Explore the most popular hiking 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.

Completed this hike on 10/19/18 as the weather looked much clearer on this day. Some parts were super icy so was cautious rather than fast, took 8 hours total (including a nice lunch break and chatting with others along the way). I like how it's a loop and is broken up into unique sections because it breaks up the hike nicely (3 mi on Falling Waters up, 2 along the ridge, 3.5 Old Bridle down). It was hard and my muscles or sore but it is a great experience!

Hiked this beast of a mountain October 16 2018. Quite strenuous hike 3 quarters of the way. The view makes it all worth it. With several waterfalls on the way we started at falling Waters and down to the bridle path. Hiked at 11:30am took us about 7 1/2 hours to complete with few breaks. Last hour was in the dark which I'd recommend avoid doing that, we heard a cougar near by (very deliberate chirping noise) which I later read online is to find their young .. Fed wild red squirrels some nuts by hand. It was a little icy towards the top and very windy at the summet. I probably wouldn't do this hike again personally because it was a lot of work and I was also a little under dressed. I brought 3 bottles of water only drank two. great hike for experience hikers. Also the hut on the way down was a life saver offering warmth, tea and hot cocoa and corn bread. Only asking for a few dollars we left a $20 and they also gave us a head light for the way down which barley worked but of course very appreciated.

By far my favorite hike in New England. My best friend and I have done this hike every way possible in every different season and somehow it amazes me every time. A definate must on your trail bucket list!!

I hiked this trail on 10/16/18. There was a wind advisory in effect when I left the parking lot around 6:30. I hiked up Falling Waters, which is delightful. Very aptly named- there are multiple waterfalls. The wind was roaring in the treetops above me long before I ever reached the exposed area on Little Haystack. I had packed multiple wool layers and a Gore-Tex jacket, but I didn’t have appropriate cold weather gloves and I thought my fingers were going to freeze. I was not prepared for the temps on the exposed ridge. It was utterly, bitterly COLD on the ridge. The blasts of wind were so strong that I didn’t even dare take my phone out to take pictures at times. However, the sky was clear and the views were completely gorgeous, especially the frosty pines. Crampons would’ve been helpful, but I managed fine on the icy rocks with only hiking boots. I was very thankful for my trekking poles. The hike down Bridle Path was lovely. I’m a slow uphill hiker, and stop incessantly for photos. So the loop took me just under 10 hrs to complete. I met a number of other hikers- all great people. I would definitely recommend this hike!

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!

10/15/18 Great hike up Falling Waters. Trail is marked very well and easy to navigate. Plenty of waterfalls and water crossings. Very strenuous climb, so we packed lite. Unfortunately weather was not cooperating. Rain came in after the first mile. Up on the ridge winds picked up to 55 forecasted to hit 75 in another 2 hours. Visibility was poor. Me and 3 buddies decided to turn back once we got up to Little Haystack. We did meet up with a 76 year old solo hiker named Ward. He said he was going for it! And he passed us and disappeared into the fog. Amazing experience and we will regroup for another try. Going down falling waters was challenging with all the rain and mud on the rock scrambles.

Easy hike and great view

Great views, easy to follow trail. Very strenuous climb up. Only one restroom at the Green Leaf Hut 5 hours after beginning the loop (so come prepared).

My brother and I did this hike and we really enjoyed it! It was windy on the ridge and many people went back down Falling Waters Trail. We had determination and we went for it. We were in nothing but fog on the ridge and it was windy but what an adventure! It is a long hike but my brother and I hike about every weekend therefore it wasn't very challenging. The hardest part was the winds on the ridge therefore, if you don't like winds and exposure I would suggest to bring trekking poles if you go back down Falling Water Trails. Even though we had no views, this hike was definitely an amazing experience and we'll be back for a clear day to see the views next time!

Falling Waters killed me. I hike often but hours of climbing up rocks just killed me. We got within 30 minutes of the summit and turned back because there was so much ice on the rocks. Next time I’m going up AND down the bridal path. Going down Falling Waters was one of the scariest things I’ve done in my life, two days later I still have vertigo. I did enjoy talking to the other hikers, everyone was so friendly and had great attitudes and nice things to say.

Completed this hike 10/14/18 — began around 8am, finished at 5:30pm with some stops for snacks and to enjoy the views at the summits.

Crampons/microspikes were a life saver on the icy/slushy rocks. I wish I had poles with me.

This was my first long day hike, and first hike to go beyond 2000ft of altitude gain. Challenging, but not impossible; a few tricky spots, mostly because of steep inclines, ice or melting snow.

The views at the summits were unreal. We got autumn and winter all in one.

Loved the camaraderie on the trails and positive attitudes of all hikers. Truly a wonderful experience and highly recommended. Can’t wait to come back.

Did this trail on October 14, and started it at 8am, finished about 6:30pm, and that’s with quite a few stops along the way, and about a 30 min lunch break at the summit. We took the Falling river trail up, and bridal path down. The hike is challenging(mostly because it’s a long hike) but if you are in decent shape, you should handle it ok. Id recommend waterproof hiking boots and gloves, especially if doing this trail in the autumn months, because it may be snowy/icy (near the summit especially) and muddy (like it was for us).
Breathtaking views at the top for sure, well worth it.

October 14. Started at 8am. Got to the first summit at 12pm. Started to go down at 2:30 pm. Finished at 6:30 pm. 10,5 hours non stop hike.

It was very challenging but worth it! An 8.5-mile loop trail in Franconia, New Hampshire took a total of 7 hours. As I was hiking to the top, I saw ice and snow. Yup, snow in the middle of October! I got autumn and winter all in one. This hike reminded me of the moment when I was hiking to Annapurna Circuit Trek in the Himalayas, Nepal back in 2010.

hiking
8 days ago

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

Did this hike 10/13. Snow became sleet on the ridge. Whiteout. No views and slippery. Even without snow, I recommend hiking poles as this trail is a real class 5 boulder climbing trail. Go up Falling waters and down Bridle. And, guide said this is an 8 hour hike but most take 9 BUT everyone I spoke with said give yourself 10 hours or you will never stop to eat! VERY challenging trail. Not for altitude, but for elevation gain and very boulder strewn “trail.” Bring crampons if snow is even a remote possibility.

What an amazing hike. My friend and I only had one full day in the White Mountains and this is the hike that we chose. It was a perfect choice. We lucked out with clear skies at the top. It was a little rough with 100 mph gusts of wind, but we had hats, gloves, and layers so we were good.

My 9 pound dachshund made the hike as well, so don't doubt your abilities. It's definitely a hard hike, but you can definitely do it as long as you keep going.

Everybody talks about how hard the climb is, but do not underestimate the descent. It is hard on your knees and seems to go on forever. Don't forget...what goes up will go down!
Enjoy the hike and views, it's absolutely amazing.

I am literally the slowest walker ever and not in the best nor worse shape and this hike kicked my butt. It took approximately 9 hours and there was a blizzard on the top. Still was super fun but now I’m in recovery for about 3 days.

It was very cloudy when I went, with a few breaks in the clouds. But it was totally worth it! Just walking along the ridge to Mount Lafayette was breath taking! It was a pretty long trail, I would recommend going up Mount Little Haystack and down Mount Lafayette, it is less steep in my opinion going up Mount Little Haystack.

This was a awesome little hike with some amazing view points. Was enjoyable even in the rain today. The most and fog made the foliage pop even more. A bit slick and rocky but very doable in the right footwear

Fogged in but a good workout. Met a really nice group of kids on the way up. Will definitely go back to see the views.

on Bald Mountain

hiking
10 days ago

I’m usually focused on getting to Artist’s Bluff, but took the time to add Bald Mountain today, and am glad I did! After the trail splits, it’s a nice, short rock scramble up to some great views of Cannon and Echo Lake. Maybe it’s just when I’m up there, but Bald Mountain seems to get much less foot traffic than Artist’s Bluff. To me, it is quieter and more contemplative, while offering similar (though less striking) views. Enjoy! :)

on Artist Bluff Trail

hiking
10 days ago

This is a great little hike with a fabulous view, especially in Fall when the leaves change color! The whole hike is fun, but if you just want to get to the bluff without doing the loop or adding Bald Mountain, you can access a much shorter (but also steeper) trail across from the Echo Lake parking lot. Just cross the street then bear right. The trail will be on your left, and is marked with red dashes. Enjoy! :)

on Artist Bluff Trail

hiking
11 days ago

Short and easy hike with nice views points. Be prepare to climb up to Bald Mountain. Only sad point: we hear a lot the noise from the highway.

Seriously great hike; challenging in a few spots, but determination got us all through.

hiking
12 days ago

Between the waterfalls and the ridge it was an easy to rate this 5 star...awesome. Check out my write up along with some other things to look out for.
http://www.eastcoasthiker.com/trails/lafayette

Love this trail. Very easy and quick with stunning views at the top. View of cannon mountain and echo lake

So I went with my girlfriend, friend, and his wife this past Saturday for the first time and we had a great time. A couple of things to note - this is a very busy trail, many trails around this area are not nearly as busy. At time we found ourselves in lines of 20 people going up/down so be prepared for a bit of a log jam at certain points in the trail.

We hiked up Falling Waters and down Old Bridle, total round trip was probably quicker than the average at 6 hours. I will say along some other people on here that it was a very foggy day and we didn't get any of the views that you would traditionally get. We had a good time and brought the dog along with us (for anyone else that hiked that day she was the black lab crying the entire time).

The hike is challenging in the sense that you need to be in decent shape but by no means really hard. On a clear day it's probably an amazing hike but was just ok without the views. Also - on the way down Old Bridle has some great cliff spots that give great views of the ridge that are worth stopping and taking in. Also lastly, be prepared for a TON of people parking down in the parking lot and along I-93, arrive early to avoid having to park at the lot an additional mile away and take the shuttle. Also the bathrooms at the trailhead get very backed up.

did this hike today with my 5 month old puppy, what a great hike. beautiful falls at the top and enjoyed friendly fellow hikers on our trek.

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