Explore the most popular forest 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 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.

hiking
19 hours ago

A fairly difficult trail even for a seasoned hiker like me particular on a hot and humid day. It's easy going on Lonesome Lake trail but once you get to Hi-Cannon then comes it gets steep all the way. And once you get to Kinsman Ridge it gets steep and scramble all the way.

The Cannon Mountain cafe is full service with all kinds of food and even beer but the view is dissapointing.but the view from the observation tower is much better. I had a pulled pork sandwich which was bland the chili was tasty but gave me stomach pain later. The most scenic view I think is from the various scenic overlooks.

On the way down I decided to take a detour to Lonesome Lake via the Dodge Cut-Off trail and enjoyed a swim there and friendly chat with AMC hut staff there. I think this trail has to be done with a pit stop at Lonesome Lake otherwise all that steep climbing and scramble will be hard to justify. It does add to the mileage but it's an easy flat hike to the lake.

A quintessential northeast hike. Amazing views. One of my favorite hikes I’ve ever done.

Crap was hard. Almost died.

AMAZING views with clear skies! I went up Falling Waters trail which was very steep at times. You will be walking up boulders about 90% of the way almost immediately. I would suggest descending from this trail if you do not consider yourself “in shape” or an experienced hiker. I hadn’t done more than a six mile hike in two years and this trail kick my butt!! Brindle path and Greenleaf trail offered spectacular views most of the way down. Brindle path seemed a bit more level as well for a good mile towards the beginning of the trail. All together this trail took me 10 hours to complete with PLENTY of rest time in between. If you have time, stop at the hut on Greenleaf trail! They offer free water, restrooms, large tables to sit at, and board games galore!

This was a really awesome, rewarding hike. Three of us did it together and we are all upperclassmen in high school. We completed the hike in about 5 1/2 hours with multiple breaks going up falling water and down old bridle. Highly recommended!

awesome.
up falling waters , down bridle. good lemonade at the hut

I love this trail. Make sure you check the weather at the top before going for it and be prepared to need a hat at the top because of the winds. Absolutely amazing views!

hiking
5 days ago

great hike to do in an hour

I ended up hiking up Liberty Springs trail and not Falling Waters, so I could easily bag Liberty as well as Little Haystack, Lincoln and Lafayette. Stayed at Greenleaf Hut for two chill days. This trail is a DREAM. Try to get up there on a weekday. I was up Thursday, and had the ridge to myself which was GLORIOUS. So incredibly beautiful. Friday puttered around on Lafayette and just past it (not sure the name... going North of Lafayette Summit.) The range was MOBBED with people. So if you're looking for beauty AND more solitude, go up on the off season, or during the week. So much fun and very memorable. OBP on the descent had LOTS of gorgeous viewpoints.

Awesome hike. Strenuous but worth it. Experienced but slower hiker here, took me 8 hours round trip to do the loop including stops to enjoy the various summits. Steady incline up to the ridge, then you ascend and descend each of the three peaks until a finally steady but gradual descent past the hut back to the parking lot. I did Falling Waters up and Bridle down, which I recommend as bridal is a more gradual and Falling Waters steeper. My favorite hike in New Hampshire thus far.

It is incredibly busy.... almost two lanes of traffic on all legs of the trail. I went up bridle and down falling waters and may have been the good choice on a busy day. However - falling waters is relentless on the knees and never really levels out until the end. Going down there are a lot of trees/roots in the right or down side of trail for balance. Left side was for people going up. Poles were helpful.

Windy at top and required a jacket. I should have had gloves.

I went up early at 5:30 and people were already coming down who had gone up at 1:00 am to catch sunrise or were trail running.

It is incredible for the views in the ridge.

Hike - Saturday July 7 a beautiful day

We went up falling waters and down old bridle. Falling waters is a beautiful path with plenty of waterfalls, plus the bonus of the water keeping you cool. Old Bridle was just rock after rock. Suggest going up falling waters to enjoy the view on the way up. Walking the ridge is just glorious and every bit worth this hike. Finished in about 5 hours and 45minutes with 10-15 minute breaks at Mt Lincoln and Mt Lafayette. Highly recommend, it’s a great workout and worth every drop of sweat. Recommend to everyone want to battle for a beautiful view.

Definitely five stars for both views and difficulty. Took us 7 hours, with a few breaks. Amazing hike, even when it was hard it was so beautiful that it totally made it worth it. We started pretty early, so it was not too busy. However by the end there were quite a few groups. If you go, make sure to bring A LOT of water!

Hiked on July 3. Was very hot, all the sweat was well worth the views. Was a great hike!

Was a great hike. Beautiful views. Lots of rocks but this is NH. Kicked my butt.

Hiked the trail on July 2 with my grown kids (in their 20s). We're all generally fit but haven't hiked much recently. Took us 6 hours and 20 minutes with about 45 minutes of stops. We went up the Falling Waters trail and down Bridle Path, which is the best way. The trail down Bridle Path is generally less steep although it does have its steep sections, and much of the trail is wet and slippery. There really is no easy way. This is one of the most beautiful trail imaginable. There are many water falls along the Falling Waters, and some great look outs on Bridle Path, and the trail along the ridge is spectacular. There's little if any exposure to steep drops although you have to be careful almost every step. We stopped at the Greenleaf Hut for water and to take a break. We each started with about 64 ounces of water which was not enough. Temperature was in the 80s at the bottom of the mountain and in the 60s on top of the ridge

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.

Wonderful views. The only hard part was getting up to the ridge, the actual ridge hike was wonderful. Highly recommend ! One of my favorites in NH

Mid 20s in shape and completed in roughly 4 1/2 hrs with some picture and water/snack breaks. Started at the trail head and headed up falling waters. Most of the terrain was dry besides areas close to the waterfall. The bugs weren’t too bad on the way up but coming down to the hut/old bridle had a lot more moisture which lead to more bugs. Was 85 and humid until you hit the tree line then a very refreshing breeze rewards you your hard work. I used roughly a gallon(3.87L) total but ymmv. The views were spectacular as always.

Certainly the best hike in the White Mountains I have done to date. We started our hike around 8:15AM, ascending up Falling Waters. It was fairly hot and humid at the trailhead, but waterfalls made for some nice cool spots along the way. Aside from a few steep stretches, we found the ascent to Little Haystack pretty manageable. Hiking along the ridge provided some magnificent views. My 4.5 year old retriever seemed to have no issues, and met many other 4 legged friends along the way. After a short lunch on top of Lafayette we started our descent down Old Bridle path. We stopped at Greenleaf hut to refill the water and made our way down to the trailhead. The descent had a fair amount of moisture and loose rocks which made it difficult at times. Aside from a short 15 min detour after taking the Greenleaf trail north, we got back on Old Bridle and made it back to the parking lot at 2:30pm. Overall hike time of 6 hours 15 min. Highly recommneded!

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.

We hiked this loop counter-clockwise (ascended on falling waters trail, descended on old bridle path). It was a very strenuous hike, but totally do-able by most average hikers if one is prepared. We brought in 2 liters of water each, sandwiches, and snacks (and ate/drank every last bit). We started 9am and finished 3:45pm. I’d recommend starting even earlier than we did in order to beat the heat!

It took us 7 hours to do the loop. I recommend staying at the campground at the bottom of the mountain. Bring good shoes because there are a lot of rocks. Hiking poles recommended.

Best day hike in the east, no doubt.

One of the best hikes in the area! Beautiful views along the top. Completed it in about 4 hours.

This is easily the best trail I have done on the east coast. Going at a moderate pace with just a few short stops it took about 6 hours. We went up falling waters and down bridle path which was absolutely the best choice. The trail is well maintained but the amount of people on it kind of breaks the immersion in nature, but that is the only setback of this hike. I would recommend it to anyone as the views are unforgettable.

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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