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Awesome hike with fun and somewhat challenging terrain, amazing views and beautiful water features. Doable as a day hike but have to be a moderately experienced hiker. Greenleaf Hut seems like a great option for those who want to extend the hike to a two day trip (it’s a lot like the refuges in the alps, complete with food and bunks and friendly folks to chat with). We did it as a day hike in ~7hrs in reverse of this guide (up Old Bridal Trail over the pass and down Falling Waters). Going down Falling Waters was great because it allowed us to take plenty of breaks on the final stretch down and take in all the water views. Bring a good camera to capture the waterfalls and the views.

Highly recommend this loop, so far my absolute favorite day hike in the Whites. Go for it!!

Wow! The views here were perfect. If you bring a hat, watch for the wind at the summit.

WOW. what a trail. the best ever. However, it should have been rated as hard ( due to the VERY slippery granit rocks and the high climbing). We were family with 12, 15 years kids. It took us 3.20 hours with occasional breaks. The view is amazing! and the climbing is really worthy.Very recoomended to families with older kids (which are not very young and are experienced in hiking). In our opinion its not recommended for dogs. Very enjoyable trail.!!
VERY IMPORTANT:Pay attention to do the loop- counter clockwise

Fantastic. I summited on a Wednesday in August, began at 10 am and was back to my car by 1:00 pm, though I stopped for a fairly long time along the way. My favorite part is that once you get to the top of Welch, Dickey mountain is only like .4 miles away, and you can clearly see the mountain you're about the climb, which is really cool. Spectacular views all along, but first mile is through underbrush, and not very steep. Trail was marked fairly well, I didn't have too much of a problem finding the yellow lines on the rocks that direct you.

As a warning, I wouldn't call this a moderate trail, more "hard". I'm 21 years old and fairly in shape. Although the trail isn't too long, there are some extremely steep sections that some children and older people simply won't be able to do.

One of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever done. A quintessential northeast hike, should be on everyone’s list. Well worth it.

My daughter and I completed the Welch-Dickey Loop trail this past weekend, and I have to say that the views are well worth the effort it takes to complete the loop. We followed the trail in a counter-clockwise loop, as others have suggested. The first peak is Welch Mt., which gives great 360 views from the peak, but also great views at many intervals after you clear the trees at about 1.2 miles in. The second peak, Dickey Mt., offers great views looking North, but also great views looking back at Welch Mt. The descent from Welch Mt. to the valley between the the two mountains is a little steep at points, but nothing outrageous. Although rated moderate, I was a little more winded than I have been on other trails marked moderate, especially on the smooth bare-faced rock that seemed to keep ascending forever. It took us 3 hrs., with occasional breaks.

My husband and I did this as our first hike in New England. Extremely challenging, but very fun. Very crowded day so couldn't see too much, but the ridge walk was a lot of fun and a nice reprieve from falling waters. Definitely start up falling waters. Will do again on a clear day!!

My husband and I hiked this trail a few days ago and loved it. We hiked counter clockwise as suggested. The views are plentiful and amazing. I would say this is rated moderate for a White Mountain hike but it is more challenging compared to some other hikes I have done that were rated moderate. It is well worth the effort!

Tough uphill, a little muddy at the top. Nice views.

GOOD GRIEF is this trail beautiful. Is it hard? Yes. Did I get about two hours in and start to huff and puff and wish I’d stayed home? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But when you clear the tree line and see the ridge that awaits you, it actually does take your breath away. I did this hike without trekking poles (I personally don’t like them) but most people I saw had them, so something to keep in mind. There is also the AMC Greenleaf cabin on your way down— great place to pee and grab something to drink. Bring tons of water and snacks, that’s a given. It took me about 6 1/2 hours with lots of little breaks, but no big ones. Descent is very rocky and slippery in places— hard on the knees. Don’t be afraid to slide on your butt. All in all, this was absolutely gorgeous, exhausting, rewarding, and I’ll be back for more.

Great hike overall. My girlfriend and I messed up and accidentally ended up on the Garfield trail and had to turn around and go all the way back up the mountain. This turned our hike into a 16.4 mile hike that lasted over 10.5 hours. Luckily we were able to get water at the Greenleaf hut on the old bridle path. The wind at the top was intense and the sky would clear up and then cloud over repeatedly. When the clouds cleared, the views were stunning. Just be careful that if you plan on going down the old bridle trail that you don’t make the same mistake we did (the ranger said it’s quite common and was very miserable and painful)

Try and go on a day you'll be likely to have views from the ridge. I went out to do the whole Franconia Ridge loop, but there was zero visibility up top, so I decided to go back down the way I came. It was tough both ways. I'd recommend hiking poles. Use caution going down, it's easy to slip on the wet rocks.

walking
4 days ago

Very easy with stunning falls and impeccably maintained paths and bridges. Short but worthwhile.

Amazing trip with my brother and son (19). Hiked up falling waters to Haystack and camped at Liberty. Day 2 we walked the ridge to Lafayette (Mt Lincoln is just as beautiful) and down Bridal. 13 miles total. It was great to break up the trip in 2 days to enjoy the experience and hike roughly 5 hours per day.
Tip - Liberty Springs campground is 2 miles from Haystack and mostly downhill, which means 2 miles uphill the next day. Check the elevation. There are only 10 campsites, first come first serve and if you get a large platform you might have to share your spot. Cost is $10 per person.
One Love.

camping
5 days ago

Nice hike. There is a first come first serve tent site area to prevent over use of the first part of the trail. I brought my son out for his first overnight hike but not to tough. We went well beyond the protected forest area. Be careful out there though. Heavy bear activity in this area. We had at least 3 visits overnight.

this was one fun/tough hike. the scramble is hard and long but 360 views most of the way up. definitely go counterclockwise and this is about a 4.5mi hike.

Gorgeous view and well marked trail. We made it in two hours and fifty minutes with couple short breaks. Saw some trees with yellowish hue in the valley. This gives the hint that revisiting the trail in fall will be better.

Perfectly challenging and rewarding hike! I’m in pretty good shape and was able to complete it in 6 hours, with short breaks at each summit. I would not suggest this hike for inexperienced hikers, parts of it are technical. Make sure your hiking boots are waterproof. You have to cross the river and there is water on parts of the path. Overall, it was a great day hike and I would absolutely do it again. Take Falling Water trail up.

Great trail for beginners. We are experienced hikers but were taking friends for their first hike. This trail has beautiful views of waterfalls for the entire trip up. We ended up doing a loop rather than the up and back. It was a bit muddy and the cascade bridge has washed out but you can still cross with minimal problem. We also had a small dog and he had fun. The early parts of the trail especially the swimming and wading areas of the lower falls were extremely crowded but about a mile into the trail there were very few. This would be a good beginner trail for people who want to start running trails or training with heavy packs too. Definitely recommend for newbies.

great short hike with the pup, lots of beautiful views

My favorite hike in New England so far. Finished in about 6 hours. Beautiful 360 degree views along the Alpine zone make this difficult hike 100% worth it. Make sure to bring lots of water, snacks, and a jacket. It can get windy along the ridge.

Couldn’t say enough about how enjoyable this hike was. The views were so rewarding, especially for only being a moderate hike, and you get them ascending and descending as much of the climb is on bald granite with open spaces. 4.4 miles, took us about 2 hours.

hiking
6 days ago

Fun family trip with just the right mix of fun and challenge. Some steep and rocky parts but nothing too tough. I saw people of all ages - from young families with parents carrying babies in packs, to teens and seniors. Nice brook running up the side of the trail at some parts. Nice view st the summit. Can be a bit busy - not the trail you want if you prefer solitude. Well marked. Done with a 10 and 12 yr old, and 4 month old puppy. Nice canopy of trees to shine away the elements.

hiking
6 days ago

We did this with our two children age 3.5 and 5.5 y and it was a big success. The young one was in my back for the first half and then he wanted to climb on his own. It was a lot of fun. I recommend this trail for any family with minimum experience. Hiking boots are a plus since some sections are somewhat rocky.

I've done a lot of hikes, which are more than 5000m but I must say that Franconia ridge Trail is one of the most difficult hikes i've done, lots of steep climbing and rocky footpath. It was a amazing hike though! We started late at 2:40 in the afternoon and took us a total of 7 hours. Plenty of food, water and trekking poles are a must.

Came all be way from Pittsburgh PA to do this hike.. we were NOT disappointed by any means. We went up falling waters and down old bridle path, as the reviews told us to do so, and this was for sure the way to go. We started the hike at around 10:30am and ended about 6pm. Bring plenty of food and water! If you run out of water, however, there’s a hut coming down old bridle path that offers free COLD water!!! Also, I don’t know how people hike this trail without trekking poles. We found that poles were a must to get through this rocky trail. The views at the top make it seem like you are in a different country!

Amazing hike with never ending staircases and boulders. Not great visibility on the notch, but lots of fun traveling through the alpine zone. Sun finally came out during our descent down old bridle, and we got to see the ridge line we had just traversed. Bring lots of water, hiking sticks and rain/wind gear. Hopefully your in shape.

was a nice hike up today. under the canopy of the trees, air temp/humidity not bad for our group of 5 to make it in about an hour. the kids did fine, though one thought it was more steep than she expected. a great day

Beyond gorgeous views once above the tree line. If you’re planning on doing the entire 8.5 mike loop, and you’re not in shape, be prepared for a long day. Plenty of great opportunities to take beautiful photos of the waterfalls and mountains. Make sure the weather is going to be nice because it’s a lot of climbing to not get the views that make it all worth it.

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