Lonesome Lake via Cascade Brook and Pemi Trail

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Franconia Notch State Park

Lonesome Lake via Cascade Brook and Pemi Trail is a 6.4 mile moderately trafficked loop trail located near Lincoln, New Hampshire that features a lake and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for hiking, walking, nature trips, and bird watching and is best used from April until September. Dogs are also able to use this trail.

Length6.4 miElevation gain1230 ftRoute typeLoop
dog friendlyHikingNature tripsWalkingBird watchingForestLakeRiverViewsWaterfallMuddy
Description
Waypoints (0)

Reservations for day use are required. Please consult the park website. https://www.nhstateparks.org/covid-19

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Reviews (91)
Photos (2102)
Recordings (62)
Completed (343)
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Boryana Petrova
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HikingIcy

we did the south portion of this trail and it was beautiful. a bit icy so crampons or the like are advisable. however the issue is that the north portion around the cascade is inaccessible: two bridges are washed away and we did not find a way to cross the river. we had to turn back around.

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Silvia Cucco
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HikingIcy

Beautiful trail but icy!!! It needs crampons during the winter.

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Alanah Douaihi
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Hiking
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Stephanie McIntyre
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Hiking
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Vivian Speen
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HikingIcy

Gorgeous views, steady and manageable incline without scrambling. Love the sounds of the bubbling river along almost the whole trail! Great swimming holes in the summer with a few waterfalls, but beautiful in winter too, just beware of some icy patches. Grab lunch at the AMC at the top!

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Alanah Douaihi
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Hiking
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NIkki Welsh
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Scenic driving
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Beau Schaeffer
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HikingBridge outOff trail

Hiked on 10/11/20. Basin-Cascade trail is impassible in a number of locations due to strong waters and loss of bridges. We had to travel off-trail on the north (right) side of the river from ~0.6mi until ~1.2 when Basin-Cascade meets back up with Cascade Brook. From there, everything was much smoother for the remainder of the trail. Gentle hiking, sunny, temperatures in the 50s, and plenty of quiet spots to be found around the lake. We passed quite a few people on Lonesome Lake trail. Beautiful hike, be wary of missing bridges, and arrive early!

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Max Blumenthal
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Hiking

Trail to lonesome lake is blocked by the waterfall

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Karin Krueger
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HikingGreat!

Amazing hike! We followed the clockwise route. Rocky at top, which was fun, but if you have ankle issues, wear a brace to help. The view at the top is worth it! Downward trek after the lake ... and the Pemi was a beautiful, flat trail through the woods, along the brook. Highly recommend!

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Elena Glassman
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Hiking

Picture perfect in fall!!

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Ryan Crosbie
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HikingGreat!Rocky

Highly recommend parking at N or S-bound parking for The Basin. head up the trail to Lonesome Lake (west) and then come down thru Lafayette campground (i.e., go clockwise), then south along the Pemi trail back to the basin. We did this in early fall, but would love to do it when more water is flowing.

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Krista D
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Recommendations for this beautiful hike: -park at the Basin on the 93 south side -follow the paved path down to the Basin to find the trailhead -definitely take Cascade up as it is both beautiful and laden with roots and rocks and Pemi is a much gentler descent -Pemi is accessed through the campground. If you pass it, you find yourself on a bike path adjacent to the traffic.

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Hilary Prizer
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Hiking

This was MUCH longer than AllTrails indicated! Both in length and time (at least if you’re like us and stop to take pictures). Well worth it, just wish we’d known, so we could have planned better. We started from Basin-Cascade and went up to Cascade Brook to Lonesome Lake, but it was already getting late so we went right down the Lonesome Lake Trail instead of going around the lake. Lots and lots of rocks and roots the whole way, so watch your step! We were able to walk out on the rocks going up the Basin-Cascade Trail and were rewarded with some gorgeous views you wouldn’t see from the trail. Make sure to pack snacks, you will be glad you did!

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Steve V
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HikingGreat!

Did this counter clockwise, Cascade Trail is amazing, walking the bike path up hill to the parking lot was not fun. Over all great hike and would repeat but would reverse direction and start with the bike path and go up cascade.

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May Zhen
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Shelley Pelletier
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HikingGreat!

Did this trail Sunday, took the loop starting at the Basin( good tip), not busy at all loved following the falls on the wAy up. We missed a few turns and had to back track, but had a great day. Lonesome Lake is so peaceful.

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Cherie fingerle
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Batya Weiss
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This trail was my favorite hike of all time! We started at the basin and hiked up the cascades. You can hike right along the waterfalls and we played in a lot of pools on the way up. The views and sounds were exhilirating. At the top of the cascades trail you get to lonesome lake which is beautiful and serene. It was the perfect place to stop for lunch. We hiked down towards Lafayette Campground which was a much easier trail than the cascade side. We made it down pretty quickly. We then walked along the Pemi river back to the basin. This was refreshing and flat which was nice after all the up and down on the mountain. We started at 2:30pm and finished by 7pm.

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Gina Marie
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Hiking

Absolutely loved this trail. You get a little bit of everything. We went Pemi to Cascade to Lonesome Lake. Loved taking the scenic route with a quick descend down. Did it with my dog and she did great, some minor slips here and there but expected. It can get a little confusing on when to cross over the cascade trail sides, but easy to get back on track just make sure you are paying attention. The trail is well marked. Busy up at Lonesome Lake even on a weekday. But you avoid most of the crowds going Pemi first while hiking.

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STEVEN RUHL
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HikingRocky

Epic family hike! Moderate feels like an appropriate rating. Rocky in places, no scrambling. Lovely view around and swim in Lonesome Lake ( watch out for the leaches) and more opportunities for dips in the cascades on the way down.

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Abi Leigh
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HikingBugsMuddyOff trail
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Emily Japlon
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HikingBridge outBugsMuddy

I did this hike clockwise starting at the basin, up to lonesome lake for a loop around it, and then back down to the lafayette campground/pemi trail to close it out. It took about 3 hours total but I could have completed in 2.5. The portion from the basin up to the lake was quite muggy and buggy, and although there were two small river crossings, I had absolutely no problem with them. Lonesome lake is beautiful at dusk, as was the pemi trail (despite some traffic noise). If you are looking for more of a challenge/workout, ascend from Lafayette and descend via the basin cascades trail.

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Tha'er Momani
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HikingBridge out

great views but I'd say the climb is harder than expected, plus there's a bridge that's down so you need to cross the river at a point

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