that it is on National Geographic’s list of 10 best hikes in the world and that fact that the trailhead is located on Route 93 makes this beautiful hike well-known and well accessible to the masses. However there are some short mini-scrambles on this route in which some would classify as Class 2. For eight miles, I-93 winds between the high peaks of the Kinsman and Franconia mountain ranges. If all four tires are off the pavement then perhaps, lower the speed limit in the area and leave well enough alone. The issue has been open to much debate. Greenleaf Hut via Falling Waters Trail, Franconia Ridge Trail, Greenleaf Trail 6.0 mi 5 hours 20 min Lafayette Place (I93-S, Lafayette Place Exit): 41 parking spots. Approximately 3 miles in, Stella and I reached the top of your first summit, Little Haystack! The Falling Waters trail begins gradually but quickly picks up steam as the mountainside becomes steeper. Mount Lafayette and Franconia Ridge Trail Loop ist ein 8.6 Meilen langer, stark besuchter Rundweg in der Nähe von Lincoln, New Hampshire. Visit the website!http://www.UnboringExploring.comEnter the Alpine Zone while bagging three peaks over 4,000 feet on this ridgeline hike! Once we felt rested, Stella and I headed toward the second summit, Mount Lincoln. You’ll be following blue blazes all the way to the top, so be sure to look out for these if you want the easiest pathways forward. The Franconia Ridge Loop traverses Mount Lafayette Mount Lincoln and Little Haystack (4,780’) on Franconia Ridge, along the second highest range of peaks in the White Mountains. There are simply too many people hiking this trail some days. Skiing vs Snowboarding: Which One Should You Choose? Camping Franconia Ridge Greenleaf Hut. The obvious problem here being enforcement of the system. I began just before 8 AM and finished the hike at 2:30 PM, with enough time to drive to Manchester and meet a friend for an early dinner. The hike is 8.8 miles and usually takes 7-1/2 to 8 hours. On days with clear weather and minimal fog, you can see many of the peaks of the White Mountains for miles with some of the best views in the state of New Hampshire. Janice feels a connection to White Mountains history and is fascinated with the stories and legends of each of the mountains she hikes. The first and most visually obvious problem is the lack of proper ‘Leave No Trace’ etiquette along the lower parts of the trail perhaps by the inexperienced visitors to the trail. Both options are perfect for the day trip. Other than slippery rocks and steep inclines (which arguably could be a pro for some), the hike being too popular is the biggest drawback. 440-358-0058 . Janice is a wife, mother to 3 adult children and business owner. The Franconia Ridge Loop Trailhead is at the Lafayette Place Parking in Franconia Notch. Regular hikers of the mountains in this area have a lot to say about the issue. On a typical sunny Saturday during the summer it is not uncommon to find a mile long line of cars parked on both sides of the interstate highway. However, the fact remains that parking on an Interstate Highway is illegal. There’s also an option to take a short detour to Shining Rock, just 0.1 miles out of the way. As always, we only link to products that we recommend, and that we have tried and tested ourselves. For those up for the challenge, the Franconia Ridge loop is one of the best, most quintessential hikes in New Hampshire, and for good reason: there are few trails with views and landscapes as spellbinding as these. With so much going for this hike it’s hard to imagine that there would be any drawbacks. This is a multi-day backpacking loop in Franconia Notch State Park, New Hampshire (located in the the White Mountains). You can best avoid this by showing up early in the morning. Some visitors park along the interstate, but this is very da… There are parking areas on both sides of the interstate. When she's not writing furiously on her laptop or editing photos, you can find Kay running, hiking, paddling, or playing in the snow. The foliage, being very close to peak, provided us with a spectacular show! First stop, though, is Greenleaf Hut, a backpacker’s lodge located … After falling in love with Franconia Ridge in August (2016), we decided to drive up again in the middle of October, the same year, to see the fall colors! The ridge area of the trail is completely exposed as it’s above the tree line, and at this point I wished I’d brought a baseball cap or trucker hat to shade my face and eyes from the sun. 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