Saturday, November 1, 2008

Franconia Falls, The Wilderness Trail, Lincoln NH

Long considered one of the best swimming spots in America, Franconia Falls is a 7 mile round-trip hike or bike through a piece of New Hampshire history. The hike is an easy one, beginning with a walk over a suspension bridge and along an old railroad bed that once carried logging trains in and out of the Pemigewasset Wilderness. For the adventurous hiker or biker there are the last remaining signs of an old logging camp at a discernable clearing on the left about 1 mile from the trailhead.Stop and explore and you may just discover a treasure or two. Take the 3.5 mile trip by bike or on foot along the old railroad bed of the Wilderness Trail or the newer access trail along the north side of the East Branch of the Pemigewasset River.

What makes Franconia Falls so special? Start with the trip into New Hampshire history. Then add a section of Franconia Brook that the waters of the millenia have carved into the rocks forming graceful rounded patterns and the best natural slide around. Just up the river about 200 yards from the flume is a quiet pool with cliffs for jumping, dive at your own risk!

Hikers and Bikers:
Skill Level: Novice to Intermediate - Only the last 1/2 mile is moderately difficult. We recommend that all but the most experienced cyclers leave their bicycles at the junction of the Wilderness Trail and the Franconia Brook Trail and hike the last half mile.
Surface: Old railroad bed, Mountain bikes recommended but not absolutely necessary. Smoother biking on the access road north of the river.

Round Trip Distance: 7 miles
Park at the Wilderness Trail parking lot 3 miles north of Lincoln along the Kancamagus Highway. National Forest stickers required and available on site.

Cleanliness: 4 Swimmers and hikers are conscientious about cleaning up but this area gets heavy use.
Clarity: 5 Just as pure as it gets and cold!
Kid Factor: 5 waterslide, cliffs, pools.
Beauty: 5 Just plain spectacular.
Lincoln Woods, Rte 112 Kancamagus Highway Lincoln
Grafton USA

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