Explore the most popular trail running 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.

I can see why this hike is a lot of peoples favorite, including mine. Went up falling waters and came down old bridle, Whole loop took me and my Dog 7 hours with long breaks at the peaks. up falling waters trail was moderate in difficulty, my dog a Brittany Spaniel had no problems as he is an experienced hiker. Falling waters really inclines near little haystack. Perfect sunny weather, amazing views at the top really rewards you.

It was my favorite hike I have ever done. The view at the top is beautiful and the falls on the way up are amazing as well. The trail is busier than others I have done in the past but definitely not as trafficked as I was expecting it to be. We did the hike in about 5.5 hours roundtrip but we were definitely moving quickly. I definitely will be doing this hike again!

I loved this trail. It was hard though & I maybe found it more difficult as my last hike was in March so I had muscle soreness for a few days after & bad knees due to a fall. Nothing serious, just tired legs during the last 2 Miles. Amazing views throughout, the waterfalls are stunning. A very busy trail & need to get there early for prime parking. We ended up parking at the shuttle car park off exit 34c, which was fine. Took us 6 hrs 20, I’m in pretty decent shape & not been hiking for a good few months. We went up the falls trail & back on the old bridal path.

Hiked it in the rain today, couldn’t see more than ten feet in front of you up top. I honestly loved it, it wasn’t too hot or too cold, I didn’t find it challenging either. I frequently hike Monadnock and I think that’s a more challenging hike. We did get a bit lost and did 12 miles instead of the 8.5, but it only took us 6.5 hours

7.5 hours, lots of nice hikers. Beautiful views. AMC hut on Bridal Trail a bonus.

hands down my favorite hike I have made to date! absolutely gorgeous. I brought my dog and very quickly regretted it as we ended up having to life him and hoist him up a few rocky parts and he was not at all happy- but lesson learned that he is not as much an adventurer as I believed and from now on I'm doing a hike without him before I ever bring him on one!

other than my personal dog issues- this was certainly challenging and even more rewarding than expected. bring lots and lots of water tho! we did not make it to the hut because of my dog, so we were slipping into dehydration the whole way back down as we anticipated refilling at the hut.

Awesome hike with fun and somewhat challenging terrain, amazing views and beautiful water features. Doable as a day hike but have to be a moderately experienced hiker. Greenleaf Hut seems like a great option for those who want to extend the hike to a two day trip (it’s a lot like the refuges in the alps, complete with food and bunks and friendly folks to chat with). We did it as a day hike in ~7hrs in reverse of this guide (up Old Bridal Trail over the pass and down Falling Waters). Going down Falling Waters was great because it allowed us to take plenty of breaks on the final stretch down and take in all the water views. Bring a good camera to capture the waterfalls and the views.

Highly recommend this loop, so far my absolute favorite day hike in the Whites. Go for it!!

Wow! The views here were perfect. If you bring a hat, watch for the wind at the summit.

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.

hiking
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.

One of the prettiest hikes I’ve ever done. A quintessential northeast hike, should be on everyone’s list. Well worth it.

My husband and I did this as our first hike in New England. Extremely challenging, but very fun. Very crowded day so couldn't see too much, but the ridge walk was a lot of fun and a nice reprieve from falling waters. Definitely start up falling waters. Will do again on a clear day!!

GOOD GRIEF is this trail beautiful. Is it hard? Yes. Did I get about two hours in and start to huff and puff and wish I’d stayed home? I’d be lying if I said I didn’t. But when you clear the tree line and see the ridge that awaits you, it actually does take your breath away. I did this hike without trekking poles (I personally don’t like them) but most people I saw had them, so something to keep in mind. There is also the AMC Greenleaf cabin on your way down— great place to pee and grab something to drink. Bring tons of water and snacks, that’s a given. It took me about 6 1/2 hours with lots of little breaks, but no big ones. Descent is very rocky and slippery in places— hard on the knees. Don’t be afraid to slide on your butt. All in all, this was absolutely gorgeous, exhausting, rewarding, and I’ll be back for more.

Amazing trip with my brother and son (19). Hiked up falling waters to Haystack and camped at Liberty. Day 2 we walked the ridge to Lafayette (Mt Lincoln is just as beautiful) and down Bridal. 13 miles total. It was great to break up the trip in 2 days to enjoy the experience and hike roughly 5 hours per day.
Tip - Liberty Springs campground is 2 miles from Haystack and mostly downhill, which means 2 miles uphill the next day. Check the elevation. There are only 10 campsites, first come first serve and if you get a large platform you might have to share your spot. Cost is $10 per person.
One Love.

Perfectly challenging and rewarding hike! I’m in pretty good shape and was able to complete it in 6 hours, with short breaks at each summit. I would not suggest this hike for inexperienced hikers, parts of it are technical. Make sure your hiking boots are waterproof. You have to cross the river and there is water on parts of the path. Overall, it was a great day hike and I would absolutely do it again. Take Falling Water trail up.

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!

My favorite hike in New England so far. Finished in about 6 hours. Beautiful 360 degree views along the Alpine zone make this difficult hike 100% worth it. Make sure to bring lots of water, snacks, and a jacket. It can get windy along the ridge.

I've done a lot of hikes, which are more than 5000m but I must say that Franconia ridge Trail is one of the most difficult hikes i've done, lots of steep climbing and rocky footpath. It was a amazing hike though! We started late at 2:40 in the afternoon and took us a total of 7 hours. Plenty of food, water and trekking poles are a must.

Came all be way from Pittsburgh PA to do this hike.. we were NOT disappointed by any means. We went up falling waters and down old bridle path, as the reviews told us to do so, and this was for sure the way to go. We started the hike at around 10:30am and ended about 6pm. Bring plenty of food and water! If you run out of water, however, there’s a hut coming down old bridle path that offers free COLD water!!! Also, I don’t know how people hike this trail without trekking poles. We found that poles were a must to get through this rocky trail. The views at the top make it seem like you are in a different country!

Amazing hike with never ending staircases and boulders. Not great visibility on the notch, but lots of fun traveling through the alpine zone. Sun finally came out during our descent down old bridle, and we got to see the ridge line we had just traversed. Bring lots of water, hiking sticks and rain/wind gear. Hopefully your in shape.

Beyond gorgeous views once above the tree line. If you’re planning on doing the entire 8.5 mike loop, and you’re not in shape, be prepared for a long day. Plenty of great opportunities to take beautiful photos of the waterfalls and mountains. Make sure the weather is going to be nice because it’s a lot of climbing to not get the views that make it all worth it.

One of the best hikes in NH. Not for beginners! Make sure you check high peaks forecast before climbing. There are good views everywhere. Falling Waters trail on the way up has nice waterfalls. The exposed ridge gives you views in all directions. Old bridle path on the way down gives you a chance to stop at the AMC Greenleaf Hut for a rest and refill on water.

Did the loop yesterday starting out with Falling Waters trails as others recommended here (thanks all!) and then onto old bridle. Falling waters trail was slippery and consecutively steeper each hour so I'm glad we started with that. I think it took us 2.5ish hours to get out of the tree line. It reminded me of 4 mile trail in Yosemite but without switchbacks. It was certainly exhausting and a bit monotonous after the waterfalls but we were glad that the ridge for the most part is easy walking for a few hours. The ridge was certainly the highlight of the hike- great sweeping views and being in the clouds. The thing that got us was the downhill on the way back as it was all rocky so we had to watch every step on the way down. We had some slips and falls though it seemed like a lot of other people were flying down the mountain with no problem. 2+ hours of rocky descent was really a bit much especially being in the tree line. At least there were some outlooks after the hut. Speaking of the hut, it's a great place to refill water bottles. We ended up drinking about 4-5 bottles each for the day (80 degrees and cloudy). Start at 9:20am, finished at 5:05pm. 4 stars for the amount of hours we were stuck in the tree line on slippery rocks. 5 stars for the ridge.

I went up and back down old bridle path. Didn't take the loop. Started too lat- around 11AM. Extremely difficult. Definitely wasn't a good choice for a first time hiker. (But do-able!) got back down around 7PM (with lots of short breaks and a 45 minute lunch break.) But can see why more experienced hikers love it. Lots of rocks that were tall that you had to climb up. Was beautiful at the top. Also thank goddess that there was the hut up old bridle to eat/go to the bathroom/refill water bottle/ rest. Would happily do it again once I become more advance. Would also start earlier in the day.

A great trail with a wide variety of things to see. We started out counterclockwise, heading towards Falling waters trail, weaving back and forth across a stream, up fairly steep rocky terrain. Once we got to Little Haystack Mt, the cool breeze and views were fantastic. The ridge walk to Mt Lafayette was magical and fairly technical. The walk back down towards the hut and lot (3.9m) is all downhill and will keep your eyes down at the feet. The trails are marked out well. We took 3L of water for 2 of us and finished it all. Total of 6h45m even with lunch on ridge line.

it's really really hard

This is truly a beautiful hike! We started early in the morning at about 6am. We went up Falling Waters and down Old Bridle. The ridge is worth every moment of the hike!!! It is absolutely stunning. We finished around 3pm, but we took a long break at Lafayette for lunch.

I had a great time on this hike yesterday! It was pretty well trafficked, even on a Tuesday. I'm getting into hiking more on my own, so I was sort of looking for a trail where I wouldn't be totally alone. I'm in OK hiking shape--this was my first longer hike this year. The hike up Falling Waters took me about 2.5 hours with several breaks. The whole loop took almost 7 hours including lunch. I took 2 liters of water with me and refilled at the hut. Bridle Path is a pretty easy path down. Don't forget cash if you want to buy some lemonade! All in all a great day hike. Well worth the drive from Boston.

Absolutely breathtaking. The view along the ridge will knock your socks off. Nothing like it. Definitely recommend doing the counterclockwise route - falling waters on the way up, and old bridle on the way down. Altogether, just like others have said, it was really hard especially on the way up, but so worth it. Went up with my boyfriend, came down with my fiancé!!! Took us 8 hours total! Hope this helps. Would def do it again.

Beautiful hike despite both peaks being in the clouds. Our first time up but wont be the last. Thinking this would be a great early Fall hike. Old Bridle Path is a bit of a pain but does offer some nice views. Hike took us longer because we lingered at both peaks hoping for the clouds to disperse.

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