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Ok so myself, friend and my dog. Only made it to the first marker today. Which by the way are to small to see, very hard to find. Once starting upwards, we turned around because of the ice. We decided to try again in the summer. We will be bad.

Absolutely breathtaking! One of the prettiest hikes I’ve taken on a cold, but sunny, clear day, completed November 12th 2018. Definitely go up the falling waters trail in winter and come down the old bridle path. It’s incredibly icy and much safer to climb up than go down the falling waters path, and still the several river crossings are a bit of a challenge. Microspikes are a must! But so worth the views! It was pretty cold up on the ridge, and quite windy, so be sure to dress correctly.

my favorite of all the trails to the fire tower. Best views especially after the leaves fall. Well marked and reasonably dry 2 days after heavy rains

walking
10 days ago

Nice, very quick easy to moderate climb. Nice views of the lakes. Would be a great climb with small children.

What a fantastic day of hiking! I've done this hike 20+ times in my life and it's easily my favorite hike in NH. It's is a long loop, and it hard on the body if you're not ready for it and even if you are.

A bit of advice, if you're planning on doing the loop in winter months, I would suggest you start up falling waters and go down Old Bridal path. Sometimes dry creek is impassible and you have to cross it multiple times on falling waters trail. If you hiked up Old Bridal Path and down Falling waters there's the potential that you would need to turn around and go all the way back over the ridge, or bushwack to the highway and follow it back to the parking lot.

The parking lot was about 30 degrees, summits in the clouds. We knew there was snow and ice so came prepared with microspikes, poles, goggles and many layers. The clouds cleared mid-day and the views to Mt. Washington were beautiful.

There were FAR too many people on this hike that really should not have been there. Many people in sneakers, no gloves, and cotton sweatshirts.

Please don't be one of those people. This is a serious hike, particularly in the winter months from October to Feb/March. With the windchill on the ridge, the temp was about 7 degrees F. People die on this hike when they underestimate the weather.

Here is an example :
http://publications.americanalpineclub.org/articles/13200507400/Failure-to-Turn-Back-Failure-to-Follow-Route-Inadequate-Clothing-and-Equipment-Weather-New-Hampshire-Mount-Lafayette

Stay safe, go prepared or don't go. Hope everyone made it down safely yesterday. There were still a lot of cars in the parking lot when we left after hiking out with headlamps for the last mile or so.

this place offers a difficult hike. the hardest part of the hike is the whooping 8.5 miles. it just takes all day. if you plan on hiking this loop, be sure to come prepared. bring lunch and something to nibble on and water is essential. Need the waterproof hiking boots. be sure to dress breathably warm. a hiking stick will be very useful. bring gloves. and last but not least, a portable charger! start hiking as early as possible because by the time you finish the loop, the sun sets and darkness invades. oh yes, darkness, bring a flashlight just to be on the safe side. you may or may not need it but you'll be grateful to have it in case you need it.

my friends and I started to hike pretty 130pm late. we ended up descending in the dark with flashlights from our phones. got lost a few times. slip and slide more often in the dark. our feet were all soaked from descending the falling water trail. altogether, a great hike. would absolutely do it again. early and more prepared next time!

please wear all wheel drives shoe haha.

Wonderful hike, the view was breathtaking. Markers are a bit hard to find and navigate for anyone who hasn’t hiked before but well worth the trip.

Went up clockwise and going down was much more difficult and if wet would have made more difficult. Regardless of how you do this, the hike up top along the ridge is awesome. Great hike. Can't imagine one better in the Whites. Came from Cleveland and can't wait to go back.

Did this trail on October 3rd in 7 hours 45 minutes. I spent 30 Minutes on top of Mt Lafayette, because the view was amazing... A hard hike but it was worth it.

hiking
24 days ago

Completed this hike on 10/19/18 as the weather looked much clearer on this day. Some parts were super icy so was cautious rather than fast, took 8 hours total (including a nice lunch break and chatting with others along the way). I like how it's a loop and is broken up into unique sections because it breaks up the hike nicely (3 mi on Falling Waters up, 2 along the ridge, 3.5 Old Bridle down). It was hard and my muscles are sore but it is a great experience!

Hiked this beast of a mountain October 16 2018. Quite strenuous hike 3 quarters of the way. The view makes it all worth it. With several waterfalls on the way we started at falling Waters and down to the bridle path. Hiked at 11:30am took us about 7 1/2 hours to complete with few breaks. Last hour was in the dark which I'd recommend avoid doing that, we heard a cougar near by (very deliberate chirping noise) which I later read online is to find their young .. Fed wild red squirrels some nuts by hand. It was a little icy towards the top and very windy at the summet. I probably wouldn't do this hike again personally because it was a lot of work and I was also a little under dressed. I brought 3 bottles of water only drank two. great hike for experience hikers. Also the hut on the way down was a life saver offering warmth, tea and hot cocoa and corn bread. Only asking for a few dollars we left a $20 and they also gave us a head light for the way down which barley worked but of course very appreciated.

An awesome hike. The trail in the wooded section between Tumbledown and Little Jackson could use some work. A very good day if the weather cooperates.

By far my favorite hike in New England. My best friend and I have done this hike every way possible in every different season and somehow it amazes me every time. A definate must on your trail bucket list!!

I hiked this trail on 10/16/18. There was a wind advisory in effect when I left the parking lot around 6:30. I hiked up Falling Waters, which is delightful. Very aptly named- there are multiple waterfalls. The wind was roaring in the treetops above me long before I ever reached the exposed area on Little Haystack. I had packed multiple wool layers and a Gore-Tex jacket, but I didn’t have appropriate cold weather gloves and I thought my fingers were going to freeze. I was not prepared for the temps on the exposed ridge. It was utterly, bitterly COLD on the ridge. The blasts of wind were so strong that I didn’t even dare take my phone out to take pictures at times. However, the sky was clear and the views were completely gorgeous, especially the frosty pines. Crampons would’ve been helpful, but I managed fine on the icy rocks with only hiking boots. I was very thankful for my trekking poles. The hike down Bridle Path was lovely. I’m a slow uphill hiker, and stop incessantly for photos. So the loop took me just under 10 hrs to complete. I met a number of other hikers- all great people. I would definitely recommend this hike!

This was a fun hike, and great for dogs! We hiked this in about three hours today. Lots of leaves... and a smidge slippery... the trail is recently updated with nice clear markers! One of my favorites !

10/15/18 Great hike up Falling Waters. Trail is marked very well and easy to navigate. Plenty of waterfalls and water crossings. Very strenuous climb, so we packed lite. Unfortunately weather was not cooperating. Rain came in after the first mile. Up on the ridge winds picked up to 55 forecasted to hit 75 in another 2 hours. Visibility was poor. Me and 3 buddies decided to turn back once we got up to Little Haystack. We did meet up with a 76 year old solo hiker named Ward. He said he was going for it! And he passed us and disappeared into the fog. Amazing experience and we will regroup for another try. Going down falling waters was challenging with all the rain and mud on the rock scrambles.

Pretty steep initally for about 10 to 15 minutes then it becomes a nice moderate incline. Quick hike. took me about half an hour to get to the top. Beauitful views. Lots of cool mushrooms around. Worth it.

Great views, easy to follow trail. Very strenuous climb up. Only one restroom at the Green Leaf Hut 5 hours after beginning the loop (so come prepared).

So why did I not discovery this hike for 30 years?? My new favorite hike in Maine. Best views for the longest time of any hike in the State. Once you get above the tree line, it's hours of hiking with spectacular scenery as far as the eye can see. Not just uninterrupted views, but a variety: rolling hills, lakes, peaks, and cool rock formations - not to mention the challenging trails. Seemed that there as a new fascinating thing to see or navigate at every turn, making this long, exhausting hike entertaining enough to keep you plodding along. I would categorize the loop as a whole as "hard," with moderate and easy sections. If you complete the entire thing, you will remark at how tired and sore you are but not be able to put your finger on why. No ass-kicking, memorable steeps for long distances or anything that will traumatize you, but the up and down never ends once you get to the tree line and take the ridges.

The downhill side of Little Jackson as you head towards Tumbledown gets steep fast and begins the tough portion of the hike. Lots of fun climbing up and down rocks. That loop around the back of the Pond is wild terrain. Nice to be on a trial that someone is not striving to cultivate into ADA complaint. You will lose the trail more than once, I promise you, so check your AllTrails position frequently any time you dip down into the tree line again, which happens several times. Take a back-up battery for your phone because you will drain the battery even in airplane mode trying to relocate the trail and taking lots of photos. Losing the trail is particularly easy in the Fall when the leaves are down and cover the worn path to make it blend into the wilds. Lots of dipping down into the tree line and then back up to exposed rock sections of the trail. Not actually winding, but tiring for sure.

The Pond even this time of year is disappointingly crowded, but if you take the loop depicted here from Morgan Road up to Little Jackson Mountain, you will see few people until you clear Tumbledown and are nearer the lake. Parker Ridge Trail seems to be the "highway" most visiting the Pond take up and back down. Can't wait to do this one again and camp overnight. DON'T MISS IT!

My brother and I did this hike and we really enjoyed it! It was windy on the ridge and many people went back down Falling Waters Trail. We had determination and we went for it. We were in nothing but fog on the ridge and it was windy but what an adventure! It is a long hike but my brother and I hike about every weekend therefore it wasn't very challenging. The hardest part was the winds on the ridge therefore, if you don't like winds and exposure I would suggest to bring trekking poles if you go back down Falling Water Trails. Even though we had no views, this hike was definitely an amazing experience and we'll be back for a clear day to see the views next time!

Falling Waters killed me. I hike often but hours of climbing up rocks just killed me. We got within 30 minutes of the summit and turned back because there was so much ice on the rocks. Next time I’m going up AND down the bridal path. Going down Falling Waters was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life, two days later I still have vertigo. I did enjoy talking to the other hikers, everyone was so friendly and had great attitudes and nice things to say.

Completed this hike 10/14/18 — began around 8am, finished at 5:30pm with some stops for snacks and to enjoy the views at the summits.

Crampons/microspikes were a life saver on the icy/slushy rocks. I wish I had poles with me.

This was my first long day hike, and first hike to go beyond 2000ft of altitude gain. Challenging, but not impossible; a few tricky spots, mostly because of steep inclines, ice or melting snow.

The views at the summits were unreal. We got autumn and winter all in one.

Loved the camaraderie on the trails and positive attitudes of all hikers. Truly a wonderful experience and highly recommended. Can’t wait to come back.

hiking
1 month ago

Take Bald Face Cirlce Trail clockwise to South Baldface, followed by North Baldface (note: do not take the trail counter-clockwise). The majority of the ascent is a consistent 1000 ft./mile up until the last bit prior to the “false summit” of South Baldface. This particular stretch of “trail” is on “The Terrifying 25” list and would be better categorized as rock-climbing than as hiking. Every three steps up places the entire climb before it out of view, but also brings more and more of the surrounding area into view. This stretch of trail is a bit sketchy, but it is manageable with some caution and good tread. It would be ill-advised to traverse these ledges while wet, or with poor tread. These ledges are not well marked and require you to zig-zag quite a bit to complete. After completing the scramble up the ledges you will arrive at the first major scenic point which is the false summit of South Baldface. Looking away from the ledges, you will see a vast landscape of mountains and lakes. We took this trip shortly after the peak of foliage in mid october and the sight was fantastic. Visibility was as far as the horizon and the colors were gorgeous, views are 180 degrees or more. Looking forward along the trail, (in the opposite direction) you will see most of the trail up to South Baldface, and to the right of that would be South Baldface. The climb up to South Baldface from here is quite steep and features some bare rock scrambles, but none quite like the ledges. As we reached South Baldface, Mount Washington came into view. It was immediately obvious that this particular mountain was Washington as the snow covered caps had a striking contrast to the surrounding shades of green, orange, yellow, and purple. The views on this summit are 360 degrees at the trail sign itself, and 270 degrees or more at any point around the perimeter. The trail between South Baldface and North Baldface is somewhat up and down and relatively mellow compared to the rest. You’ll poke in and out of the forest onto various outcroppings, from which Mount Washington will be visible at numerous angles along the way. The North summit is just as prime as the South, with Mount Washington still visible and has similar views. The first half of the descent is very similar to the trail between peaks, popping in and out of tree lines and along outcroppings. The middle of the descent down is a bit rough and slow at times, while the last 2 miles are quite mellow, gentle, and go by fast. The route we took is identical to the one featured in the alltrails link above, with one exception; at the junction of Baldface Circle Trail, and Bicknell Ridge Trail, we took Bicknell Ridge Trail to hit a few “points of interest” that were marked on a more detailed, physical copy of the trails that were not present on the outer loop suggested by the website. While there were a few of these (a couple of cascades, a few streams, etc.), we were well spoiled and too impatient to spend any time at them. Personally, I would call this hike the highlight of the season and would be more than willing to go again.

Did this trail on October 14, and started it at 8am, finished about 6:30pm, and that’s with quite a few stops along the way, and about a 30 min lunch break at the summit. We took the Falling river trail up, and bridal path down. The hike is challenging(mostly because it’s a long hike) but if you are in decent shape, you should handle it ok. Id recommend waterproof hiking boots and gloves, especially if doing this trail in the autumn months, because it may be snowy/icy (near the summit especially) and muddy (like it was for us).
Breathtaking views at the top for sure, well worth it.

October 14. Started at 8am. Got to the first summit at 12pm. Started to go down at 2:30 pm. Finished at 6:30 pm. 10,5 hours non stop hike.

It was very challenging but worth it! An 8.5-mile loop trail in Franconia, New Hampshire took a total of 7 hours. As I was hiking to the top, I saw ice and snow. Yup, snow in the middle of October! I got autumn and winter all in one. This hike reminded me of the moment when I was hiking to Annapurna Circuit Trek in the Himalayas, Nepal back in 2010.

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