Little Haystack via Falling Waters Trail

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Franconia Notch State Park

Little Haystack via Falling Waters Trail is a 5.6 mile heavily trafficked out and back trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a waterfall and is rated as difficult. The trail is primarily used for hiking and snowshoeing and is accessible year-round. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length5.6 miElevation gain3034 ftRoute typeOut & back
dog friendlyHikingSnowshoeingForestRiverViewsWaterfallWildlifeRockyScramble
Description
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Reservations for day use are required. Please consult the park website. https://www.nhstateparks.org/covid-19 Falling Waters Trail follows the rocky, rushing Dry Brook upstream to meet the Franconia Notch Trail. 0.5 miles below the summit is a 0.1 mile spur trail for "Shining Rock". This is an exposed slab of granite 200 ft tall by 800 ft wide.

There is limited parking at the trailhead and the trail gets very busy during weekends and holidays. Make sure to arrive early. If the parking lot is full, people can park along I93 or across the road at Lafayette Campground. Restrooms are located just after the start of the trail.

Appalachian Mountain Club (http://www.outdoors.org/), White Mountain National Forest (http://www.fs.usda.gov/whitemountain), or Franconia Notch State Park (http://www.nhstateparks.org/explore/state-parks/franconia-notch-state-park.aspx)

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Reviews (731)
Photos (2708)
Recordings (635)
Completed (4846)
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Ed Makin
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Scott Behner
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Hiking

Snow covered, micro spikes okay or snowshoes.

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Joshua Pressley
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Jacob Cope
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Matthew William
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

First mile through the falls section is very icy! Micro-spikes are a must, especially if you plan to descend this trail. For an experienced hiker you can reach the summit in an hour and a half, if you're newer plan for 2-3 hours to the summit! Enjoy it and remember to leave no trace (this includes dog poop) so we can keep the WMNF pristine for generations to come.

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Kristopher Reed
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HikingGreat!

You do NOT need to make a reservation for this day use trial.

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Carolyn Theresa
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HikingGreat!IcySnow

Light snow halfway up the trail and ice for the last half mile to the summit. Recommend micro spikes/poles. Strong winds/frigid temperature at the top. Perfect time to hike before it gets too much snow accumulation.

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Karen Sachs
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there were a rocky few steps at the top of the waterfall, slick due to rain, crazy steep, all a bit sloped so didn't feel like solid footing, and nothing solid to hold like jut in rock or even tree branch. only time in months of hiking here that I felt legit terrified, especially envisioning the way down. I wish they would put a rope at this spot.

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Kevin Coyle
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HikingIcyMuddyRockySnow

Super icy as you get to above treeline, with strong winds at the top. I would highly advise people to not do this if you don’t have micro spikes cause you will have to turn around many miles in! Great trail though, if you have a clear day at the top!

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Mallory Pryor
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Hiking

They don’t call it the Falling Waters trail for nothing! Very slippery in some areas but the trail flattens out as you get closer to the bottom making it easier.

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Kenny K
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HikingGreat!RockyScrambleSnow

Was one of our favorite hikes of our trip! Awesome scenery and views of the falls at the beginning. Wooded section is steep, but not too hard. There was a little snow on the ground in certain areas, but was very manageable. Rocky scramble to the top of little haystack for amazing views. Be sure to arrive early as the parking lot fills up fast!

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jason carroll
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BackpackingMuddyRocky

This trail was great, beautiful water falls in the beginning with challenging climbs towards the second half of the trail. Unfortunately due to weather we didn't have much to see at the top but felt accomplished making it there its a great hike and highly recommend it! The hike took us approximately 4 to 4 and 1/2 hours round trip keep this in mind for the early sunset!

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Richard Collette
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David T.
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Elvin Soto
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HikingMuddy

Trail was mostly wet but able to hike. At the summit was mostly sunny and light winds @1pm. It was worth going up there to enjoy the view.

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Eric Newman
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HikingIcyMuddy
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Ed White
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Hiking

snow on bottom ...river was raging along falling waters trails. multiple tricky crossings...50plus winds and clouds on summit. super cold..no loop today. then it all started to melt as we descended. Great hike.

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Samuel Nichols
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