Explore the most popular views trails in Franconia Notch State Park with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

Good moderate hike. Nothing fancy, just a good, steady climb. Great views from the top. Was a little slick in spots, with some ice. The top had lots of ice, so wear appropriate footwear in late fall and on.

This is a great hike with interesting terrain and views. That being said, there are some things to point out! This hike is pretty consistently steep. It's a shorter trail so of course you need to gain that elevation quickly. I took Hi-Cannon up and Lonesome Lake down. There was snow on the majority of the trail and ice for the majority of the upper half of the mountain. I brought spikes and they would've helped but I managed to do it without them just fine - my hiking poles assisted me enough. The trails are technically marked but the markers must be very old and worn away because I only saw a handful the entire time, but the trail is easy enough to follow where you shouldn't get lost. There are also signs at every intersection.
Kinsman Ridge trail is extremely steep going down towards Lonesome Lake trail. You have to use your hands in a lot of places and if you have a dog with you it may be difficult, although I did see a Golden Retriever on the trail but the owners said he had some trouble.
The ladder section is fun as you are on the side of the mountain and have spectacular views for this segment with a couple pull-offs for breaks/photos.
At the top there is a look-out tower and a lodge (this is a ski mountain) that has a snack bar, bar, bathrooms. On my trip this was not yet open for business for the season but the doors were open so we could at least warm up and take a break. There is also a tram that you can get a one way ticket for at the top if you do not want to hike down, although this too is only open in season (not when I was there.)
There are plenty of spots to enjoy the lake especially if you decide to take the trail around it instead of just by it, probably adding a little less than a mile.

Absolutely beautiful. Spikes would definitely be recommended (I forgot mine) but not impossible without them.

Went with a group of 11 people. It wasn't an easy hike for some of us, but we all made it to the top regardless. Very steep in the beginning, but flat at the lake. Beautiful trails, especially with the foliage. The cabin at the top really made for an awesome experience. Bring cash so you can enjoy a hot coco or tea! Not to mention the fresh baked cookies!! Using a pole or stick is highly recommended, especially on the way down. It rained, hailed, and snowed on us, but it was still a great time.

hiking
14 days ago

Just finished before lunch beautiful lake , trail was slippery definitely use your poles makes it easier especially on the way down

A review that I should have posted 3 yrs ago. A 1st hike in the Whites for myself and son in law. We weren't in the best of shape, and without poles. At the top although soaked with sweat( Climbed in summer) we were rewarded with amazing views.

Climbed this last Fri. The climb up was moderate to hard for about a mile. I'm not in the best shape at 63, but felt o.k. at the top. Full sunshine but probably a bit below freezing when we arrived at the partially frozen lake. The views were stunning, as there was 4-5 inches of snow on the ground. Mt Lafayette covered in snow. All I could say was praise God for His creation. The hut was really nice. Coming down was tricky, some snow and ice on trail. Poles a must.

hiking
17 days ago

nice little hike. a little icy today. snow and rainy mix.

hiking
18 days ago

Great hike, we completed this hike on October 26th, clear sky’s and no wind at the summit. There was about three inches of snow and very little ice.

trail running
19 days ago

Very nice trail, we hit the snow very soon at the beginning. We saw a fresh big bear tracks at 300 meter before to get the shelter.

hiking
20 days ago

Great day, slow hike but totally enjoyed it. Only 2nd hike in 30 years!

Absolutely breathtaking views with hoarfrost in the alpine zone. We went last weekend and temperatures were below freezing with windchill in the negative. Needless to say we did not linger at the top, and decided to forgo the loop for a less buffeting frigid experience.

Can imagine this being a hotspot in the summer due to waterfalls lining the trail. We prefer lonelier hikes and due to the ice and conditions we only saw a handful of hikers.

Easy hike minus the ice- but brutal if you’re not used to it. Most of the trail is quite literally stairs- best quad and butt workout we had in awhile- therefore awesome!!

Will come back but probably in spring or fall :)

hiking
21 days ago

Well maintained and a fun moderate trail to do!

hiking
22 days ago

Not being too experienced as a hiker I took this hike on 10-22-2018. It's my fourth hike in the white mountains. The climb is steady up and wore me out. Took several breaks on the way up and down. It snowed lightly for the whole hike. The summit was windy and cold and almost a total white out and still an excellent experience. Id think that this climb was moderate/hard and a leg burner. Will do again in spring to get some views. I recommend this hike

Solid moderate hike. Enough to get a little sweat and the heart rate going. Definitely worth it for the view. First time seeing needle ice (identified after googling)

Beautiful hike. Moderate hike, not too difficult. View at top was worth it.

A moderate to hard trek for the avid hiker. The waterfalls along the way distract you from the incline. The view above the alpine line is phenomenal, but it was VERY cold & windy. There was a good bit of ice on the trail towards the top as well. I look forward to repeating this hike in warmer weather.

Great views at the peak, you will certainly work to get there. Come prepared as the peak can be a good 30-40 degrees colder due to wind. Sometimes there is ice and snow near the top of the trail so proceed with caution.There are several waterfalls on the way up.

We really enjoyed this trail, although it was more technically challenging than we were expecting (especially because it was icy in parts) - we definitely were scrambling on all fours for parts of the icy/rocky areas! Amazing views at the top so worth the effort in our opinion but our next hike on this trail will be springtime!

hiking
26 days ago

Great place to enjoy fall foliage colors. It is very crowded during peak fall foliage and the ticket line could take 1 hr, but it is worth the wait. Pathways are well maintained.

My boyfriend now finance asked me to marry him at the top of Indian Head. It was nothing short of surprise and filled with a beautiful view! Amazing hike, easy for frequent hikers, definitely moderate for the random hikers such as ourselves. Totally worth the trip especially when the Flume gorge is filled with people!

Deceptively easy at first, the ascent was steep and slippery. Probably one of the toughest climbs in the area. Views at the top are great. My recommendation would be to go up Mt Flume and down from Mt Liberty.

The high elevation is moderate to climb for sure but the lake at the center of the mountain is breathtaking and the loop around the lake is a nice break with level ground walking across wooden boards. At a fork parkway around the loop we took a right instead of a left around the lake, do not do that! It turns into a hard hike with high elevations. We turned around when the air got thin. Just keep left following the signs to the hut. Our little dog was with us and he loved every minute of this hike just as much as my boyfriend and I did.

Would not do this again. Hardly any views. Glad to check these off the list. What’s up with the mileage? It’s 10.5 miles not 8.8. Another trail that is off on mileage...

Some heavy breathing going up rocks but moderately easy and well maintained, we even ended up coming down an off path water runoff and landed back on one of the cannon trails

Easy hike and great view

hiking
1 month ago

The reviews about this trail are pretty fair. Sharing my different experience: The weather forecast for our hike showed rain. It started raining as soon as we got to the lake, so we spent lunchtime in the hut. The lake was completely covered in clouds about half an hour later. We were happy to have seen the lake before the clouds rolled in, because we couldn’t see anything by the time we left!

This is definitely more of a moderate trail and not an easy beginner hike. It is about 1.8 miles each way but the view at the top is very worth it. It is a pretty steady incline up hill for extended periods. Worth it to wear hiking boots and a hiking pole.

hiking
1 month ago

Awesome hike! Pretty quick, but awesome views of beautiful fall foliage! Definitely recommend!

hiking
1 month ago

As expected - a perfect place to enjoy the foliage! Gorgeous views and waterfalls, and the wooden decks are very well maintained! But note that this place is super popular in the fall and prepare to stand in the line for approx.30mins to buy tickets, unfortunately you can’t buy them online. But the trail is definitely worth the wait, you will love it!

Load More