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Hiked this on 1/15/19. Cold day - 10F at bottom at start, with 15-25F mph wind forecast. Started up Falling Waters route based on advice. Due to previous cold weather the streams were low and not a factor. Waterfalls were frozen over in veils of ice, like bells - but neither of our phones worked due to cold temps, so no pictures. Hike to Little Haystack is challenging and steep, lots of switchbacks and was fully snow or ice covered. Off the packed part of trail in snowy areas you can post-hole up to mid-thigh. Ridge hike that day was tough - wind gusts to 50-60MPH or so and steady at 30-40, and hard to stay on trail! We pretty much flew through the ridge - very brutal and exposed in those conditions. We were layering up right below treeline on the way up and two hikers passed us. They came back 5 minutes lighter with wide eyes and started layering up!! Trail is very well marked along ridge - with rocks on either side or frequent cairns. After Lafayette on the way down we did have a little difficulty keeping track of the trail and got a little off the path for a while a couple times - be very careful. It was like being on the moon that day - above treeline was a whole different environment. Once we got below treeline on Bridle Path the hike down was quick and easy - clear and calm conditions. It took us 6 hours without much stopping - just snacks, water, etc. No time wasted on the Ridge Trail - so on a clear day with time for gawking I'd budget 7 hours. Micro spikes were essential and worn from lot to lot. Great hike, quite challenging - my dogs are barking today.

hiking
9 days ago

My friend & I Did this mid-november wearing spikes, but definitely were missing our snowshoes near the top! Awesome hike with great views of Maine & NH forest & hills, and of course Mount Washington.

As others have said, this is also one of my all time favorite loops summer or winter.

Please take note that sometimes the streams on Falling waters trail can be very treacherous and sometimes raging so much that you cannot, or should not cross.

In the winter if you're planning on doing a loop, I would suggest starting up Falling waters so you can choose to turn around if the streams are too much. Either that or hike for 8+ miles up Bridal, down falling waters only to have to bushwack to the highway to get over the last stream and back to your car.

I hiked this about a month ago and stream crossings were not possible due to heavy snow/rain/melt so we went up and down bridal path which is not ideal but still fun.

This is one of my all-time favorite loops in New England, White Mountains. I approached from the Falling Waters/ Haystack side, walked the ridgeline over Lincoln, and Lafayette. Don't get half way to Garfield before realizing that the Greenleaf Hut Trail goes down the front face of Lafayette.

There are a couple of risky river crossings with minimal markings on the approach. Nice steady climb up with some steep stuff in the last 3/4 mile to Haystack. Once on the ridgeline, there no little to no cover as you are above the trees for the entire time your hiking over Lafayette and even .6 miles down the face. Winds can pick-up out of nowhere so be prepared for anything.

At the Greenleaf Hut going down, starts the gradual incline picking up to some steep sections .7-1.0 mile down. Near vertical rockfaces are frozen with ice in the winter so microspikes/ crampons are necessary in areas, during the winter. The rest of the movement down is at a moderate grade.

This trail is super fun in the winter, just be prepared. Its not easy, and anything can happen.

lovely day hike. did on 1/5/18. definitely watch out for the upper section of old bridle, super icy in a few spots. broke out my crampons for that. fantastic views. I did the loop clockwise, which i would reccomend, although I think it would be great either direction!

hiking
16 days ago

A beautiful little trail that overlooks the craggy seawall. It’s pretty much the definition of Maine’s coastline.

My pal and I woke up at 4AM and watched the sunrise over the sea. However, in the summer months, be sure to prepare for mosquitoes as they love to hang around the seaweed.

Seeing a 7.5 mike trail and thinking “how could this be hard?” Is a mistake. The slopes and grades on the mountainside are unlike any hikes I’ve ever completed. You’re doing almost a vertical climb at some parts.

However, hard work pays off. You get some of the most beautiful scenes of the Coast and Bar Harbor to the North. Plus, you get an extreme workout that makes you feel like you completed something insane!

A very simple straightforward trail. However, there’s a ton of ice on this route. Even with microspikes, snow was building up beneath my boots and causing me to slip. Anticipate an extra hour or two in the winter due to icy conditions. I also saw a snowy owl at the top of Cadillac.

Started late with my friend at 9:30AM and wasted a lot of time taking pictures. Wouldn't mind doing that again, mad views. The ice was pretty thick and the microspikes were not really holding on at some places. Would definitely advise crampons. Went up falling waters and down old bridle, but old bridle IS REALLY ICY at some places. So climb up that rather climb down.

Anyways had a beautiful sunset at Lafayette, and descended in the dark. Was fun.

Epic hike! Hiked on 12.27 solo and took 3:57 for the entire loop. Other reviews recommended to go at it counter clockwise so I went up Falling Water and then down Bridle. Microspikes were definitely essential. The cold killed my phone while I was taking pictures before Lafayette so I must come back! I regret not bringing goggles because it was so bright with sun/snow and the wind.

Falling Waters - good workout, be careful at the first water crossing. Looks a little sketchy and the ice isn’t too thick in some places. Take your time to cross.

Little Haystack to Lincoln - gorgeous views, super windy when you make it out of the tree line.

Lafayette to Hut - follow the cairns! With all the wind and snow there’s no telling where the trail is and not much footprints to follow. Look for the cairns to guide you.

Greenleaf - all down hill from there!

My favorite hike in western ma. Awesome view

Great hike! Our only problem was, as we just started on mile 10 a nasty storm rolled in and the group decided to head back down. An hour later it was clear again! I guess that’s mount Washington weather! We had a great day of it though and I recommend the hike to anyone.

Beautiful views and great trail. We were lucky and had excellent weather on 12/31/18. If not so lucky, this hike could be dangerous for inexperienced hikers (like us). There was a good amount of ice on our hike up the South Ridge Trail, and we saw someone who had traction cleats and we wished we had thought of that. On the descent from Cadillac Mountain towards Murray Young Path, it was too steep/icy for our dog (and probably for us!), so we turned back after a quarter of a mile. I would highly recommend this any time of year, if conditions permit!

We've been here a couple of times. It's always gorgeous!!

amzing and tough hike did on 12/30/18 counterclockwise. Waterfalls going up Falling Waters Trail were AMAZING as were the views on the ridge. Busted ass to make up for a late start. 5 hrs 15 min. Going up FWT almost made me question my sanity. Microspikes the whole way, snowshoes went for a ride. Going down from Lafayette was a little tricky to navigate...pay attention to the cairns. Look out for a sharp left, steep section of packed/crusted snow was very slippery...had to dig in really hard with microspikes...crampons would have been ideal especially w/ tired legs going down but managed ok.

Ditto to all those before me :)

Nice trail!

Hiked up dec 29 2018. Trail was good and packed , didn’t need snow shoes . make sure you have some spikes . Some places had lots of ice.

Great hike. !!!! . First time hiking in Vermont from. Canada .

trail running
24 days ago

This was an amazing experience! I will do it again. It took me 9 hours and 30 min to complete North to South, which includes 1.5 hours of rest at the summit of mount Washington.

Went up on 12/27/18. Highly recommend going up falling waters trail and down old bridal path. Spikes are a must if you intend to tackle this in the winter. Weather was clear and the snow was well packed. Slid down many of the steepest parts coming down the mountain. Water crossings were tricky but doable.

Climbed the weekend of 12/16. Trail was hard packed and easy to follow. Conditions were great albeit frigid and windy. I saw a man going up OBT In ripped jeans and no traction, don’t be that guy. Make sure to bring microspikes or snowshoes and dress appropriately. Amazing views, this is a must do if you’re local.

Did this in early March with plenty of snow and ice on the northern slopes. Stunning views of the basalt outcroppings and Easthampton beyond. Lots of history for those interested. The ghost of a ski mountain, a plane crash, and a botched horse cremation are just the beginning! Easy hike for the whole family, a waterbottle each. Steep at each end but mostly flat up along the ridge.

walking
1 month ago

Incredibly beautiful. I got engaged this October on this trail!!! You’re hiking alongside the ocean the entire time and if you take a little detour off of the path you can hop along the rocky coast for an even better adventure.

Did this during the winter storm on Nov 27th. The snow got deeper as we kept getting higher in elevation. You definitely need to make sure you have the proper gear if snow is on the ground. 2nd time I've done this trail and always amazing!

Super snowy and beautiful. Lesson learned: if you are debating about wether or not to carry snowshoes the answer is probably carry them. Left mine in the car, and my legs are feeling all step kicking and postholing through 3-4 foot+ drifts. Well worth it for the views at the top.

hiking
1 month ago

Challenging on the way up and much steeper than anticipated. Took Helon Taylor up to Pamola Peak and then down/up the Chimney, which was much more intimidating for me than the knife. Crowds bottle necked at Pamola and took a while to cross the Chimney, but was expected. The knife was awesome and worth the climb up 100 fold. The trip down was pretty brutal on the feet and poles may have helped a bit. Overall, one of my favorites and definitely one of the most challenging in New England. 12 hours is about what it took me and I'm in average shape. One of the best hikes E of the Mississippi without question.

hiking
1 month ago

My brother and I did this hike back in August this year. The weather was great, not hot or cold, but it had rained the day before so it was a little muddy, and was very windy with strong gusts once we cleared the trees on Helon Taylor going up to Pamola Peak. Like others have mentioned, getting onto Knife Edge from Pamola was daunting to say the least. We both wore bouldering gloves which really helped when crossing Knife Edge. Be aware there is a scree when coming down from Baxter Peak to Saddle and can be slippery. We took Saddle down to Chimney Pond, which we hadn’t been aware is also another rock scramble in a dry wash - so be prepared. Eventually the dry wash turns into more of a trail. From there it’s an additional 3.5 miles to the trailhead. We made it back a few hours after dark, but had headlamps and trekking poles. What’s nice: there are painted blue trail guides so generally speaking the trail is easy to stick to.

Definitely was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting but the feeling of accomplishment can’t be beat! We had plenty of snacks and water and finished them all so make sure you bring plenty along. Our mistake was not stashing any food in the car to eat once back - there’s a “24/7” McDonald’s in Millinocket that we were hungry enough to eat, but was closed when we drove past and nothing else is open in that area after dark seems like, not even convenience stores.

Anyway - gotta say that this was a pretty great hike but not sure I’d do it again, but that’s not to deter anyone who wants to give it a shot! For me, it was a bucket list item and it feels good knowing I did it.

hiking
1 month ago

Great views and super easy trail! We did this one last due to low morale from beehive and south ridge trail. But it was definitely worth the hike. Perfect for beginners!

We hiked the south ridge trail at 5am to catch the sunrise. The entrance is hidden on the opposite side of the campgrounds. We started hiking up the snowy pine trail and finally reached the top. Absolutely breathtaking views! The rocks on the way up were icy but fairly an easy climb if you’re in decent shape. Wish the cold didn’t zap my battery because we made it to 2,000ft! Beautiful hike! =)

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