Skookumchuck Trail is a 8 mile moderately trafficked out and back trail located near Franconia, NH that features beautiful wild flowers and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and birding and is accessible from March until October.
A scenic and less crowded route to the summit of Mt. Lafayette. The trail starts from the parking lot that serves the north end of the Franconia Notch bike path. After following a brook it climbs steeply on stone steps then the grade eases as the trail climbs to meet the G.R.T. 1km from Lafayette.
Myself, my 15 year old son and 10 year old daughter did this trail. It is a long hike on a humid day so bring plenty of water. The stone steps are pretty steep and slippery. It took us around 3 hrs to complete and we moved at a fairly moderate speed. Not a lot other than a large stream with moss covered stones to see and lots of conifer trees. We saw one person coming down on our way up. We passed only him on our way down. Maybe not best choice for scenery, but great for a hike.
Took this trail as an alternative decent from Mt Lafayette. It took forever and wasn't well groomed. Ended up regretting the decision.
Outstanding trail. Clearly marked with blue blazes. Varied terrain with sections following a brook (several easy crossings), sections climbing steeply on stone steps, and sections with easy to moderate grade in fine stands of birch and coniferous trees. This trail has ample trailhead parking, is uncrowned even on weekends, and provides great access to the Garfield Ridge Trail on Franconia Ridge just 1km north and 700. Feet below the summit of Mt. Lafayette. Great views from the ridgeline! It took me 150 min from trailhead to summit of Lafayette. I usually complete trails at between 1/2 & 2/3 the time listed by the AMC guide ( which says 4+ hours for this hike) so your own correction factor for the AMC time is probably accurate for this trail too.