Explore the most popular dogs on leash trails near Franconia with hand-curated trail maps and driving directions as well as detailed reviews and photos from hikers, campers and nature lovers like you.

This is a great workout on one of the worst maintained trails in the Whites. Nice hard work going up and rather annoying decending with lots of silt. Still, a go-to hike if you're training for bigger climbs. And the view of the ledge on the way up is awesome. Be prepared for numbnuts who have taken the tram to the top and think it would be fun to hike down. I've seen barefoot walkers carrying Uggs and entirely unprepared tourists starting down with the idea that the tram was short, so how hard could it be? Believe me, it's not a fun descent for the inexperienced.

short and sweet. steep in areas but its a short hike so its not bad and view of echo lake is nice. for those who like hiking sticks this is a good trail for one. my son was only 4 and daughter 8. They did it and loved it.

5 days ago

Maybe I didn’t walk far enough but I walked till the trail ended. This is a Walk not a hike up a mountain. It is virtually 0 grade uphill. I would plan to come and sit on the huge rocks in the creek and enjoy the day, not do this as a hike for fitness etc.


On our first visit to Mount Lafayette we were greeted by a thunderstorm, strong winds, and cold. We made it to the Greenleaf Hut, then turned back around. We couldn’t wait to do this hike again under better conditions.

Of course on our return it absolutely poured. We once again did the whole hike from the trailhead up the Old Bridle Path to the Greenleaf Hut in the soaking rain. We decided to continue on, and we’re thankful we did. By the time we got to the summit of Mt. Lafayette the rain had stopped and the clouds broke for us. The views were spectacular.

We crossed over the ridge, and the down the Falling Waters trail, but unfortunately the clouds moved back in obstructing some of our views. The waterfalls on the way down the trail were amazing, especially after a rainstorm. There are some really small stream crossings, but we were soaked already so they weren’t that big of a deal. Some people recommended removing shoes and whatnot to do the crossing.

I would recommend doing the Falling Waters section of the hike first if I were to do it again. I would have preferred the steady incline of this section. It’s all personal preference, though.

9 days ago

Best views in the park for the effort. A couple of steep grades where my dog needed help but other than that a doable climb. One of my favorites hikes in the notch.

Did this with my 10 and 1 year old in a backpack and it was pretty easy. A little long for the 1 year old, 90 mins up and 60 down. Beautiful view of the brook most of the way up and nice cool breeze. Will definitely be doing it again!

If you're physically fit, this trail is challenging and beautiful. There is some scrambling across granite slabs and lots of boulders with quick elevation gain.

If you're not in shape, it's going to be very hard. I would recommend that you try hiking just to the first viewpoint, as the viewpoint is breathtakingly beautiful and it is a shorter distance than to the hut or the summit of Lafayette.

I went on a sunny, humid, 92-degree day and suffered heat exhaustion about .4 from the hut. I was so, so disappointed, but made the right choice to turn around once the dizziness, nausea, and stomach cramps set in. This type of thing can happen on any hike on a hot, sunny day, but I just want to remind you that this hike in particular is hard and you need to bring an appropriate amt of water. I had 2 bottles and started well-hydrated, and this wasn't enough. And when I turned around to go back down (looking really ill and uncertain if I could make it), two saints gave me their water, a walking stick, and walked the whole distance down with me. Hikers are just the best people in the world.

14 days ago

We went Bald Mountain first, then Artist's Bluff with three adults (one novice) and a 7-year-old. It was challenging enough to keep my daughter happy (she loved the scramble to Bald Mountain) but not too tough for my wife, who rarely hikes. I would strongly recommend poles for this one, and it's definitely a fair weather hike. Varied topography throughout, some excellent views, and interesting scenery, including a lot of relics from long-gone loggers.

A Favor if you go: My 7-year-old lost a classmate and friend recently, and she built a little memorial to him at the top of Bald Mountain. If you pass that way, please add a stone and send a picture to swordsmith at gmail so she can pass it on to his twin sister.

Hiked up Bridle on a dreary Friday to stay at the Greenleaf Hut with my 3 kids (ages 12, 10, and 5). We had a great time! The trail wasn’t packed which was wonderful. Some rocky sections were tough for our youngest but he channeled his inner mountain goat and scrambled up. We left at 10:30 and arrived at the hut at 1:30. We took another hour to get to the summit and at that point the rain was starting to come down. The rocks were very slippery so it was slow going.
The next morning the rain was driving so the hut crew suggested we head back down Bridle path because falling waters was too treacherous.
The trail was a river with all the rain fall! The kids loved hiking down in the rushing water. Overall, an awesome hike with beautiful views even in not so wonderful weather!

Beautiful waterfall with a lean-too at the base of it. Definitely worth the walk.My wife and I went in February and the water fall was frozen over.

on Artist Bluff Trail

21 days ago

Went clockwise. Took the spur out to bald mountain which had a scramble that was challenging for the little ones but worth the view at the top. Fairly steep at points. Could be marked a little better at spots and path from bottom (across from echo lake parking lot) to the trailhead parking lot was through a field (next time will probably walk along the road instead). View from artists bluff was also very nice. Took about 2 hours

I thought this trail was pretty challenging. I just couldn’t get firm footing. Going up was steep but coming down was so slippery and wet. I took a few tumbles. But I have to say the views were amazing and that made it worth while.

By far my favorite trail out of the numerous I’ve hiked in New Hampshire so far, I see why the parking lot is always over flowing!! Contrary to other posts I’ve read about this loop I highly recommend going UP falling waters and down old bridle path and here is why...

The falling waters hike is beautiful, especially if you hit it right after a rain storm like I did. There are multiple stream crossings which can leave your boots wet and at certain spots it’s very steep but the views of the water distract you from the burning in your quads. Once you break from the water it’s a grueling mile to Little Haysack Mountain but from there the ridge walk over to the other two peaks is breathtaking.

The incline is much more gradual this way leaving plenty of stamina for the four mile descent from Mt. Lafayette.

We hiked up Bridle to the peak of Lafayette, then back down Bridle. Some parts get steep/slippery, but it's not too bad. Saw plenty of dogs and older folks.

The guide at the beginning said we should turn back at the cabin because it was noon when we arrived. Being cocky we ignored him, but we were up to the peak and back by 530, so not sure how slow a pace this guy thought we'd go. It was like 1/1.5 hours to the cabin. We essentially ran down afterwards which was very fun. Would absolutely do it again, but go on the ridge and down the other path.

This hike was short but steep. Took me and my son almost 2 hours. Well worth the view. The wind on top was crazy and hysterical!

The highlighted trail below is basically the entire route to Owls Head excluding the actual summit push (slide and bushwhack). It’s a cool trail that gives you a chance to experience deep wilderness and a very lightly trafficked path. Although unless you’re doing Owls Head or continuing all the way to Galehead, it’s not worth the mileage. There are no blazes or bridges beyond Franconia Falls, so picking up the trail after river crossings can be tricky. Lincoln Brook crisscrosses the river several times, two of which are big crossings. These can be difficult in high water.

I just went up the Bridle Path and back down the same way. I would have done the loop but wasn’t feeling well and thought I had a reservation at the hut for the night. Silly me- I made it for the wrong month. They were very willing to help me out and be creative with finding me a place to sleep but I decided to just hike back down. I could have worn a tiny daypack instead!

Either way, this is a hike I’ve done multiple times because it is just that awesome. No one is ever disappointed unless you get clouds.

Well this is not my so so favorite one, because this trial literally does not have a concept called flat land. The first 1.5 miles you keep climbing upwards, almost every step takes you a feet higher. Every view & outlook is really worth all the effort. We went on a beautiful sunny summer day and took around 4.15hrs for out & back. I am not sure if I want to do it again. The main purpose of doing this hike was to cover all the 4000’ ers of the Franconia State Park.
Recommendation- consume as much fluids as you can to avoid any muscle spasm. But you get water at the peak as there is a small cafe (U also get beer ;) )

Definitely strenuous (so many rocks!) but the views can’t be beat. Just breathtaking views almost the entire way. Nice short hike.

1 month ago

Very quick and easy hike, busy route, with a beautiful view of Echo Lake at the bluff lookout.

This trail is an absolute beast. The large rocks during the entire ascent are pretty slippery. There’s one spot where a large sheered rock, at an upward angle, is part of the path and it was slick and challenging to maneuver, with a tree down near it. The weather prevented any meaningful views from the ridge and the summit unfortunately. One of the toughest hikes I’ve done. There is a tram to get down, if you want to avoid a pretty treacherous descent over the slippery rocks.

1 month ago

Nice quiet trial up to the hut, busier to the summit. Plenty hard enough for me!

quick hike

1 month ago

great hike to do in an hour

Short distance but 170 floors in 8.5 miles (out and back )
Greenleaf Hut at the top has food and water to refill you .
And What a View :-)
Highly recommended Hike

Did this trail with my 14 year old son as a Father-Son adventure. Very challenging but very rewarding.
This easily makes it into my top 10 favorite trails.

Hiked this loop as shown here. Up Old Bridle and down Falling Waters. The mileage here is off, per the trail markings and the info at the AMC hut it is 8.7 miles.

The views as you hike up Old Bridle are amazing. The first mile or so is not too steep and then it kicks up the difficulty. The AMC hut is at the perfect spot for a short rest. Then the remaining mile to the summit of Lafayette is a steep scramble. But not too bad. And the views are amazing.

The ridgeline is about a mile and a half and really cool. We lucked out on not too windy day and no rain.

Heading down Falling Waters was difficult. It is 3.2 miles down and the first mile is extremely steep and semi monotonous. After that first mile, it becomes more manageable and you start to pick up the water. The first sight of the water and the beginning of the falls was so welcome, to break up the steep decent. You end up following the water and crossing over the stream about 6 times. Coming from the top down let’s the waterfall get more and more amazing. It really was unreal to see. And after that, there is only about 1.4 miles left and not a bad decent at all.

The trail is very well marked. Falling waters side was also very crowded. We took our time to enjoy a lot of great lookouts and views and to eat. Total time was 7.5 hours with about 2 do breaks.

1 month ago

Deff a challenging trail, took this one up and down. But it was beautifully covered in moss that created some breath taking views along the way. Very rocky most of the way, that kept it interesting. A little tough on the knees on the way down. The very best part about this trial is that not many people know about it, or take it. We passed by only 2 people the entire trail. Park at the Cannon Mt parking lot and also beat the over packed trail parking lots! Took us 7 hours total

The trail and the cascade are nice. It juste sad that we are in the forest all along without point of view of the mounts around.

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